Murphy Hesse Toomey and Lehane Attorneys Secure Appellate Court Victory
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane attorney, Sarah Spatafore represented the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston in Alessendrinia Menard vs. Archdiocese of Boston. This case concerned allegations of discriminatory conduct from a former employee of a Parish towards her former employer. The employee held the position of Director of Music Ministries for the Parish. All claims of discrimination were denied by the Archdiocese.
Following a Lack of Probable Cause dismissal by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on the basis of the ministerial exception and failure to state a prima facie case of discrimination, this case was brought in Massachusetts Superior Court. On Tuesday, citing precedent from both the U.S. Supreme Court, various circuit courts, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the decision of the Superior Court to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to the ministerial clause of the First Amendment. This decision focused on the fact that the plaintiff in this matter met the legal definition of a ministerial employee, within the scope of the ministerial exception and applicable case law. Prior to issuing its decision, the Appeals Court invited amicus briefs. This case was affirmed by full court.
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP is also known throughout New England for its labor and employment practice as well as its extensive business litigation and advising employers on internal reviews and strategic legal approaches when dealing with the government. The firm also has an extensive education law practice representing public, private, and nonprofit educational institutions from pre-K through the college and university level.
Katherine Hesse, Kier Wachterhauser and Nan ONeill, three partners at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented “COVID Now & Later: Navigating the COVID-Related Issues Today and Preparing for the Changed Workplace Tomorrow”, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network. During this 90-minute webcast, Mr. Wachterhauser and Ms. ONeill discussed the latest COVID developments affecting employers, such as regulatory developments regarding unemployment insurance, reasonable accommodation and vaccination issues. They also examined the changing workplace and made suggestions for Read More
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.