Robert L. Kilroy

Bob is a partner, member of the firm's Management Committee and former chair of the firm's Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group, where he specializes in employment litigation in defense of corporations and their executives.  Bob has extensive experience representing hospitals and physician groups.  He routinely appears in federal and state courts throughout New England and beyond, as well as before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in defense of claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, whistle blower and wage payment violations.  Bob also has extensive experience in both defense and enforcement of non-compete agreements.  In addition, he represents management for private-sector employers in grievance arbitrations filed by unions, with particular emphasis on the health care industry.  Apart from his employment litigation practice, Bob advises clients on a broad range of employment and human resource-related issues.

Prior to joining Mirick O'Connell, Bob served 10 years active duty as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was awarded four medals for leadership excellence.  In addition, he has served as a special assistant district attorney, as an employment litigator for Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, and as a litigation associate for Ropes & Gray in Boston.

Bob has annually been named a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics every year since 2011. He was also previously named a Massachusetts “Rising Star” for three consecutive years.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Cornell Law School JD, magna cum laude (1997), editor-in-chief, Cornell Law Review
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute BS, high honors (1984)
  • Successfully represented a major healthcare industry client facing claims of race, color, national origin and disability discrimination, as well as retaliatory discharge, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.  All claims were dismissed following a motion for summary judgment
  • Successfully represented a major healthcare industry client facing claims brought by a physician for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in Massachusetts Superior Court.  All claims were dismissed following a motion for summary judgment
  • Successfully represented a major healthcare industry client facing claims of disability discrimination, retaliation and constructive discharge before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. All claims were dismissed following seven days of public hearing
  • Successfully defended a major healthcare institution facing claims of disability discrimination in U.S. District Court. Case was dismissed following a motion for summary judgment
  • Enforced a non-competition agreement on behalf of an educational software company, resulting in the removal of a former executive from the competitor's workforce and the recoupment of attorneys' fees
  • Successfully defended a sales executive facing a non-compete enforcement action by his former employer in Delaware Court of Chancery
  • Represented a public company facing allegations of disability discrimination; the case was dismissed at the investigative stage of proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
  • Successfully defended six executives facing 11 counts of discrimination, wrongful termination, and whistleblower retaliation in federal court; the case was won with an initial motion to dismiss prior to discovery
  • Defended a municipality facing breach-of-contract claims in federal court following termination of an employee's contract for poor performance; the case was won prior to summary judgment based on admissions extracted at plaintiff's deposition, followed by a demand that the plaintiff voluntarily dismiss her case or face a motion for sanctions for having filed an action in bad faith
  • Defended a major medical institution facing claims of breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations and defamation in federal court; the case was won with an initial motion to dismiss prior to discovery
  • Represented a service provider company and its executives facing age discrimination claims; the case was won based on admissions extracted at the plaintiff's deposition, followed by a demand that the plaintiff voluntarily dismiss his case or face a claim for attorneys' fees based on having filed a frivolous lawsuit
  • Successfully represented a major medical institution facing claims of pregnancy discrimination and gender bias at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
  • Successfully represented a major medical institution in grievance arbitration involving a claim that supervisors were performing bargaining unit work
  • Successfully represented a transportation company in grievance arbitration involving a claim that drivers were not properly compensated during meal breaks
  • Defended a major medical institution in an action at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination brought by a former physician claiming disability discrimination; the case was won based on admissions extracted at the plaintiff's deposition, followed by a demand that the plaintiff voluntarily dismiss his case or face a motion for sanctions for pursuing an action in bad faith
  • Successfully represented in grievance arbitration a client who terminated an employee based on allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace
  • Successfully represented a major medical institution in grievance arbitration involving the transfer of an employee based on the hospital's belief that he was unable to safely perform certain job duties
  • Successfully defended a financial services company facing allegations of breach of employment contract following the termination of an employee for inappropriate behavior in the workplace
  • Defended a public entity facing breach-of-contract claims; the court granted our client summary judgment on all claims
  • Successfully defended a public entity facing 11 counts of discrimination, wrongful termination and whistleblower retaliation in federal court; the court granted our client summary judgment on all claims

