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Labor and Employment Law

Assisting in all aspects of the employment relationship
labor and employment lawyers in massachusetts

Today, more than ever before, the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees are in sharp focus. Although our practice focuses on representing and providing advice to municipalities and their management, we have the depth of knowledge and experience to represent both public and private employers and employees in employment and labor matters.

employment law for employers in massachusetts

Employment Law for Employers

From hiring to firing and everything in between, we counsel employers (including department heads, human resources staff, and personnel boards) in all aspects of the employment relationship. This includes:

  • Drafting and updating personnel policies, bylaws and ordinances, and employee handbooks

  • Reviewing hiring processes and procedures (including best practices regarding recruiting, applications, interviewing, and background checks)

  • Negotiating, drafting, and amending employment contracts

  • Guiding management through the discipline and discharge process (including progressive discipline, performance improvement plans, separation and severance agreements, and pre/post termination hearings)

  • Advising and training managers and supervisors regarding employer obligations under state and federal employment laws pertaining to:

    • Wage and hour (i.e., overtime, minimum wage, paid holidays, stipends, and the Massachusetts Wage Act)​

    • Leave entitlement (e.g., FMLA, USERRA)

    • Anti-discrimination and the reasonable accommodation process (i.e., M.G.L. c.151B, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964)

    • Workers' compensation and public safety employee injured-on-duty laws

    • Whistleblower and anti-retaliation matters

    • Civil service requirements for hiring, promotion and discipline (M.G.L. c.31)

  • Conducting or supervising workplace investigations (or reviewing the work of internal or outside investigators) pertaining to issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, workplace violence, wage/hour, and other policy violations

  • Advising clients with employee benefits administration and contracting (including issues involving health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and other ancillary providers) and guiding clients through M.G.L. c.32B processes including plan design changes and health insurance coalition bargaining

Vigorous Representation

We help our clients avoid litigation. However, when the need arises, we vigorously represent our clients in all state and federal courts in the Commonwealth as well as administrative agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Service Commission, and the Department of Unemployment Assistance. When an insurer assigns employment counsel to represent our client in a matter, we act in a liaison capacity between the insurance counsel and our municipal clients.

Paramedic representation labor law

Labor Law

In a unionized environment, we have in experience in providing critical support to employers by:

  • Interpreting and analyzing various collective bargaining agreements to assist our clients in day-to-day administration of a variety of different employee bargaining units (e.g., education, public safety, public works, clerical)

  • Preparing for collective bargaining and related negotiations, including serving on the bargaining team as principal negotiator or behind-the-scenes to advise on negotiation strategy, and assist in the preparation and evaluation of bargaining proposals

  • Advising and representing management during the grievance process

  • Representing management in labor-related actions before the Department of Labor Relations, the Joint Labor Management Committee, and public and private arbitrators including:

    • Union certification, decertification, clarification, and accretion petitions

    • Unfair labor practice charges

    • Fact-finding mediation and police/fire interest arbitration to resolve bargaining impasses

    • Arbitration of disciplinary and contract interpretation grievances

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