Attorneys & Professionals

Regina Williams Tate

TEL: (617) 479-5000
EMAIL: gtate@mhtl.com

Ms. Tate has been practicing law since 1978. She practices primarily in the areas of labor and education law. Her practice in the area of education covers the spectrum of issues related to education including student discipline, special education, Education Reform, due process rights of teachers and other school employees, and other employment matters, academic freedom and civil rights. She also participates in the collective bargaining process on behalf of her education clients. She has served as counsel to over 60 school committees and private schools, providing advice on a daily basis as well as advocacy in litigation and in hearings before administrative agencies. Ms. Tate frequently litigates issues before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, the office for Civil Rights, the Labor Relations Commission, and arbitrators on behalf of school systems. Ms. Tate has represented school committees and superintendents at all levels of the court system, including the Supreme Judicial Court, in key decisions on teacher tenure, the right of a district court judge to order a special education, residential placement, due process rights of principals and assistant principals in a reorganization and the appropriateness of a school-based IEP. She also has conducted numerous workshops and seminars on educational issues such as developments in special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, teacher evaluation, teacher and administrator liability and student discipline.

Ms. Tate’s practice in the area of labor law includes collective bargaining, representation of employers before the MCAD and EEOC and advocacy in labor-related litigation. She has argued labor cases before the federal district court, the United States Court of Appeals and the appellate courts of Massachusetts, and has represented numerous companies and public entities in negotiations before administrative agencies on issues ranging from unfair labor practice to unemployment compensation. She has also represented companies and public entities during audits by the Department of Labor and other governmental bodies. A member of the Committee on Discrimination of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the American Bar Association, Mrs. Tate has conducted seminars and workshops on discrimination, affirmative action and collective bargaining, and has written numerous articles for businesses on discrimination concerns. She is also the author of a number of articles on various aspects of education and employment issues in the public sector. Ms. Tate is a summa cum laude graduate of Chestnut Hill College and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. She has been a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane since 1987.

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Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce: Labor & Law Employment Update

MHTL attorneys Katherine Hesse and Kier Wachterhauser will be presenting information regarding important legal issues and developments in the Labor & Employment field at a Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce (NVCC) event on Thursday, November 15th.  These presentations will include a comprehensive overview of major legislative/regulatory/case law developments, as well as best practices in navigating issues such as marijuana in the workplace and sexual harassment.

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Supreme Judicial Court Issues Important Decision Protecting Employers – Back Pay Awards Do Not Constitute “Wages” Under the Wage Act and Thus Are Not Subject To Trebling

In a recent decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC” or “Court”) declined to classify a court-ordered “back pay” award as “wages” under the Massachusetts Wage Act (“Wage Act”).   In response to a request for briefs from the Court, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP (MHTL), on behalf of its public and private clients, submitted an amicus brief, supporting the defendant employer’s position.   The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the New England Legal Foundation also submitted amici briefs.  This decision – a significant victory for employers – has far-reaching consequences and helps to protect employers from punitive and excessive penalties in many employment contexts.  Had the case been decided for the plaintiffs, it could have had significant ramifications for employers, extending the punitive damage scheme under the Wage Act (strict liability, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, individual liability, etc.) to a myriad of different employment contexts.

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