Robert A. Fisher

Partner, Deputy Chair, Labor and Employment Law Department - Boston

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617.832.7000 Download vCard

Robert Fisher represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including union disputes, discrimination/harassment claims, wage and hour disputes, benefits issues and contractual claims. In addition to defending employers in litigation, he also advises clients regarding day-to-day personnel matters. Rob has in-depth experience representing higher education, hospitality, technology, and financial services clients.

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  • Cornell Law School, J.D., L.L.M., magna cum laude, 1999
  • Georgetown University, B.S.F.S, cum laude, 1995

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defended education client against one of the first union petitions under the new NLRB election rules
  • Won dismissal of claims by former executives of a biotech company that they were entitled to severance after acquisition
  • Won summary judgment on ERISA denial of benefits claims for multiple clients
  • Obtained reversal of Fair Share Contribution assessment under Massachusetts Health Care Reform for multiple clients
  • Won a federal court trial in which the plaintiff, a former computer systems analyst, alleged that he was fired because of his age
  • Successfully represented a university at a public hearing before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, obtaining dismissal of a former administrator’s claims that she was fired for taking a maternity leave
  • Secured summary judgment for a university on a former faculty member’s claims of breach of contract
  • Convinced a federal court to overturn an arbitration award relating to the denial of tenure to a college faculty member on the grounds that the arbitrator exceeded his authority
  • Obtained dismissal of a nationwide unfair labor practice charge relating to our client’s no solicitation policy and its state court trespass against a labor union
  • Successfully defended a hospital in federal court and in a two-week arbitration against claims by a former executive that he was owed millions of dollars of promised retirement benefits
  • Obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal, on claims by a multiemployer pension plan that our client, the former owner of a trucking company, owed several million dollars in withdrawal liability
  • Convinced the NLRB to overturn an administrative law judge’s decision against our client, arguing successfully that the manner in which the union presented grievances constituted unprotected conduct
  • Secured dismissal of age discrimination lawsuit brought by a former executive against our client
  • Successfully represented construction company against claims by a multiemployer pension plan for withdrawal liability by establishing that our client was not within the controlled group at the time of withdrawal
  • Convinced the NLRB that our client, a trucking company, lawfully refused to bargain with the union’s chief negotiator due to his conduct at the bargaining table
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of university on former faculty member’s claims that he was denied tenure because of his race and in retaliation for engaging in protected conduct
  • Senior Editor & Chapter Editor, EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (3d Edition), 2015 Cumulative Supplement
  • Co-author, Employing Workers in Massachusetts: A Guide for Emerging Companies e-book
  • Co-author, An Overview of the New Massachusetts Domestic Violence Leave Law, BOSTON BAR JOURNAL (January 2015)
  • Chapter Editor, Fall 2013 Cumulative Supplement to EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (Third Edition)
  • Employers Face Growing Threat of ‘Systemic Discrimination’ Cases, ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES OF MASSACHUSETTS (July 2013)
  • Chapter Editor, Spring 2013 Supplement to EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (Third Edition)
  • Contributing Author, EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (Third Edition)
  • Rewrite Author and Contributing Author, 2010 Cumulative Supplement to EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (2nd edition)
  • Rewrite Author and Contributing Author, 2009 Cumulative Supplement to EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (2nd edition)
  • Co-author, Tips for Responding to A Fair Share Contribution Audit by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MASSACHUSETTS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION eNEWSLETTER (June 2009)
  • Legal Implications of Mental Health Issues, HUMAN RESOURCE EXECUTIVE ONLINE (May 2009)
  • National Labor Relations Board Preserves Employees' Right of Free Choice Under Neutrality and Card Check Agreements, MASSACHUSETTS BAR INSTITUTE, SECTION REVIEW (2008)
  • Contributing Author, 2008 Cumulative Supplement to EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW
  • All employers need to think about health care reform," BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL (December 8-14, 2006)
  • Much ado about nothing: the labor board’s new definitions regarding who is a supervisor, MASSACHUSETTS BAR INSTITUTE, SECTION REVIEW (2007)
  • Co-author, Employing in California? Beware of Risks in Employment Agreements, MASS HIGH TECH (August 2, 2004)
  • Employee Handbook Claims In Massachusetts After Fergusen v. Host International, Inc., MASSACHUSETTS BAR ASSOCIATION, SECTION REVIEW (Winter 2002)
  • Contributing Editor, THE DEVELOPING LABOR LAW (4th edition)

