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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Presents “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Attorney Issues”

 

Attorney Katherine Hesse, a Partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented for the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (“IFEBP”) last month. Her presentation, titled “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Attorney Issues” gave an attorney’s perspective on the topic. Ms. Hesse discussed typical diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) litigation that arises, how to prevent those types of claims from occurring, and how to defend against claims that do occur. During the presentation, she outlined some of the more notable cases of discrimination and harassment that have occurred recently against several well-known companies, such as McDonalds, Lowes, Red Robin, Tesla, and others. She highlights that the common theme with each of those cases is the employer was aware of the hostile work environment and/or discriminatory actions, but failed to take action to stop it. Attorney Hesse’s key takeaway for the presentation is that words matter.

 

Ms. Hesse practices primarily in labor, employment and employee benefits law. She serves as counsel to Fortune 500 companies, emerging businesses, government, tax-exempt organizations and large Taft-Hartley and governmental trusts. She advises clients on employment and benefits issues, and has litigated employment and benefits cases before state and federal trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. Ms. Hesse also served as a professional trustee for public and Taft-Hartley trust funds and as an expert witness, mediator and arbitrator of benefit fund disputes. She led her team of attorneys to be named the only firm in New England and one of only 11 in the United States to the special ERISA fiduciary litigation panel for one of the world’s largest insurance companies. She serves on the Board of Directors of the International Foundation and as Chair of its Government Liaison Committee, and sits on the editorial board of Benefits Quarterly and speaks and writes regularly on employment and benefits issues. Ms. Hesse, a CEBS Compliant ISCEBS Fellow, was inducted into the ISCEBS Hall of Fame in 2018. She received her B.A. degree from Smith College and her J.D. degree from the Boston University School of Law.

Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Recognized as a Top Women of Law Honoree for 2022

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is proud to announce that Attorney Kathryn Murphy, a Partner at the firm, has been selected as a Top Women of Law 2022 honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The honorees are selected based upon their “ significant contributions to the legal profession while also serving as role models for women entering the law.” Ms. Murphy is the first attorney at the firm to receive this prestigious honor. She has been practicing law at Read More

Legal Updates

NEW LEGISLATION ADDRESSING BARRIERS TO CARE FOR MENTAL HEALTH HAS IMPACTS ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

On August 10, 2022, Chapter 177 of Acts of 2022, “An Act Addressing Barriers to Care for Mental Health” was signed by Governor Baker. For public schools, it has impacts on student discipline, special education services, and emergency response plans. The bill goes into effect on November 8, 2022. Set forth below are summaries of the new law’s impact in the identified areas.

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