Robert D. Zaruta


Robert’s practice is focused on a variety of labor & employment matters, including litigation. He has extensive experience working with both private and public employers, counseling clients on hiring and firing issues, wage and hour issues, employer/independent contractor issues, collective bargaining, employee handbooks, and compliance with workplace laws including FMLA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA and more.

He represents several public school systems, assisting in disciplinary issues, grievances, arbitration and union contract negotiations. His practice also includes representing employers in defense of discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, wrongful termination and other employment-related claims.

Robert has defended employers in EEOC, DOL, PHRC and other agency investigations alleging discrimination or pay practice violations. He offers sexual harassment training for employers, assists employers in handling sexual harassment complaints, and conducts internal investigations. He has represented employers in unfair labor practices actions, including appearances before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the National Labor Relations Board and the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board.

Practice Areas

  • Syracuse University College of Law, J.D.; Dean’s List; Best Advocate Award – Trial Advocacy Class
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.S.; cum laude; Dean’s List; Sigma Alpha Lambda National Honors Organization
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
  • Obtained a favorable decision from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania for a client. The Court granted the client’s motion for summary judgment thereby dismissing all ADA and FMLA claims
  • Successfully argued on behalf of a school district in an appeal to the Commonwealth Court. On appeal, the underlying trial court decision was reversed, and the Commonwealth Court granted the school district's petition to vacate a labor arbitration award
  • Successfully defended a school against an unfair labor practice charge before the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania by securing a reversal of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board’s Final Order
  • Successfully argued on behalf of a county against a labor union’s appeal to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. On appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the underlying Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board’s Final Order which found that the County did not commit unfair labor practices. It has been estimated this result saved the County a minimum of $6 million
  • Successfully argued against the enforcement of a physician's non-compete agreement
  • Successfully resolved a client's unemployment compensation and workers' compensation tax audits
  • Involved in lawsuits filed in state and federal courts, as well as charges filed with the EEOC and PHRC, including claims for wrongful discharge and race, age, sex, religion and disability discrimination

Community and Professional Service

  • NAMI of Erie, Board Member
  • Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, Erie Ambassador
  • Junior Achievement, Former Board Member

Professional Affiliations

  • Erie County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division Leadership Committee
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW) Junior Lawyer Network, Member

Speaking Engagements

  • Firm's Workplace Law Forum, 2015, 2017-2019, 2021
  • MBA Annual HR Conference: Employment Law Updates on the PRO Act of 2021 and Changes to Labor Law, September 2021
  • MBA’s April HR Roundtable Webinar: What the Biden Administration Means for Employers, April 2021
  • NWIRC Webinar: Employers Guide to COVID-19 Vaccinations and Related Topics, February 2021
  • HVA Senior Living Alliance Long-Term Care Seminar, May 2016-2020
  • Firm’s Annual Municipal Law Symposium, April 2016-2019
  • Riverview Intermediate Unit #6 Superintendent Summit, April 2019
  • Keystone Shortway PA Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) Meeting, August 2018
  • Manufacturer & Business Association Lunch & Law Session, February 2018
  • Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Association Region 8 Meeting, October 2017
  • Manufacturer & Business Association HR Conference, October 2017
  • NWIRC Manufacturers Growth Conference, Erie, May 2017
  • HVA Senior Living Alliance Positive Workplace Seminar, October 2016
  • Human Resources Section of the PA/NJ Rural Electric Cooperative, September 2016
  • HR & Employment Law Roundtable, Manufacturer & Business Association, January 2016
  • Firm's Next Generation Happy Hour, September 2015

Articles and Publications