Foley Hoag Alerts & Updates


  • Order of the Coif, Cornell Law School


  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Member
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Member
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Subcommittee Co-Chair of Employee Benefits Committee (2010-Present)
  • Boston Bar Association, Member
  • Boston Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Steering Committee Member (2012-Present)
  • Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Chair of HR/Labor Law Committee (2013 - Present)
  • Panelist, “Representing Clients before the MCAD in Employment Discrimination Cases,” Boston Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education (April 2016)
  • Panelist, “The Americans with Disabilities Act in the Modern Workplace: Current Issues Under Title I,” Boston Bar Association, Continuing Legal Education (March 2016)
  • Co-Presenter, Developments in Disability Discrimination Law, 18th Annual Employment Law Conference 2015, MCLE (Dec. 2015)
  • Co-Presenter, “U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed Changes to the Overtime Regulations,” Webinar, Foley Hoag (July 2015)
  • Co-Presenter, Massachusetts Lodging Association Speaker Series: Key Issues Facing Hospitality Employers (June 2015)
  • Speaker, "Legal Update: What You Need to Know About the New PTO Laws," Massachusetts Hospital Association, 49th Annual HR/Labor Forum (May 2015)
  • Faculty Chair, Preventing & Litigating Wage & Hour Cases," Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (May 2015)
  • Co-Presenter, "What You Need to Know About the New PTO Laws" (May 2015)
  • Co-Presenter, "Practical Advice on Managing Employee Leaves" (February 2015)
  • Speaker, "Criminal Law & Employment Issues: Are You in the Know?," Boston Bar Association (October 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, “Massachusetts Enacts Domestic Violence Leave for Employees,” Webinar, West LegalEdcenter (October 2014)
  • Faculty Chair, “Preventing & Litigating Wage & Hour Cases,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (May 2014)
  • Panelist, “The Wage & Hour Avalanche: Avoiding the Crush of Class Actions & Investigations,” LexisNexis OnDemand Webinar (May 2014)
  • Panelist, "Avoiding the Top Ten Employment Law Mistakes by Non-Profits," Lawyers Clearinghouse & Boston Bar Association (March 2014)
  • Speaker, "Discrimination/Harassment Prevention: Update on the EEOC's Systemic Discrimination Initiative," Human Resources Management Association of Central Massachusetts (December 2013)
  • Speaker, "New Dangers in Wage & Hour Law," Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Webinar (December 2013)
  • Panelist, "Creating An Internship Program," internbiz Boston (November 2013)
  • Speaker, “New Dangers in Wage & Hour Law,” Foley Hoag Labor & Employment Seminar (October 2013)
  • Speaker, “EEOC’s Focus on Systemic Discrimination & MCAD,” Associated Industries of Massachusetts, HR Roundtable (June 2013)
  • Speaker, “Immediate Requirements for Employees Under the New Federal Healthcare Law” (May 2013)
  • Speaker, “What Every Employer Should Know About the Affordable Care Act,” Massachusetts Hospital Association (May 2013)
  • Speaker, “Privacy, Workplace Behavior and Off-Duty Conduct,” NBI Seminar: Human Resources Law (May 2013)
  • Speaker, “What Every Employer Should Know About the Affordable Care Act,” New England Council (January 2013)
  • Speaker, “Things Every Employer Should Know About the Affordable Care Act” (November 2012)
  • Speaker, “Health Care Reform Update” (May 2012)
  • Speaker, “Health Care Reform Update,” Massachusetts Restaurant Association (April 2012)
  • Speaker, “Understanding Retaliation Claims” (May 2011)
  • Speaker, "Amendments to the Personnel Records Statute" (October 2010)
  • Speaker, "What Health Care Reform Means for Employers" (May 2010)
  • Panelist, "Employment and Immigration Seminar: Enforcement Priorities of the Obama Administration" (September 2009)
  • Speaker, "Information Security Plan - Explanation and Implementation" Webinar, Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (June 2009)
  • Panelist, "Navigating the New MA Data Security Regulations," MassTLC's Legal Series (June 2009)
  • Panelist, "Using Non-Compete Laws to Spur Economic Development in Massachusetts," Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (April 2009)
  • Panelist, "Get Smart: Issues Surrounding Surveillance," American Arbitration Association (April 2009)
  • Panelist, "Recognizing and Defusing Time-Bombs in Today's M&A Environment," Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (March 2009)
  • Panelist, "Understanding The New FMLA Regulations" (January 2009)
  • Panelist, "Understanding The New Data Security Law" (December 2008)
  • Panelist, "Impact of the 2008 Election on Labor and Employment Laws" (November 2008)
  • Panelist, "Evidentiary Issues in the Labor Arbitration Context," MBA 29th Annual Labor and Employment Law Spring Seminar (May 2008)
  • Panelist, "An Overview of the Employer Obligations Under the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law," Massachusetts Hospital Association (June 2007)
  • "An Update on the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law" (May 2007)
  • Panelist, "Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law:  Are You In Compliance," Massachusetts Restaurant Association (March and April 2007)
  • Panelist, “Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law: What Every Employer Needs to Know” (October and November 2006)
  • “Union Organizing & Corporate Campaigns” (May 2006)
  • Panelist, “Labor Law Basics,” Boston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar (November 2005)
  • “Minimizing Organizational and Personal Liability Risks Arising from Employment Terminations,” Personnel Law Update 2004, Council on Education in Management (November 2004)
  • “ERISA Alert: Why 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Need To Care About Market Timing” (May 2004)
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit