News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Attorney Awarded Favorable Decision in Arbitration Hearing

 

In a recent arbitration hearing, a local Union alleged that the Town violated their collective bargaining agreement by failing to pay workers a previously agreed liquor establishment rate. Representing the Town was Attorney Rachel Millette from Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. The arbitration centered on a provision which was added to the collective bargaining agreement in 2019 stating that employees assigned to work at a liquor establishment shall receive a premium rate in addition to their normal pay. A parenthetical within the contract provision defined a liquor establishment as “property where a liquor license to sell or serve alcohol has been issued.” The Union argued that this language encompassed work performed at a mall, because restaurants, for example, contained therein had been issued a liquor license. The Town argued that this language simply clarified that liquor establishments include both restaurants where liquor is consumed onsite and package stores where liquor is sold for off-site consumption.

 

The Union further argued that its position was supported by the Town’s past practice of paying the liquor establishment rate for work performed at a mall over the last few years. The Town argued that there was no past practice relating to a premium rate under the circumstances, because the Town had no knowledge that employees were being compensated at the liquor establishment rate during the last few years. When the Town did become aware, it immediately ordered that the employees not continue to be paid at the liquor establishment rate when working at the mall. Although the arbitrator found both Parties’ interpretation of the contract language to be plausible, upon examination of the bargaining history concerning the parenthetical language, and citing the lack of evidence of mutuality necessary to establish a past practice, the Arbitrator determined that the Town did not violate the agreement, and denied the Union’s grievance.

 

Ms. Millette’s practice is primarily focused on the areas of municipal and labor & employment law, representing both private and public employers. She has participated in collective bargaining matters, grievance administration and arbitration, and matters before a number of state and federal agencies.  Additionally, Ms. Millette has represented municipalities in various litigation matters, including zoning enforcement and contract disputes. Ms. Millette graduated summa cum laude from Boston College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in French. She received her Juris Doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law in 2019. During law school, Ms. Millette participated in the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic and was a member of the Law Review. She held internships at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts working with Magistrate Judge Kelley and at Veterans Legal Services in Boston.

Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partners Present for MassLeague’s 2022 Community Health Institute

  The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers held their Annual Community Health Institute (“CHI”) in North Falmouth earlier this month. Attorneys Kier Wachterhauser and Nan ONeill, both partners at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented “COVID-19 Now and Later – Navigating the COVID-Related Issues of Today and Preparing for the Changed Workplace of Tomorrow”. They began their presentation with discussing the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”), which was followed by the topic “ARPA: COBRA Premium Coverage”. During the Read More

Legal Updates

The World Needs to Act

  MHTL supports the international effort to help Ukraine and bring an end to the political and humanitarian crisis that is unfolding.   Too long has the world, and this country also, allowed bad actors to use the weapons of war, including the threat of nuclear war, to achieve immoral and illegal ends.  Ending the crisis in Ukraine is not enough.  The world needs a solution, short of violence and war, to make sure that bad actors and those who Read More

Quincy, MA

Crown Colony Plaza
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
P.O. Box 9126
Quincy, MA 02169-9126

Boston, MA

75-101 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

Tel: (617) 479-5000
Tel: (888) 841-4850
Fax: (617) 479-6469

Springfield, MA

One Monarch Place, Suite 1310R
Springfield, MA 01144

© 2022 Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. All Rights Reserved. Website by Interactive Palette