Ryan N. Parsons

Senior Counsel


Ryan N. Parsons is a senior counsel and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice and Food & Beverage Industry Team. Mr. Parsons represents and counsels employers in all aspects of the employment relationship, with particular focus on management-side labor relations, complex employee benefit litigation, and appellate matters.

Prior to joining Foley, Mr. Parsons served as a law clerk for the Hon. Diane S. Sykes, U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. During law school, he worked as a summer associate in Foley’s Milwaukee office (2009) and as a judicial intern to the Hon. David T. Prosser, Jr., Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Hon. Lynn S. Adelman, U.S. District Court.

Representative Experience

  • Represented manufacturing, aviation, and financial services employers regarding the full scope of labor issues, including negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, labor arbitrations, and proceedings under the National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act
  • Represented employers in benefits litigation under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), including both individual benefits claims and retiree class action litigation
  • Represented food industry employer regarding issue of constitutional first impression before federal court of appeals


Mr. Parsons earned a law degree from Marquette University Law School (J.D., summa cum laude, 2010) where he was a senior articles editor for the Marquette Law Review. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame (B.A., cum laude, 2005) and was a Notre Dame Scholar.


Mr. Parsons is the author of the article titled "Temporary Victims: Interpreting the Federal Fraud and Theft Sentencing Guideline," which was published in the Marquette Law Review, Volume 93, Issue 2 (2009).


Mr. Parsons is admitted to practice in Wisconsin and the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Northern District of Illinois, the Central District of Illinois, and before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Representative Matters

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Unionized Employees at the company's Fort Smith, Arkansas plant have filed a class action case alleging that the Employer's practice of requiring the changing of clothes and gear at the plant on unpaid time violates the state wage law.
Plaintiffs are members of a union who sue for pay for time spent on certain activities undertaken at the front and back end of their work shifts, namely, changing shoes and putting on a smock and personal protective gear and walking to their work station. This is a so-called "donning and doffing" claim, but it unique because plaintiffs seek to make an end run around federal law by advancing the claim soley under state wage law. The federal law confirms that the compensability of time spent on clothes changing activities is governed by collective bargaining in work places where the employees are represented by a union.
Represented a Fortune 100 national contracting company in a defamation and age discrimination case wherein the plaintiff claimed that the employer uttered false statements about him, both within the company and externally.