Bob Carey

Bob Carey





Services & Industries


J.D., Willamette University College of Law, 1987

B.A., Harvard College, 1984

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
Washington State Bar, Litigation and Labor & Employment Sections
District of Columbia Bar
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington

Bob is a member of Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. He represents companies, professionals, and executives in employment litigation, and provides counseling on a broad range of employment related issues. He has substantial jury trial experience in Oregon and Washington, defending wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour, and whistleblower cases. He also has defended ERISA lawsuits, been on both sides of post-termination cases with non-competition, trade secret and related claims, and has defended numerous labor disputes in arbitration.

Bob has represented companies in labor negotiations, and in election petitions and unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB. He has negotiated compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment contracts for companies, professionals, and executives.

He also serves as a mediator in complex commercial disputes and in employment and ERISA/benefits cases. Before joining the firm, Bob was a partner at Barran Liebman (1998-2006) and an associate and partner at Lane Powell (1993-1998). Before entering private practice, Bob served on active duty as a captain in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corp, at the U.S. Army Communications and Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, N.J. and the U.S. Army Defense Appellate Division, Falls Church, V.A. (1987-1993). While stationed at Fort Monmouth, Bob was appointed as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

Bob has been consistently listed in the Best Lawyers in America, in the Oregon edition of Super Lawyers for employment litigation and as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers” for labor and employment by Chambers USA, which notes that Bob is “top-notch and quick on his feet, and excellent at building strong relationships with his clients” and “the man to call whenever there is a complicated matter that won’t go away.”

Bob is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resources Certification Institute, and is also designated as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Representative Matters

Contract Claims

Summary judgment granted on perceived disability and contract claims against large paper products company and its union.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

Court granted directed verdict for employer during jury trial where former accounting clerk brought claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Federal Court

Numerous summary judgments granted in federal court on a variety of claims, including age, gender, disability and sex discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, whistleblower, wage and hour, and ERISA.

Large Retailer

Summary judgment granted in state court for large retailer where plaintiff had claims for discrimination, wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress and assault.

Local Newspaper

Small local newspaper won jury verdict against employee suing for wrongful discharge and discrimination.

Manufacturing Company

Manufacturing company recovered on counterclaim against former employee.

Non-Compete Agreement

Won summary judgment to enforce non-compete agreement for the benefit of acquiring company where agreement was signed by seller's employees in anticipation of the sale of the business.

Sexual Harassment & Wrongful Discharge

Obtained a directed verdict during jury trial of claims for sexual harassment and wrongful discharge.

Wage Claims

Washington jury issued defense verdict on wrongful discharge and wage claims against real estate management company. The employer also recovered on counterclaim against plaintiff, and the court awarded attorney fees to our client.

Whistleblower Claims

Obtained defense verdict on wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims before an Oregon jury. Our client also won a counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty against its former nursing home administrator.

Sale of Pulp Mill

Represented Wayzata Investment Partners, a private equity fund, in connection with a sale of Halsey, Oregon pulp mill.

Tonkon Torp Litigators Take on One of Oregon’s Largest Commercial Lawsuits

In 2021, Tonkon Torp defended its client Sprinklr, Inc. in one of the largest Oregon-based commercial lawsuits to be filed in recent years. The complex case between Sprinklr and plaintiff Opal Labs began in 2017 and involved the high-end technology of two sophisticated companies offering services in content marketing.

Diverse Team Aids Greenbrier in Joint Venture

Tonkon Torp acted as Oregon corporate counsel for its long-term client The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. in finalizing a 50/50 joint venture with Watco Companies, L.L.C. The venture combines the two companies’ railcar repair, refurbishment and maintenance businesses into a new organization, GBW Railcar Services, LLC.

Community Involvement & Activities

Society of Human Resource Management
1995–Present, Harvard Schools and Scholarships Committee

Oregon Business Association
2006–2016, Business and Economy Committee

Portland Human Resources Management Association
Board of Directors
2013, General Counsel

Oregon Junior-Senior Golf Association
2009–2012, Director

Children’s Cancer Association
2004–2009, Ambassador Board

Oregon State Bar
2001–2003, Procedure and Practice Committee

Multnomah Bar Association
1999–2002, Judicial Screening Committee

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Multnomah Bar Association
Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
Portland Human Resource Management Association
Society for Human Resource Management

The Best Lawyers in America

2009-2024, Employment Law – Management
2009-2024, Labor Law – Management
2009-2024, Litigation – Labor & Employment

Chambers USA

2009-2024, Labor & Employment

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Super Lawyers

2006-2023, Oregon Super Lawyer – Employment Litigation: Defense

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Chambers USA 2024 Ranks 28 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Chambers USA has recognized 28 Tonkon Torp attorneys in eight practice areas in its 2024 Guide.

