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Three Partners from Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Present a Labor and Employment Law Update for The Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resources Association

 

Kathryn Murphy, Nan ONeill and Sarah Spatafore, all partners at MHTL, presented their Labor and Employment Law Update, hosted by The Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resources Association on December 3, 2020. Nan ONeill presented a recent case law update, as well as a Creating Your Toolkit for Meeting Reasonable Accommodation Obligations guide. Sarah Spatafore talked about the recent statutory and regulatory updates, and discussed the best practices for conducting workplace investigations. Finally, all three attorneys concluded with a panel for a COVID-19 update.
Ms. Murphy is a Partner at the firm and practices in the employment and labor law areas. She has many years of experience representing employers in matters involving employment discrimination, wage and hour, contracts, whistleblowing, and other employment-related concerns. Ms. Murphy’s practice also focuses upon working proactively with employers to address matters before legal disputes arise. She conducts internal investigations on behalf of employers, provides training, day-to-day counseling in employment areas, development of policies and procedures, and other advisory services. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Murphy worked for several years with the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ms. Murphy obtained a Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certification in 2011. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Murphy practiced as a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Murphy graduated cum laude from Suffolk University Law School.
Ms. O’Neill, another Partner at the firm, has 30 years of experience counseling and representing employers in all aspects of traditional labor law and employment. She has extensive experience in labor arbitration and litigation of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination matters. In addition to grievance and arbitration proceedings, Ms. O’Neill has advised companies regarding corporate campaigns, strike and contingency planning, bargaining strategies, interpreting collective bargaining agreements and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act. Ms. O’Neill counsels clients on a day-to-day basis on employment compliance issues. Ms. O’Neill is often called upon to conduct internal investigations including complaints of harassment, discrimination, and ethical violations. Ms. O’Neill is a graduate of Boston College and the Georgetown University Law Center.
Ms. Spatafore, also a Partner at the firm, practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients. Ms. Spatafore also handles education issues. She regularly conducts seminars and training programs on unlawful harassment, preventing discrimination, and a variety of other labor and employment issues. Ms. Spatafore has completed all the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination-certified “Train-the-Trainer” courses. Ms. Spatafore graduated from Bates College in 2007. She received her Juris Doctor, with Honors, from Boston College Law School in 2012. In law school, Ms. Spatafore interned at the Massachusetts Superior Court. Prior to matriculating with the firm, Ms. Spatafore worked for a presidential campaign as a law clerk and was sent to a targeted swing state to serve as the Election Day Operations Director for the general election.

 

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Statutory Regulations Released for Interagency Review of Complex Cases

On March 1, 2024, EOHHS and DESE released the long-awaited, final adoption of the regulations governing the Interagency Review of Complex Cases (published as 101 CMR 27.00). These regulations had been anticipated since the Massachusetts Legislature passed “An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health” in August, 2022. The purpose of the law is the establishment of a team that will collaborate on complex cases where there is an urgent need to address a lack of consensus between state agencies about the service needs or placement of an individual. This replaces what was known as the Unified Planning Team, or “UPT”. The co-chairs of the IRT will be the secretary (or a designee) from EOHHS and the commissioner (or a designee) of DESE.

Legal Updates

Statutory Regulations Released for Interagency Review of Complex Cases

On March 1, 2024, EOHHS and DESE released the long-awaited, final adoption of the regulations governing the Interagency Review of Complex Cases (published as 101 CMR 27.00). These regulations had been anticipated since the Massachusetts Legislature passed “An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health” in August, 2022. The purpose of the law is the establishment of a team that will collaborate on complex cases where there is an urgent need to address a lack of consensus between state agencies about the service needs or placement of an individual. This replaces what was known as the Unified Planning Team, or “UPT”. The co-chairs of the IRT will be the secretary (or a designee) from EOHHS and the commissioner (or a designee) of DESE.

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