Robert K. Carrol

Rob specializes in Labor & Employment and Alcohol Beverage matters.
Robert Carrol, Partner at Arent Fox

Rob’s labor and employment clients are companies of all sizes and industries, from Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 200 companies, mostly from the agriculture, alcohol beverage, food, manufacturing and solid waste disposal sectors.

In addition to his labor and employment practice, Rob has defended employers over the past three plus decades facing citations for alleged violations of the general duty clause and OSHA standards, including process safety management (PSM), lockout/tagout (LOT), hazard communication (HAZCOM), emergency response, permit-required confined spaces, personal protective equipment (PPE), recordkeeping, and guarding.  He has also defended citations for alleged fire and fatality incidents. Rob has trained managers regarding their obligations under both the OSHA and Cal-OSHA statutes and regulations, including their rights, duties, and obligations during an OSHA or Cal-OSHA inspection, how to manage those inspections to limit liability, how to defend against citations, and the impact of those citations on related civil and criminal litigation. He has spoken at industry conferences on these topics as well. Finally, Rob has conducted safety and health audits to assure that employers are observing best practices and assisted in the drafting of IIPP programs and related handbook provisions to augment the employers’ preventative maintenance activities.

Rob’s practice also focuses on global beverage and alcohol matters, representing wine, craft beer and spirits producers, importers, and distributors.

Previous Work

Prior to joining Arent Fox, Rob was a partner in the San Francisco office of a global law firm where he led both the Western US Labor and Employment and Global Beverage Alcohol teams.

Client Work

Rob's national labor and employment practice include defense of complex wage-hour class actions, employment discrimination, unlawful harassment, ADA Title III access, and trade secret and restrictive covenant matters; counseling both union and non-union companies on operational issues; and collective bargaining, arbitration, and defense of charges filed with various federal and state administrative agencies, such as the federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and Alcohol Beverage Commission (ABC).

Rob has had notable success defending large-scale wage-hour and other labor-related class actions, recently defeating class certification in several large class actions filed in the US District and California Superior Courts, including two where the plaintiffs sought $176,000,000 and $58,000,000 in unpaid wages/penalties, respectively.

Professional Activities

  • International Wine Lawyers Association (AIDV), Board Member
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • American Bar Association
  • Hellenic Law Society

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

Rob has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for his labor and employment work and has earned an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale Hubbell.

  • “Wine: Vinters cautiously optimistic,” San Francisco Business Times, January 4, 2013
  • “Social Media Giveaways and the California Wine Industry,” Practical Winery & Vineyard Journal, September 22, 2012

Life Beyond the Law

Rob regularly trains and plays golf at the San Francisco Olympic Club’s Downtown and Lakeside facilities. He is also a huge supporter of Real Madrid, the San Francisco Giants and ‘49ers and attends as many games with his sons, Coulton and Dylan, and daughter, Payton, as his schedule will permit. He is conversational in Spanish, French, and Modern Greek.