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On May 25, 2018, the Boston Globe sued one of its former employees for breach of contract arising out of a dispute that began on Twitter, and as the Globe alleges, implicates a provision of the parties' 2016 severance agreement. 

According to the complaint, in 2016, the employee separated from the Globe and received some severance pay in consideration for, among other things, an agreement "to cooperate...

I'm very interested in this concept of "emotional labor." It is when women, typically, are expected to take care of the people they work with -- whether it is emotionally or by doing the cleaning or organizing duties at the office that are not within their job descriptions. I see it come up with female clients, and I have certainly felt it numerous times myself in my past work life.  

It is touche...

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...

December 29, 2017

A recent op-ed in the New York Times advocates for the imposition of just cause employment to be passed as part of any employment reform legislation. I explain the concepts of employment-at-will and its opposite, just cause employment, to prospective clients all the time so I wanted to take the opportunity to explain it here in the wake of this op-ed

The default employment relationship in Massachuset...

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...

February 28, 2017

Last week, I was reviewing a sex discrimination and sexual harassment case out of the First Circuit and it struck me for several reasons, including because it speaks to the myth that bad employment outcomes never happen to good performers. I call this the good worker myth.

What do I mean? 

Let's review the facts of this particular case. In the words of the First Circuit:

This case arises from plaintiff K...

December 27, 2016

Yes. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for enforcing the employment discrimination laws, recently won a jury trial in Chicago where this was an issue.

 A woman worked on the floor at Cosco when she began to be harassed and stalked by a customer at work. What did the customer do? She said

she was subjected to harassing behavior by a customer for more tha...

September 13, 2016

A new case out of the Second Circuit (the federal Appeals Court in the New York-Connecticut region), Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Serv., Inc., provides an example of a modern-day sexual harassment case as well as the further development of a doctrine called -- somewhat interestingly, for lawyers -- "the cat's paw."

The Court summarizes the facts of what happened to Ms. Andrea Vasquez (some additio...

September 9, 2016

Evil HR Lady, a Human Resources professional who has been trying to -- in her words "demystify your Human Resources Department" by way of her blog -- has posted a funny yet useful update on hiring a lawyer to deal with workplace issues. 

She writes

I get a lot of questions where the answer is, “you need to speak with an attorney.” Attorneys are expensive, and while some work on con...

August 25, 2016

The highest court in Massachusetts decided a sexual harassment case yesterday of some importance. I will review the case focusing on what opened the door to punitive damages here. 

In Gyulakian v. Lexus of Watertown, Inc., after a trial, a jury concluded that that the defendants -- Lexus of Watertown, Inc., and Post Motors, Inc. -- were liable for $40,000 in compensatory damages for emotional...

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