People: Robert A. Fisher, Partner

Photo of Robert A. Fisher, Partner

Robert A. Fisher

Partner

Boston
Direct: (617) 946-4996
0

Mr. Fisher is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Boston office. He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, with significant experience handling traditional labor matters on behalf of employers in a wide variety of industries, including higher education, hospitality, technology, and construction. He regularly represents employers before the National Labor Relations Board in representation petitions and unfair labor practices proceedings. Mr. Fisher also advises clients on responding to union organizing and corporate campaigns, collective bargaining and on labor issues related to corporate transactions. He has tried dozens of labor arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and other ADR organizations.

Mr. Fisher also represents employers in 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. 

He regularly appears before state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has defended many employers against discrimination and retaliation complaints, including multi-plaintiff litigation and nationwide claims of systemic discrimination. Mr. Fisher also represents employers in contractual disputes ranging from challenges to employment at-will to non-compete litigation to litigation with former executives.

Mr. Fisher also has experience advising clients on a variety of employee benefits matters. He has defended clients against claims by participants for benefits and for breaches of fiduciary duty, as well investigations by the Department of Labor. Mr. Fisher has represented clients in over a dozen disputes involving executive severance benefits. He has extensive experience litigating withdrawal liability disputes with multiemployer pension plans.

Mr. Fisher is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Boston office. He represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, with significant experience handling traditional labor matters on behalf of employers in a wide variety of industries, including higher education, hospitality, technology, and construction. He regularly represents employers before the National Labor Relations Board in representation petitions and unfair labor practices proceedings. Mr. Fisher also advises clients on responding to union organizing and corporate campaigns, collective bargaining and on labor issues related to corporate transactions. He has tried dozens of labor arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and other ADR organizations.

Mr. Fisher also represents employers in 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. 

He regularly appears before state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He has defended many employers against discrimination and retaliation complaints, including multi-plaintiff litigation and nationwide claims of systemic discrimination. Mr. Fisher also represents employers in contractual disputes ranging from challenges to employment at-will to non-compete litigation to litigation with former executives.

Mr. Fisher also has experience advising clients on a variety of employee benefits matters. He has defended clients against claims by participants for benefits and for breaches of fiduciary duty, as well investigations by the Department of Labor. Mr. Fisher has represented clients in over a dozen disputes involving executive severance benefits. He has extensive experience litigating withdrawal liability disputes with multiemployer pension plans.

Education

  • J.D. and LL.M., Cornell Law School, magna cum laude (1999)

  • B.S.F.S, Georgetown University, cum laude (1995)

Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Courts

  • United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Affiliations

  • Boston Bar Association (Co-chair, Labor and Employment Section)

Representative Engagements

  • Successfully defended educational institution 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 judgement of dismissal in 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 claim 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 a company’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 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 and to conclude that the manner in which the union presented grievances constituted unprotected conduct
  • 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

Presentations

  • Co-Presenter, "What You Need To Know About The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (August 2, 2017)
  • Faculty Chair, Wage & Hour  Primer and Update 2016, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (May 2016)
  • 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, 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, 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)
  • Speaker, “Criminal Law & Employment Issues: Are You in the Know?,” Boston Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (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, “EEOC’s Focus on Systemic Discrimination & MCAD,” Associated Industries of Massachusetts, HR Roundtable (June 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, “Health Care Reform Update,” Massachusetts Restaurant Association (April 2012)
  • 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, “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)
  • Panelist, “Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law: Are You In Compliance,” Massachusetts Restaurant Association (March and April 2007)
  • 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)

Publications

  • Co-Author, "Governor Baker Signs Into Law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act," Management Alert, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 28, 2017)
  • Co-Author, “Massachusetts Governor Signs Act Granting Paid Leave to Veterans Participating in Veterans Day Activities and Adds “Veteran Status” As a Protected Class,” One Minute Memo, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 28, 2016)
  • Senior Editor & Chapter Editor, 2015 Cumulative Supplement to Employee Benefits Law (3d Edition)
  • Co-author, An Overview of the New Massachusetts Domestic Violence Leave Law, Boston Bar Journal (January 2015)
  • Chapter Editor, 2014 Cumulative Supplement to Employee Benefits Law (3d Edition)
  • Chapter Editor, Fall 2013 Cumulative Supplement to Employee Benefits Law (3d Edition)
  • “Employers Face Growing Threat of ‘Systemic Discrimination’ Cases,” Associated Industries of Massachusetts (July 2013)
  • Chapter Editor, Spring 2013 Supplement to Employee Benefits Law (3d Edition)
  • Contributing Author, Employee Benefits Law (3d Edition)
  • Rewrite Author and Contributing Author, 2010 Cumulative Supplement to Employee Benefits Law (2d edition)
  • Rewrite Author and Contributing Author, 2009 Cumulative Supplement to Employee Benefits Law (2d 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 E Employee Benefits Law
  • “All employers need to think about health care reform,” Boston Bar 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)
  • Co-author, Chapter Three, “Class Action in the Labor and Employment Area: An Overview” - Massachusetts Bar and Continuing Legal Education Publication (June 2003)
  • “Employee Handbook Claims In Massachusetts After Fergusen v. Host International, Inc.” Massachusetts Bar Institute, Section Review (Winter 2002)
  • Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law (4th Edition, 2001)