Robert Siegel, Co-Chair of O’Melveny’s Aviation Industry Group, is a labor lawyer who focuses his practice on representing major companies in federal court litigation under the Railway Labor Act and the National Labor Relations Act, arbitrations, labor negotiations, National Mediation Board and National Labor Relations Board matters, and employment law litigation and counseling.
Representative past and current clients include: American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Alaska Air, US Airways, Republic Airways, Atlas Air, Southern Air, Envoy Air, Astar Air Cargo, AirTran Airways, Pan American World Airways, America West Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Atlas Air, Flying Tigers, Pacific Southwest Airlines, Polar Air, Delphi Corporation, and Mylan Laboratories.
Bob has also been labor counsel to several airlines regarding mergers, asset acquisitions, and ESOP transactions. Bob was formerly Co-Chairman of the American Bar Association’s Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee and is a former Senior Editor of The Railway Labor Act (BNA).
Bob has argued significant labor law cases before the US Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia Circuits, and the Colorado Supreme Court. During the 2001-02 term, he represented US Airways before the US Supreme Court in US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, a case involving reasonable accommodation requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He previously served on the Board of Governors of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Inc.
Bob served as Chair of O’Melveny’s Litigation Department from 2005 to 2010 and as Vice-Chair of the Firm from 2005 to 2008.
- Atlas Air, Inc. et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters et al., Case No. 7:17-cv-00903-NSR (S.D.N.Y.) – Won summary judgment for Atlas Air and an order compelling the Atlas pilots’ union to arbitrate its refusal to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement.
- Horner et al. v. American Airlines, Case No. 3:17-cv-00665-D (N.D. Tex) – Won full dismissal for American Airlines of a case brought by four American pilots challenging an arbitrator’s decision that the airline did not breach a seniority integration agreement.
- Ballard et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-02534 (N.D. Ill.) – Won full dismissal for American Airlines of a purported class action brought by the airline’s mechanics regarding changes to premium pay rates that American negotiated with the mechanics’ union following American’s merger with US Airways.
- Atlas Air, Inc. et. al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters et. al., Case No. 1:17-cv-01953-RDM (D.D.C.) – Obtained preliminary injunction for Atlas Air that prohibited the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its member pilots from engaging in slowdown activities designed to give the union greater leverage in ongoing collective bargaining negotiations.
- Krakowski v. American Airlines Group, Inc., Case No. 13-01283, (Bankr. S.D.N.Y) – Won summary judgment for American Airlines of an action brought by a class of former TWA pilots challenging American Airlines’ pilot seniority list on the ground that the plaintiffs could not show that American colluded with its pilots’ union in an alleged breach of the union’s duty of fair representation.
- Flight Attendants in Reunion v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 15-869 (2d Cir. 2016) – Represented American Airlines in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding that American Airlines had integrated the airline seniority lists of American Airlines and US Airways flight attendants in a fair and equitable manner under the McCaskill-Bond amendment to the Federal Aviation Act.
- Joseph Brown, et al v. United Airlines Inc. and Ben Mitchell v. US Airways Inc., 720 F.3d 60 (1st Cir. 2013) – Represented US Airways, Inc. in the First Circuit Court of Appeals decision surrounding an alleged nationwide class action claim by United Airlines Inc. and US Airways skycaps.
- US Airlines Pilots Association v. US Airways, Inc.– 2012 WL 909834 (E.D. NY 2012) – Successfully represented US Airways, Inc. on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging interference with collective bargaining rights, failure to maintain the “status quo,” bad faith bargaining, and failure to exert every reasonable effort to settle disputes.
- McMahon v. Delta Air Lines, Inc. Slip Copy, 2011 WL 5572628 (D. Minn.2011) – Successfully represented Delta Air Lines, Inc. in opposing a preliminary injunction seeking to change the pay and profit-sharing payments for approximately 7,000 pre-merger Northwest flight attendants.
- Air Line Pilots Assoc. v. United Air Lines, Inc. Slip Copy, 2011 WL 4543820 (E.D. NY 2011) – Successfully represented United Airlines, Inc. in opposing a preliminary injunction sought by the Air Line Pilots Association regarding United’s implementation of revised flight operations procedures in connection with its merger with Continental.
- Air Line Pilots Association International v. US Airways Group, Inc. et al,609 F.3d 338 (4th Cir. June 23, 2010) – Represented US Airways Group, Inc. and US Airways, Inc. in obtaining a precedent-setting dismissal of a two-count complaint brought by the Air Line Pilots Association alleging that the Railway Labor Act required a multi-party arbitration board.
- Air Line Pilots Association v. Spirit Airlines, Inc., 08-CV-13785 (E.D. Mi. 2009) – Represented Spirit Airlines in a case filed by ALPA alleging bad faith bargaining under the Railway Labor Act. The court granted Spirit’s motion to dismiss under FRCP 12(b)(6), adopting the carrier’s arguments regarding duties under Section 2, First of the RLA.
- US Airways, Inc. v. Barnett, 535 U.S. 391, 122 S.Ct. 1516, 152 L.Ed.2d 589 (U.S. Apr. 29, 2002) – Represented US Airways before the US Supreme Court in a landmark action deciding that employers ordinarily have no obligation under the Americans with Disabilities Act to violate a seniority-based bidding system in order to accommodate an employee with a disability.
- International Ass’n of Machinists v. US Airways, Inc., 358 F.3d 255 (3rd Cir. 2004) – Successfully represented US Airways before the Third Circuit in an action alleging that the outsourcing of aircraft maintenance constituted a “major dispute” under the RLA.
- In re US Airways Group, Inc. (E.D. Va. 2002) – Represented US Airways in actions seeking rejection of collective bargaining agreements under the US Bankruptcy Code, ultimately resulting in successful negotiations of restructured collective bargaining agreements for nine employee groups.
- United Air Lines, Inc. v. International Ass’n of Machinists, 243 F.3d 349 (7th Cir. 2001) – Successfully represented United before the Seventh Circuit in an action against its mechanics’ union seeking injunctive relief under the RLA against a unlawful slowdown campaign by United mechanics.
- Pyles v. United Air Lines, Inc., 79 F. 3d 1046 (11th Cir. 1996) – Represented United Airlines in the successful defense of a claim that United unlawfully failed to hire a former Pam Am pilot because he had undergone eye surgery, establishing that the claims were preempted by the Railway Labor Act and federal Aviation Act.
- District of Columbia
- New York
- University of Michigan, J.D.: magna cum laude; Order of the Coif
- University of California at Berkeley, B.A.: with great distinction; Phi Beta Kappa
- American Bar Association, Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Sections
- Former Member of the Governing Board, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Inc.
- Past Co-Chairman, American Bar Association, Railway and Airline Labor Law Committee
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