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I wanted to touch briefly on those employment policies sometimes found in employee handbooks that ban employees from discussing their pay with each other. 

The purpose of the policies is often to keep employees in the dark about what others are paid so as to, among other things, not allow resentment to creep in.

A downside to these policies, however, is that to the extent there is discrimination at...

Following are a few reminders from the Massachusetts Appeals Court in an employment discrimination case, Scarlett v. City of Boston, out last week on how a case should be analyzed at summary judgment, particularly where the employer's reasons given for the termination are demonstrated to be false. 

Summary judgment is a critical stage in any civil case. If a judge grants an employer's motion for s...

February 23, 2018

This is a quick post about today's article in Bloomberg Law in which I'm quoted. 

The article seems to have arisen from news that the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) has sought an increase in state funding as a result of the substantial increase in sexual harassment complaints since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. 

I have written about the wave of the #MeToo movement...

February 14, 2018

When an employee is handed a draft severance agreement from an employer, many of the provisions, including the confidentiality or non-disclosure provision(s), will be drafted so that the employee is barred from acting, but the employer is not necessarily. 

A typical confidentiality or non-disclosure provision drafted by an employer looks like the following: 

Employee agrees that the terms, amount and ot...

December 27, 2017

Former federal District Court judge Nancy Gertner submitted a column in a recent edition of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (subscription required) about the current #MeToo movement. I'd like to pull out some points she made in her piece. But before diving in, it is important to note that prior to being elevated to the federal bench in the 1990s, Gertner herself worked as a civil rights and criminal defe...

November 28, 2017

A 2013 lawsuit filed by a former high level employee of the Plymouth County District Attorney's Office recently settled and made it into the news. The case provides yet another example of how an employment law case can play out, so I wanted to write up some of the particular facts here for those employees who are looking to understand how employment litigation works. 

A former Assistant District A...

July 20, 2017

A new case out of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the highest state court, looks at whether a woman who had a valid prescription for medical marijuana, but failed her employer's drug test due to it and was fired as a result, could sustain a claim for handicap discrimination. The SJC held she could.

As explained by the SJC: 

[T]he plaintiff, Cristina Barbuto, was offered an entry-level po...

April 28, 2017

If you're over 40, it's because there's a law that requires it. (It's not because your employer is trying to do you any favors!)

Congress passed a law in 1967 called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §(s) 621, et seq. Given its name, unsurprisingly, it bars age discrimination in certain employment scenarios. 

For an employee's waiver of his or her rights under the AD...

March 23, 2017

Is your Massachusetts employer showing you the door while providing you with a severance agreement to consider?

It is advisable to go over it with an employment lawyer so that she can review the implications of each provision with you, as well as identify what is there and what also might not be there.

Below are eight things to consider when thinking about signing a severance agreement. Note that t...

January 17, 2017

The federal US Department of Labor (USDOL) recently settled a matter with the employer LexisNexis Risk Solutions where after an investigation, they determined there was "a significant difference" paid to women verses men in the same role at two separate company locations. 


According to a USDOL press release

Two separate investigations by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Fede...

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