Publications/Presentations

  • “Federal Court in New York Strikes Down Parts of the Department of Labor's Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, August 5, 2020
  • “Returning to Work: Considerations for Employers Resuming On-Site Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic?,” Mirick O’Connell’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Legal Update Client Alert, May 14, 2020
  • “Issues for Employers to Consider for Re-Entry into the Workplace During COVID-19,” On Air with Mirick O’Connell legal podcast, May 18, 2020
  • “Key Issues to Consider When Bringing Employees Back to Work,” Milford Area Chamber of Commerce Q&A Session, May 13, 2020
  • “Recommendations to Ensure Workplace Safety in Light of the COVIV-19 Pandemic for Non-Healthcare Employers,” Mirick O’Connell’s COVID-19 Updates Client Alert, April 27, 2020
  • "COVID-19's Impact on the Workplace: What's the Difference between a Layoff and a Furlough?” Mirick O’Connell’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Legal Update Client Alert, April 22, 2020
  • “Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, with Updates from the DOL’s Q&As and Regulations,” Mirick O’Connell Webinar, April 6, 2020
  • “Recent COVID-19 Legislation Provides Payroll Tax Relief to Employers,” Mirick O’Connell Client Alert, April 1, 2020
  • "Department of Homeland Security Relaxes Standards for Verifying Work Authorization,” Mirick O’Connell's Employment Law Client Alert, March 24, 2020
  • “The Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Workplace: Part II,” Mirick O’Connell’s COVID-19 Updates Client Alert, March 18, 2020
  • “The Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Workplace,” Mirick O’Connell's Employment Law Client Alert, March 11, 2020
  • “Employment Law Update," Massachusetts Bar Association 40th Annual Labor and Employment Spring Conference, April 2019
  • “Massachusetts’ Paid Family & Medical Leave Act,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Annual Seminar, April 2019
  • “The Rights of Transgendered Employees in the Workplace,” client seminar, March 2019
  • “Employment Law Developments,” 16th Annual In-House Counsel Conference, January 2019
  • “Addiction in the Workplace,” Worcester Business Journal Forum, June 2018
  • “Medical Marijuana, Reasonable Accommodation for Off-Site Use, and Employer Drug Testing: How Do Employers Comply with the Law and Still Maintain a Safe Workplace?,” Mirick O’Connell HR Roundtable, April 2018
  • “Massachusetts Employment Law Hot Topics for 2018,” Clark & Lavey Boot Camp IX, April 2018
  • “Responding to Difficult Sexual Harassment Allegations Involving High-Level Executives and He Said/She Said Scenarios,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Annual Seminar, March 2018
  • “Sexual Harassment Prevention Training – Supervisors & Managers (Seminar for Sexual Harassment and Disruptive Behavior),” client seminar, January 2018
  • “Managing Difficult Leaves of Absence Under the FMLA & ADA,” client seminar, December 2017
  • “Hot Topics in Employment Law,” Massachusetts Bar Association 15th Annual In-House Counsel Conference, November 2017
  • “Sexual Harassment Prevention Training,” client seminar, June 2017
  • "Pay Equity Act,” client seminar, April 2017
  • “Discussion of Key Legislative Changes,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Annual Seminar, April 2017
  • “Employment Law Update: Key Issues for HR Professionals to be Aware of 2017,” Clark & Lavey Boot Camp VIII, April 2017
  • Quoted in “With Overtime Rule in Limbo, Caution is Urged for Employers,” Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, February 1, 2017
  • Quoted in “Shift in Wage-And-Hour Enforcement May Not Be Radical,” Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, January 17, 2017Quoted in "Recreational Weed May Be Legal, But You Can't Smoke in Public and Could Still be Fired," Boston Business Journal, December 15, 2016
  • “Hiring Individuals with Disabilities,” client seminar, June 2016
  • “Sex Harassment Prevention Training for Executives, Supervisors, Managers and Employees,” client seminar, April 2016
  • “Employment Laws of the HR Universe: An Update,” Clark & Lavey Benefits Solutions HR Boot Camp, April 2016
  • “Deflategate and the Tom Brady Saga: Lessons Learned for both the Unionized and Non-Unionized Employer,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Annual Seminar, April 2016
  • “Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors and Other Massachusetts Wage Act Concerns,” Massachusetts Bar Association 13th Annual In-House Counsel Conference, November 2015
  • “Manager Training on Select HR Topics,” client seminar, September 2015
  • “Sex Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and Managers,” client seminar, May 2015
  • “Sex Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and Managers,” client seminar, February 2015
  • "Sex Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors and Managers,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Annual Seminar, March 2014

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Milford Regional Medical Center, Board of Trustees, chair; Patient Care Assessment Committee, chair; corporator
  • Milford Regional Healthcare Foundation, Board of Trustees, past chair
  • Milford Area Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, former chair
  • Massachusetts Hospital Association, Clinical Advisory Council, past member
  • Leadership MetroWest Academy, graduate
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Boston Bar Association

Employers Must Ensure Compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as they Re-Open and Recall Employees from Furlough

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued new Questions and Answers regarding its interpretation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). In relevant part, the DOL made clear that if an employer is calling employees back from furlough, the …

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Update: Families First Coronavirus Act

The Department of Labor issued new guidance over the weekend regarding the Families First Act, including important definitions and clarifications.  I broke down the new guidance into the overall framework of the new EFMLA and EPSLA in this recorded webinar. …

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Department of Homeland Security Relaxes Standards for Verifying Work Authorization

  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has relaxed its standards requiring in-person review of work authorization documents required to complete the I-9 form. Specifically, if an employer has no employees physically present at a …

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Congress Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, Congress passed a bill entitled “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (the “Act”) aimed at alleviating several major burdens families are currently facing as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Act, which goes into effect on …

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …

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The Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Workplace

With cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) significantly on the rise, the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and Governor Baker recently declaring a state of emergency in the Commonwealth, employers should be prepared to address a number …

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NLRB Issues Employer-Friendly “Joint Employer” Definition

On February 25, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”) announced the final rule governing “joint employer” status under the National Labor Relations Act. The determination of whether an entity is a “joint employer” with a direct employer for purposes …

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Act Requiring the Hands-Free Use of Mobile Devices Went into Effect Yesterday

On November 25, 2019, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved Chapter 122 of the Acts of 2019. Under this Act, operators of motor vehicles cannot use handheld electronic devices while driving. The Act specifically holds that no operator of a motor vehicle shall …

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U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Updates Joint Guidance on the Applicability of FERPA and HIPAA to Student Records

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued an update to their Joint Guidance on the Applicability of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and …

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Joint Employer Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

On January 12, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) governing joint employer status, which significantly narrows the scope of joint employer liability. Under the prior Administration, the DOL …

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