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2024 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024. All of the attorneys have been previously named to the peer-review list, and most have been listed for more than 10 years.

39 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2023 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-nine Tonkon Torp attorneys in 12 practice areas have been included in the 2023 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.

Chambers USA 2023 Ranks 26 Tonkon Torp Attorneys

Chambers USA has recognized 26 Tonkon Torp attorneys in eight practice areas in its Chambers USA 2023 Guide.

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 53 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2023 List

Fifty-three Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 37 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023. Nearly all the attorneys have been previously named to the peer-review list, and most have been listed for more than 10 years.

All News Items

2013 HR Roundup – Checklist of New Employment Laws this Year

The year 2013 brought several changes to employment laws affecting Oregon employers. In this alert, we highlight the key changes of this past year so that our clients are aware of the changes, and have an opportunity to update their employee handbooks, policies and procedures before the New Year.

Don’t Let The Holidays Take You For a Sleigh Ride

With the holidays around the corner, many employers organize parties to promote collegial working relationships and foster a pleasant work environment. While the benefits of holiday parties on employee morale are tangible, they may also present legal risks for employers. The first-and perhaps most obvious-risk arises from alcohol consumption. Courts have not hesitated to find an employer liable for accidents caused by inebriated employees leaving a company function.

IRS Modifies “Use-it-or Lose-it” Rule for Health Flexible Spending Accounts

On October 31, 2013 the IRS issued Notice 2013-71 modifying the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule for health flexible spending accounts (“FSAs”) under §125 cafeteria plans. These modified rules are welcome relief for employers and employees, and can apply as early as the 2013 plan year.

Veterans Day Mandatory Holiday for Oregon Employers

With Veterans Day (November 11) looming in the horizon, Oregon employers should plan to give the day off to eligible veterans in their workforce. Earlier this year, Governor Kitzhaber signed into law Senate Bill 1 that requires companies to provide paid or unpaid time off on Veterans Day to employees who: (1) would otherwise work that day; (2) give at least 21 days’ notice that they intend to take the day off; and (3) present documents that verify their veteran status.

EEOC Focuses on ADA and Sex Bias Lawsuits

Information gleaned from the filings by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) for its fiscal year 2013, which ended September 30, shows a very decided emphasis on cases arising under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and cases alleging sex bias, which include sex and pregnancy discrimination. The EEOC filed 134 lawsuits in 2013 (up from 122 in 2012, but down from 177 in 2011). ADA cases made up 36% of those filings, and sex bias claims made up 31% of the filings.

All Alerts Items

Publications & Presentations

Bob is a frequent speaker at seminars on labor and employment law and provides training for clients on various issues.

“Employment Law Updates,” Construction Industry Conference, Oregon Society of CPAs, May 2022

“Non-Compete Laws: Oregon,” Practical Law Journal, Thomson Reuters, May 2022

“2013 HR Roundup: Checklist of New Employment Laws this Year,” PHRMA News & Views, December 2013

“One Size Does Not Fit All: FMLA Leave and Same-Sex Couples,” PHRMA News & Views, November 2013

“Affordable Care Act Retaliation,” PHRMA News & Views, October 2013

“Protecting Confidential Business Information,” PHRMA News & Views, September 2013

“Legislative Update: OFLA to Provide Leave to Deal with Death of a Family Member,” PHRMA News & Views, August 2013

“Politics in the Workplace,” PHRMA News & Views, July 2013

“The Pitfall of the Unpaid Intern,” PHRMA News & Views, June 2013

“Evaluating the Independent Contractor Designation for Purpose of Wage Claims,” PHRMA News & Views, May 2013

“Play or Pay: Crunching the Numbers on Affordable Care Act Penalties,” PHRMA News & Views, April 2013

“Sick Times in Portland: What You Should Know about Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance,” PHRMA News & Views, March 2013

“Protecting Your Company’s Competitive Advantage Through Employment Agreements,” PHRMA News & Views, February 2013