New York University School of Law, J.D., 1982
Harvard University, B.A. 1979
U.S. Courts of Appeals
- Second Circuit
- Fifth Circuit
- Sixth Circuit
- Seventh Circuit
- Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Courts
- Northern District of Illinois (including trial bar)
- Central District of Illinois
- Southern District of Illinois
- Northern District of California
Supreme Court of Illinois
Robert T. Zielinski provides creative and effective representation and advice in resolving the multitude of issues that arise in today’s complex employment relationships.
This includes, but is not limited to, union organizing, negotiations and arbitrations; litigation of individual or class employment claims over discrimination, wages, benefits and so forth; and proactive advice on managing situations to avoid post-decision disputes.
Robert and his team helped a client negotiate a complex thicket of labor law, contract and publicity issues involving its acquisition of portions of a unionized facility in a smaller city. The strategy they implemented enabled the client to successfully complete the acquisition and begin operating its business. By contrast, most of the other parties to the transaction wound up in protracted and expensive litigation, in which the union’s position ultimately prevailed.
Defeated a preliminary injunction request by a state university employee and student newspaper editor claiming that they were retaliated against in violation of the First Amendment for running articles that were unflattering to the university administration.
In this First Amendment student press case, the plaintiff, a former journalistic advisor, was terminated by the paper's board of directors.
Obtained summary judgment on disability and retaliation case, as well as a favorable award in earlier arbitration with plaintiff's union.
Obtained summary judgment on plaintiff's claim of race discrimination in termination, despite plaintiff's testimony that his supervisor had allegedly suggested he was lucky to have been hired at all given "the small number of blacks working for the company."
Obtained an arbitration award upholding client's refusal to hire three long-service employees when it took over a subcontract for security services.
Secured summary judgment for defendant hospital in a complex case under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act Amendments to Title VII, FMLA and common law.
Represented a global manufacturer, distributor, and marketer of food and beverages. Obtained one of only two appellate level decisions in New York history overturning an adverse order of the State Human Rights Division on the grounds of administrative delay.
Obtained summary judgment in a race discrimination and retaliation claim on behalf of one of the largest banks in the Midwest.
Reported and Published Decisions
Manning v University of Chicago Hosp., 401 F. Supp. 2nd 858 (N.D. IL 2005)
Bush v ABM Lakeside, Inc. (N.D. IL 2007)
In Re SEIU local 1 (unreported (2007)
Waugaman v The University of Chicago Hospitals, 00 C 2851 (N.D. IL 4/2002)
Bethea v LaSalle National Bank, 01 C 7441 (N.D. IL 10/03)
Pepsico, Inc. v Rosa, 213 A.D.2d 550, 624 N.Y.S.2d 622 (N.Y.App.Div. 1995), app. denied
Best Lawyers in America, Labor and Employment Law 2010-2011; Labor Law-Management and Litigation-Labor and Employment 2012-present
Illinois Super Lawyers, Employment and Labor 2010-present
American Bar Association, Labor Section, Individual Employee Rights Subcommittee
Leading Lawyers of Illinois
Instructor, Employment Law, Loyola University of Chicago
"Yours, Mine & Ours: Joint Employment in the New Age," NACUA CLE workshop, March 2016
"Interviewing Client Employees: Pitfalls to be Avoided," Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Greater Chicago Chapter, March 14, 2014
Annual speaker: Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), Labor and Employment Law Symposium, 1999-present
"Use of Experts in Employment Litigation," 2007
"Alphabet Soup-FMLA, ADA and FLSA for Beginners," 2007
"FMLA and ADA Developments," 2006
"Taking Effective Depositions of Plaintiffs in Employment Cases," 2006
"Americans with Disabilities Act: How to Comply," ADP Seminar
"Family Medical Leave Act: What Every Employer Should Know," ADP Seminar
"What you don't know can hurt you," Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers of America
"College Athletes as Employees," The Journal of College and University Law, Volume 41, Number 1 (2015)
Executive Producer and Co-Screen Writer, "Management Under a Microscope, A Video Handbook for Managers"
Co-author and Producer, "How to Avoid Employment Lawsuits: A Video Handbook for Managers and Attorneys"