Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partners Present at the 3rd Annual Massachusetts SHRM State Council Legislative Conference
Attorneys Kathryn Murphy and Kier Wachterhauser, both Partners at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented a legal update and discussion at the 3rd Annual Massachusetts SHRM State Council Legislative Conference last month. Their presentation, titled “Recent Developments Impacting the Workplace: What is Keeping HR Up at Night?”, highlighted many of the ways the pandemic has impacted the workplace throughout 2020 and 2021. Topics discussed were COVID-19 in the workplace, vaccine mandates and exemptions, wage and hour law considerations, time off and leave protections, and the important considerations that employers need to remember, such as the mental health of employees and their families. Other session topics at the conference included “Washington Outlook and HR Policy Update”, “U.S. Department of Labor Update”, a panel on “State Legislative Outlook”, “Massachusetts PFMLA: The First Year a Work in Progress”, “Reopening the Mixed Vax Workplace the Occupational Health View” and “The New Work of Immigration: New Rules and the Impact on Talent Acquisition”.
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. Ms. Murphy obtained a Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certification in 2011, and prior to practicing law, she practiced as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Ms. Murphy graduated cum laude from Suffolk University Law School.
Mr. Wachterhauser is a Partner at MHTL and represents private and public sector clients in all areas of labor and employment law while maintaining a general litigation practice within the firm. He regularly counsels clients on employment matters, including wage and hour, leave entitlements, and discrimination and harassment matters, as well as the drafting of employment policies and contracts, and represents clients in employment-related litigation before state and federal courts and administrative bodies. Additionally, he maintains an extensive labor practice, representing clients in the collective bargaining process, arbitration hearings, and proceedings in front of a variety of administrative agencies. He is a regular speaker at industry and trade groups, chambers of commerce, and other organizations on a wide range of labor and employment topics, and he conducts workplace training for organizations of all sizes. Mr. Wachterhauser received his Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Boston University Law Review.
Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received a favorable decision on behalf of her client, Marshfield Public Schools. The Plaintiff appealed the district court’s judgement that upheld a decision of the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”). However, as the notice was filed more than 30 days after entry, the First Circuit ultimately dismissed the appeal for being untimely. The Plaintiff also appealed the district court’s order, denying her motion to vacate. Read More
Following our Alert from March 16, 2023, Civility is Dead – The Supreme Court Rules Municipal Control of Public Speak Limited to Reasonable Time/Place/Manner Restrictions, which discussed the holding to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Barron v. Kolenda and the Town of Southborough (SJC-13284), we promised to bring you more detailed guidance on developing a Public Speak policy for your public body or municipality. The Barron case involved a constitutional challenge to the Town of Southborough’s public comment policy, which attempted to impose a code of civility on members of the public who participated in public comment before public bodies. In Barron, the court interpreted the state constitution to mean that public bodies may request, but not require, that public commentators be respectful and courteous. Instead, a public body may set restrictions on reasonable time, place, and manner comments to ensure that the meeting retains an orderly and peaceable manner.