Robert (Bob) Sheeder, who serves as head of the firm’s labor and employment practice, has taken more than 50 lawsuits to verdict and has handled nearly 100 arbitrations. He has also argued 15 cases on appeal and successfully defended one of the first Sarbanes-Oxley cases in Texas. Bob represents clients in all aspects of labor and employment law before federal and state agencies and courts. He focuses on litigation and counseling in the areas of discrimination, harassment, collective and class actions, union organizing, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), whistleblowing and wage-hour issues.
In private practice since 1976, Bob has been listed among the top-ranked labor and employment lawyers in Texas by Chambers & Partners’ Chambers USA (2003-2016) and internationally by Chambers Global (2015-2017). He has been noted in Chambers USA as “one of the preeminent employment lawyers in the State of Texas.” Held in high esteem by market commentators for his impressive record of courtroom success, clients describe him as a “go-to employment lawyer” who is a “well trusted adviser.” His service is called “incredibly responsive” and “thorough.”
Bob served as chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (2012-2013) and currently serves as an emeritus member of the executive council. He also served as chair of The University of Texas Law School 2006 Annual Course on Developments in Labor and Employment Law. He continues to speak on labor and employment issues at the annual course. Outside of the courtroom, Bob is a frequent lecturer and writer on labor law issues. He previously served as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Labor Letter. Bob participated on the Faculty of the Jury Trials of Employment Claims Course for more than five years and participated in the Advanced Course. He is a charter member of the Management and Employment Law Roundtable and a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.
Recent Notable Matters
Largest division of a major defense prime contractor — serves as the primary outside labor and employment counsel
Independent storage terminals company — represented the employer in a case involving a nationwide wage and hour collective action, which was ultimately dismissed with prejudice and no class was certified
Manufacturer of personal care electrical products — represented the company in a highly publicized lawsuit by its former CEO, which was successfully resolved for the client
Towers Perrin — represented a third-party administrator in Milofsky v. American Airlines, Inc., 404 F.3d 338 (5th Cir. 2005) in which the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of Towers Perrin in an ERISA class action
Worldcom — defended the company in Shephard v. Worldcom, a nationwide benefits class action in which the United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas granted summary judgment
Major manufacturer — in a multiparty sex discrimination jury trial in state court in Fort Worth, Texas, in which the court granted a directed verdict for the defendant employer after several weeks of trial
Fortune 500 manufacturer — negotiated the closing and relocation, and successfully defended multiple related unfair labor practice charges and a prolonged Unit Clarification trial before the National Labor Relations Board
Fortune 500 corporation — successfully defended in a race discrimination class action in the Northern District of Texas, in which the Court denied class certification and subsequently granted summary judgment against the named plaintiffs
Major manufacturer — in one of the largest FLSA collective actions in the country
Belo Corporation and the Dallas Morning News — in Powell et.al. v. The Dallas Morning News et.al., a large collective action and multi-plaintiff age discrimination case in which a summary judgment was granted against all 18 plaintiffs; subsequently, the decision was affirmed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Major defense contractor — successfully represented in a nationwide wage and hour class action involving employees assigned overseas under foreign labor laws; case was dismissed after it was held that U.S. laws applied
Publications and Speeches
“FLSA Update,” 38th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, Houston, TX, April 7-8, 2016.
“Managing Employee Leave – Setting Policy, Staying in Compliance,” Labor and Employment Law Advanced Practices Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, March 16-18, 2016.
“FLSA and Settlements,” 2015 Labor and Employment Law Institute, State Bar of Texas, San Antonio, TX, September 18-19, 2015.
“Depositions,” Labor and Employment Law Conference, Austin, TX, May 12-13, 2015.
“Depositions,” Labor and Employment Law Advanced Practices Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, April 9-10, 2015.
“FLSA Debate,” Texas Bar CLE – 23rd Annual Advanced Employment Law Course, Dallas, TX, January 22-23, 2015.
“Survey of 2013 and 2014 Whistleblower Cases,” 22nd Annual Conference of The American Employment Law Council, Palm Beach, FL, October 22-25, 2014.
“Strategic Developments under the FLSA: Perspectives from Both Sides of the Bar,” 2014 Labor and Employment Law Institute, State Bar of Texas, San Antonio, TX, September 19-20, 2014.
“The Fair Labor Standards Act for the 21st Century,” Labor and Employment Law Conference, Austin, TX, May 15-16, 2014.
“Employee Leave and Disability Law – Is Any ‘Accommodation Unreasonable?’” Labor and Employment Law Advanced Practices Symposium, Las Vegas, NV, March 12-14, 2014.
Course Director, Texas Bar CLE - 22nd Annual Advanced Employment Law Course, January 8-10, 2014.
“Corporate Counsel: A View From the Inside,” 2013 Labor and Employment Law Institute, State Bar of Texas, Montgomery, TX, October 11-12, 2013.
“FLSA,” Texas Bar CLE - 21st Annual Advanced Employment Law Course, Dallas, TX, January 18, 2013.
“Tips From In-House Counsel,” 2012 Labor and Employment Law Institute, State Bar of Texas, San Antonio, TX, September 14-15, 2012.
“Is Everything Protected Activity?: The Latest Developments in the Law on Retaliation,” Texas Association of Business-sponsored Texas Employment Relations Symposium, San Antonio, TX, July 19, 2012.
“Expert Witnesses: What You Need, When You Need Them, Whom to Get and How to Get Them,” Labor and Employment Law Conference, Austin, TX, May 17, 2012.
“21st Century Trends in Discrimination,” Texas Bar CLE – 20th Annual Advanced Employment Law Course, Dallas, TX, January 26, 2012.
Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization