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"Emily, a chief partner, and the two other lawyers at SLN Law who worked on my case were extremely competent and approachable. They were responsive to inquiries and they thoughtfully explained, as needed, complex legal terms. I was very well represented at each stage of a protracted legal case against a major national firm." Brian R.
"Emily is an incredible resource of knowledge on employment law. She helped guide us on how to structure our employee classifications and made adjustments to our consulting agreements so our business is better protected and positioned. She's both law-savvy and business minded - great asset to have when launching/growing a business." Diana B.
"SLN represented me in a complicated employment-related dispute. What could have been a prolonged nightmare for me was handled swiftly and skillfully, and with fairness and dignity." Smita N.
"Long overdue public words of gratitude for Emily and her associates' work on my behalf. They were so very respectful of me during an emotionally and financially ridden time -- and that mattered more than the positive result. May all clients have such advocates on their sides!" Donna B.
"Emily Smith Lee handled my age discrimination case against my former employer. She was thorough and professional throughout the whole legal process. Due to her knowledge and efforts we came to an out of court financial settlement with a victory. I would highly recommend Emily to anyone as an extremely competent attorney." Mark B.
"After more than a year of discrimination and harassment in my previous position at a teaching hospital, I was finally at the point when I knew I needed help, otherwise I could break. Thus, I started to search Massachusetts Employment regulations, and one of my Google searches brought me to an advertisement for Emily E. Smith-Lee’s book “Rules of the Road. What You Need to Know About Employment Laws in Massachusetts.” It was my lucky day, and the start of my road out of the continued misery in my workplace... I would like sincerely to thank them both for their excellent job, and emotional support and encouragement. If you feel harassed, bullied, or discriminated against, Emily and Jack are the ones who will go out of their way to help you." Valentina W.
YOUR RESOURCE FOR EMPLOYMENT LAW SOLUTIONS
Massachusetts Employment Law
For a business owner, employees are likely the single largest financial investment of the company and the single most important drivers of success or failure.
For employees who rely on salary or wages to support their families, and on the experience to build their careers, the relationship is equally, if not more, important.
In short, you need each other- businesses and employees- and in many cases the relationship is positive and beneficial to both parties. But things sometimes do go wrong, and it is so important to understand Massachusetts employment law when they do.
We know what that looks like from both perspectives: our employment lawyers have helped both businesses and employees navigate issues under the Massachusetts Wage Act, the state and federal anti-discrimination laws, non-compete agreements, and the Massachusetts Independent Contractor law. You can find more detailed information on each of these topics on the linked pages below, but here is a summary of the major issues we handle for our clients.
Both Massachusetts and federal law protect employees in certain protected classes from employment discrimination. This protection includes a prohibition on retaliating against an employee for making a complaint of discrimination or harassment. If you believe you have been singled out due to your race, gender, religion, disability, or any other category protected under the law, contact us and we can help you assess whether there has been any unlawful actions.
Examples of employment discrimination cases we have handled include claims of gender discrimination in promotion, compensation and termination decisions; claims of discrimination for failure accommodate a disability; claims of discrimination based on an employer's belief that an employee had a disability; religious discrimination; racial discrimination; discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; employment termination due to pregnancy or recent maternity leave, and claims under the federal and Massachusetts equal pay laws.
Sexual harassment in the workplace has been an issue since long before the #metoo movement. It can be devastating to the victim and also a challenge to employers to understand how to prevent and address sexual harassment. Learn more about sexual harassment, as well as about resources you can turn to if you believe you have been a victim of harassment, or if you are an employer trying to understand how to respond to a harassment complaint or allegation.
Examples of sexual harassment claims we have handled include terminations in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, claims that a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment forced employees out of a job, and claims for emotional distress resulting from inappropriate behavior in the workplace. We can also assist employers responding to a complaint of harassment to ensure that the issue is handled and investigated appropriately under the law.
Wage and Hour Laws
Massachusetts employment law about timely payment of wages is strictly enforced, and businesses can face significant exposure for even unintentional mistakes in the payment of wages, commissions, and overtime. Employers should be aware that even an innocent mistake under these laws can result in the employer paying three times the employee's proven damages, as well as the employee's legal fees and expenses. We can help assess compliance with wage and hour and overtime laws, help you if you have not been paid properly, and help employers avoid costly wage and hour lawsuits.
Examples of wage and hour and overtime matters we have handled for both employees and business owners include: claims of improper classification of workers as exempt from overtime, unpaid or delayed sales commissions, failure to pay final wages and accrued vacation upon termination, and minimum wage violations.
Non Compete Agreements
Is your non-compete agreement enforceable in Massachusetts? The answer, in most cases, is a resounding "maybe," and depends heavily on your particular facts and circumstances. Also, under a new law in Massachusetts, if you are asked to sign a new non compete agreement, you must be given ten days and the opportunity to consult a lawyer before signing the agreement. We have helped hundreds of people assessing new non competes and dealing with disputes over existing non competes, and offer a same or next day turnaround review of your new agreement at a flat rate.
We have worked with people in many different fields to address issues raised by their non compete agreements, including sales representatives, health care providers, IT professionals, handymen, hair stylists, and executives and middle management personnel in publishing, manufacturing, staffing, computer software and hardware, and many others.
Many employers do not understand how few people can be treated as independent contractors under Massachusetts employment law, therefore many employees are improperly classified as independent contractors rather than W-2 employees. This can have significant consequences for both the employer and the employee. Specifically, if an employer is found to have misclassified someone as an independent contractor, they can be liable for three times the employee's proven damages (which include self-employment tax, lost benefits available to W2 employees, and overtime pay if applicable), as well as the employee's legal expenses.
We have helped individuals and small business owners figure out employee classification issues for a wide variety of services, from retail sales to design and creative work to large scale delivery routes, and many more in between. If you are unsure about your classification, even if it seems like everyone else in your area is using independent contractors, give us a call and we can help you analyze your particular situation.
Being fired or laid off can be a scary experience, and if you are offered a severance package your head may still be spinning from the news, and you likely have a limited period of time to consider whether it is in your interests to accept what your employer is offering. On the one hand, whatever money they are offering may seem like a lifeline as you start to think about unemployment; on the other hand, there are some important things you should be considering before you accept. Read more about our severance agreement review services here.
How slnlaw can help
We can help you assess your employment situation and get clarity on your rights and obligations in the face of an actual or anticipated job termination, a question or complaint about sexual harassment in the workplace, issues regarding a non compete agreement, wage and hour questions, or any other difficult employment situation you are facing. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 413-667-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.