Robert M. Shea

Shareholder || Boston

Bob Shea is a Shareholder in the Boston office of Ogletree Deakins. Bob’s practice includes working closely with clients to develop best practices, and providing advice on discipline and discharge, discrimination, harassment, worker misclassification, wage-hour compliance, disability, non-competition, and workforce reductions. He also focuses on drafting employment agreements, independent contractor agreements and separation agreements, and he regularly conducts workplace training for clients, including anti-harassment training and performs worker wage-hour classification analyses. Bob has an enviable record of success in defending claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful discharge, breach of employment and non-competition agreements, and wage-hour violations.

Bob regularly represents clients before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and the US Department of Labor. He has handled employment litigation matters before courts in ten states nationwide.

Bob also serves as an arbitrator and mediator, engaged by businesses and individuals to resolve employment contract disputes and statutory claims. He has served since 1995 on the American Arbitration Association’s panel of employment arbitrators and mediators.

Learn more about Robert M. Shea


  • J.D., with honors, George Washington University National Law Center, 1984
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Boston College, 1981

Admittance to Practice

  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia

Professional Activities

  • New England Business Association (Vice Chair, Past Chair of the Board of Directors, 2013-2016)
  • National Small Business Association (Member, Board of Trustees; Chair, Health and Human Resources Policy Group)
  • Boston Bar Association (Past Co-Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • Massachusetts Bar Association (Member, Labor & Employment Section Council)
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), Chair, Employment & Labor Law Curriculum Advisory Board
  • American Arbitration Association (Employment Arbitration and Mediation Panels)


  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. - "What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Employment Law" - Boston - June 16, 2017
  • New England Business Association - "A Primer on the Mediation Process" - Boston - March 29, 2016
  • American Arbitration Association University - "Don’t Strike Back: Retaliation Claims on the Rise" - Boston - May 2, 2013
  • New England Business Association - "Mitigating Your Employment Risks: Traps for Unwary Business Owners and Managers" - Boston - January 30, 2013
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. - "What You Need to Know About CORI Reform" - Boston - December 14, 2012
  • New England Business Association - "Legal Update 2012" - Boston - January 10, 2012
  • January 24, 2019 - SHRM Online - "Calculating Tipped Workers’ Wages in Massachusetts"
  • December 7, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Massachusetts Considers Comprehensive Noncompete Legislation"
  • June 1, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Massachusetts House Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act"
  • May 2015 - MBBP Employment Law Advisor - "Employee Noncompetition Agreements"
  • 2015 - Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., 4th Edition - "Religious Discrimination (Massachusetts Employment Law, Ch. 11)"
  • 2013 - MBBP Employment Law Advisor - "Avoiding Employee Claims of Unlawful Retaliation"
  • November 2011 - Family Business - "Personnel Records Statute Amended to Impose New Notice Duty on Employers"
  • September 2011 - MBBP Employment Law Advisor - "Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Upholds Right to Enforce Employment Arbitration Agreements"
  • October 2006 - New England In-House - "Employee Background Checks on the Rise in the Information Age"
  • October 2005 - New England In-House - "Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law: Serious Problems and Difficult Choices"
  • May 2005 - New England In-House - "What Employers Can Do to Prevent Retaliation Claims"
  • February 2005 - Banker & Tradesman - "Independent Contractor Law Increases Risks for Businesses"
  • June 2003 - EMA Online - "Using Arbitration to Resolve Workplace Disputes"
  • March 1999 - The Corporate Counselor - "Vicariously Liable: Responsibility for Harassment Not Limited to Employee Conduct"
  • June 1997 - Mass High Tech - "Recent Court Ruling Argues for Employee Arbitration"
  • March 1994 - Employment Law Strategist - "Understanding Taxation of Discrimination Awards"
  • July 1993 - Employment Law Strategist - "How to Prove Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA"
  • May/July 1991 - Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1 - "Post-termination Discovery of Employee Misconduct: A New Defense in Employment Discrimination Litigation"
  • January 11, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Massachusetts: Ruling Impacts Delivery Companies Using Contractors"
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • MA and New England Super Lawyers (2006 – present)
  • Top 100 MA Super Lawyers list (2010)
  • The Legal 500 United States 2016: Recommended in Labor and employment- Workplace and employment counseling category

Insights by Robert M. Shea