Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Presents Labor and Employment Law Update in Collaboration with the Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resource Association


On April 6, 2023, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP presented their Labor & Employment Law Update, sponsored by the Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resources Association. Several of the firm’s attorneys presented virtually on various legal topics. Attorney Kier Wachterhauser began the presentation with a case law update highlighting notable federal and Massachusetts cases from 2022 and 2023, and was followed by Attorney Sarah Spatafore’s statutory and regulatory update. Among the topics discussed by Attorney Spatafore were the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Speak Out Act, the Crown Act, and other related updates. The next segment of the presentation was titled “Mental Health in the Workplace: Navigating the Legal Implications When Employees Experience Mental Health Issues”. Attorneys Nan ONeill and Kier Wachterhauser outlined important information regarding mental health in the workplace, including legal rights, reasonable accommodation, confidentiality and privacy rights, leave options, and resources such as legal and medical. Attorneys Michael Maccaro and Joseph Proctor then presented “Labor Law for Everyone: What Every Employer Needs to Know”, which gave an overview of the NLRA and NLRB 2022 trends, as well as a summary of significant board decisions and an overview of key general counsel memoranda. The final topic was presented by Attorneys Sarah Spatafore and Kathryn Murphy, titled “Navigating Paid Medical and Family Leave in Massachusetts.” Attorneys Spatafore and Murphy focused on 5 different PFML areas using a series of case studies, as well as a discussion of trending topics and developing area of law.


Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is one of the 50 largest firms in Massachusetts, their years of experience and resources offer clients throughout New England and nationally a wide range of legal services while maintaining a “hands-on touch” that is important in Client-Attorney relationships. Their broad resources and technology enable them to represent clients in a comprehensive and cost-efficient manner. MHTL has a strong reputation in the legal community and is 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.

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New Features of Public Participation at School Committee Meetings

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.

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