Photo of Robert A. Boonin

Robert A. Boonin Member

Areas of Practice


Bar Admissions

  • Michigan

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania


University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1985, cum laude

Michigan State University School of Labor and Industrial Relations, MLIR, 1980

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1976

Robert A. Boonin, a member in Dykema's Detroit and Ann Arbor offices, concentrates his practice on labor and employment litigation. In addition, Mr. Boonin is experienced in public contract and education law. As a result, he has represented public and private sector clients across the country in over thirty jurisdictions. His public sector clients include universities, community colleges, K-12 school districts, charter schools as well as cities and townships.

Mr. Boonin has successfully represented clients in wrongful termination, employment discrimination, wage and hour, tenure proceedings and other employment-related lawsuits and claims. He has also represented employers in labor grievance arbitrations, labor negotiations, unfair labor practices and representational proceedings and labor strikes. 

Clients quoted in Best Law Firms 2018 note that Mr. Boonin "serves as an extension of my business, with a thorough understanding of my legal needs and business objectives." He has been named a 2019 "Lawyer of the Year" in Detroit for Litigation - Labor and Employment by The Best Lawyers in America©, recognized as one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in Michigan" and is a frequent lecturer to the American and Michigan Bar Associations, the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the Society of Human Resource Management, the American Society of Employers, trade associations and other groups on labor and employment law on topics such as handling a unionized workforce, wage and hour compliance, sexual harassment, and the ADA.


Represented a private equity investor in complicated effort to purchase a major OEM's glass manufacturing operations in North America

Represented numerous clients, including hospitals and other health care institutions, retail businesses and manufacturers in collective and class actions nationwide under both federal and state law in claims for unpaid overtime pay

Obtained summary judgment in an ADEA and retaliation matter

Obtained a summary disposition on behalf of a major school district

Served as lead counsel in multiple FLSA collective actions

Won an appeal setting a new precedent under the Michigan Revised School Code

Involved in labor and employment matters in two plant divestitures

Negotiated over 100 collective bargaining agreements

Successfully represented numerous employers in arbitration cases involving terminations and other disciplines, layoffs, promotions, work rule and other contract interpretation matters

Successfully represented employers in wage and hour collective actions

Lead counsel in labor and employment discrimination and FMLA cases, as well as DOL, NLRB, MESC, MDCR, EEOC and teacher tenure matters

Counsel clients in compliance on labor and employment laws, education laws, and the Michigan Open Meetings and Freedom of Information Acts

Served as lead counsel for governmental units and vendors in matters involving the privatization of services and operational divisions in the public sector

Handled numerous bid protest disputes in government contract cases

Blog Posts

Memberships & Involvement

ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, ABA Labor & Employment Law Section, Employer/Defense Co-Chair, 2020

Wage and Hour Defense Institute of the Litigation Counsel of America, Co-Founder and Member, 2007-Present; Chair, 2010-2013

State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Law Section, Member 1985-Present; Council Member 2005-Present, Chair, 2013-2014

American Bar Association, Member Labor and Employment Law Section, Committee Member, Committee on Federal Labor Standards Legislation, 1985-Present; Co-Chair, FLSA Subcommittee, 2016-Present; Chapter Editor of The Fair Labor Standards Act, 2006-Present; Co-Editor in Chief of The Fair Labor Standards Act Midwinter Report, 2016-Present

Bloomberg BNA Treatise "The Fair Labor Standards Act," Board of Editors, 2018-Present

National Association of College and University Attorneys, Member 2005-Present

Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Advisory Board on Labor and Employment Law, Member, 2002-Present

American Employment Law Council, Member, 1999-Present

Michigan Council of School Attorneys, Member and Co-Founder, 1987-Present; Chair, 1991

Labor and Employment Relations Association (formerly IRRA, Detroit Chapter), Member

Washtenaw County Bar Association, Member; Co-Chair Trial Practice Section 2005-2010; Chair Labor and Employment Law Section 2001-2003

Community/Civic Activities

  • Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce, Member, Public Policy Committee; Member, 2005-Present; Board of Directors, Member 2008-Present; Executive Board, 2014-Present
  • Main Street Area Association, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Member, Board of Directors, 2008-Present
  • Ann Arbor YMCA, Member 1998-Present; Member, Personnel Committee,2005-Present; Chair, Personnel Committee 1998-2005; Member, Marketing Committee, 2000-2005; Member, Executive Committee, 2001-2005
  • American Red Cross, Washtenaw County Chapter, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Member, Development Committee, 2005-2007
  • Washetenaw Literacy, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Member Board of Directors, 1995-1998

Named a Leading Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law by Chambers USA, 2020-2021

Named as "Lawyer of the Year" in Labor and Employment Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2019. Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Employment Law - Management and Labor and Employment Litigation, 2010-Present, Copyright 2015 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Named a Top Lawyer by dbusiness Magazine for Employment Law - Management and Litigation - Labor and  Employment, 2015 & 2018

Named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in the areas of Employment: Management and Labor: Management Law by the Leading Lawyers Network, 2014-2017. Law Bulletin Publishing Company

Recognized by Best Lawyers in America®, Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC as "Lawyer of the Year" for Litigation - Labor and Employment Law, 2012; and for Employment Law - Management, 2014

Named a leading Labor and Employment Lawyer by Chambers USA, 2010-2019

College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Fellow,  2008-Present

Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2006-Present; President, 2007-2008

Recognized on Michigan Super Lawyers® "Top 100 List," 2017-2018, 2020-2021

Recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers® for Employment & Labor: Employer; Employment Litigation: Defense, 2006-Present

Recipient of an AV® Preeminent™ Rating by Martindale-Hubbell