Rob Whitman partners with clients to solve their employment law challenges, whether in court, in arbitration, or before disputes arise.
For three decades, employers of all sizes have looked to Rob to handle their toughest and most sensitive employment law matters. He has helped companies defend these cases successfully, as well as avoid claims before they are filed. These include wage-and-hour lawsuits, discrimination claims, post-employment restrictive covenant disputes, and day-to-day compliance issues.
Rob understands that there is no "one size fits all" approach to the defense and avoidance of employment claims. Some clients need to defend cases to the end, while others desire an early or creative resolution. Some want a conservative approach to avoid litigation, while others draw clear lines and send strong messages—even if that raises the stakes for future litigation. Most employers fall into some or all of these camps at one time or another, depending on the particular matter. Rob's strength is that he listens to his clients, always taking time to understand their legal goals and business challenges. The result is a client-focused approach designed to achieve the company's objectives in each matter efficiently and effectively.
Rob has a diverse legal background. He spent the first part of his career working in all three branches of the federal government—as a federal appellate law clerk, a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice, and in-house employment counsel for the US Senate. He has spent the remainder working with private sector clients, large and small across a wide variety of industries, in a host of employment law matters.
Rob is national co-chair of Seyfarth’s Financial Services practice group and has particular experience in arbitrations before FINRA and AAA, defending broker-dealers and industry employers against claims alleging discrimination, forfeiture of deferred compensation, wrongful termination, and other theories of liability.
He has also represented companies in scores of wage-and-hour class/collective actions in courts around the country in matters with enormous potential exposure in unpaid wages, statutory damages, civil penalties, prejudgment interest, and attorneys' fees. He serves as co-chair of the Wage and Hour Committee of the New York State Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section.
Rob has also served as employment law counsel to numerous not-for-profit organizations in the New York metro area. He oversees the pro bono efforts in Seyfarth’s New York office and serves on the firm’s national Pro Bono Committee.
Section 191(1)(a)(i) of the New York Labor Law requires employers to pay “manual workers” on a weekly basis. For decades, courts held that employees could not sue their employers to redress violations of this provision. In 2019, however, ...