Employment Law

EMPLOYING INNOVATIVE WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS

Prince Lobel’s Employment Law Group represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor law.  We assist employers with all types of employment disputes, from defending discrimination and wage and hour claims to appearing before the Department of Labor on OSHA matters.  We also prosecute trade secret theft and non-competition actions.

To prevent issues from reaching litigation, we regularly counsel employers and help develop policies regarding all facets of employment and labor law—discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, pay equity, prevailing wage, occupational health and safety issues, labor representation elections and grievances, disability accommodation and other leave issues.  To further mitigate risk, we train employers, their managers, and line employees on sound employment practices.  We also conduct internal investigations for our employer clients on issues ranging from allegations of sexual harassment to ethics violations.

WE OFFER AN EXTENSIVE RANGE OF EMPLOYMENT LAW SERVICES INCLUDING:

  • Defending employers against retaliation, discrimination, whistleblower, wage and hour, and defamation claims;
  • Contesting unfair labor practice claims before the National Labor Relations Board;
  • Representing employers before the United States Department of Labor on OSHA matters;
  • Advising on and litigating non-competition, confidentiality, and trade secret issues;
  • Counseling employers with respect to critical employment decisions, such as terminations and disciplinary actions;
  • Assisting clients with maintaining non-union status, representation elections, collective bargaining, grievance handling, and labor arbitrations;
  • Drafting employment contracts and severance agreements;
  • Preparing employment policies and manuals;
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal legislation, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • Assisting clients in responding to investigations or audits by state and federal agencies and regulatory bodies;
  • Conducting internal investigations;
  • Providing advice regarding workforce reductions; and
  • Creating and helping to enforce electronic communications and social media policies.

EMPLOYMENT TRAINING

We offer a variety of employment law training courses and can tailor them to meet the needs of your company.  Anti-harassment and discrimination training courses are conducted by instructors who are certified by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  Our training courses include:

  • Addressing and Preventing Unlawful Harassment;
  • Assessing the Need for and Providing Reasonable Accommodations;
  • Avoiding Pitfalls in Hiring, Discipline, and Termination;
  • Meeting the Challenges of Social Media Use in the Workplace;
  • Avoiding Wage and Hour Claims; and
  • Employment Law for Managers.

Race/Disability/Gender/Age Discrimination
In 2017, we achieved a complete victory for our client, a 200-officer police department, where the plaintiff, a current police lieutenant, claimed he was disproportionately disciplined due to his race and prior history of complaints.  The Massachusetts Superior Court awarded our client summary judgment on all counts.

In 2015, Joe Edwards and Walter Prince won a complete victory after a multi-day Public Hearing at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. The Commission issued a decision fully exonerating our client, a large public agency that was charged with discriminating against an employee on the basis of race and disability.

In 2015, our client, a public authority, was awarded summary judgment in a discrimination case in which an employee alleged race discrimination with respect to promotions.

In 2015, we obtained summary judgment for our client, a prominent teaching hospital, in an age discrimination case.In 2014, we achieved summary judgment for our client, a public authority, in a case in federal court where the plaintiff alleged race discrimination, gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

In 2013, we achieved a complete victory in federal district court in a race discrimination case for a major public transportation company.

High Stakes
In 2015, we successfully defended a public agency in a high-stakes trial in Suffolk Superior Court, a forum that has been notoriously difficult for employers.  In a case where the plaintiff sought millions, the jury found in favor of the agency with regard to all but one claim and awarded just $16,000, a great vindication for our client.

Wage and Hour Matters
In 2017, we represented a large public authority in Massachusetts in a Wage Act claim, where a former employee claimed that his employer did not timely pay him the value of his unused sick time and sought mandatory treble damages and attorneys’ fees.  In a decision issued on January 29, 2018, the highest appellate court in Massachusetts adopted our argument that the claim should be dismissed, holding that the Wage Act does not require the payout of unused sick time, and further held that the employer’s policy of providing such payments did not give rise to Wage Act liability.  The court clarified that most forms of incentive bonus compensation are not covered by the Wage Act.

Non-competition Action

In 2014, we achieved a significant victory in a non-competition enforcement action (in the Massachusetts Appeals Court) for our client, a major Cambridge-based biotech company.