PRACTICE AREAS

Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP advises major corporations, small businesses, start ups, and governmental and non-profit entities throughout the Northeast and Atlantic states and beyond in connection with their workplace issues.

The firm understands business and the critical, ever-changing nature of human resources. Drawing on over a quarter century of experience, we have a nationally recognized practice dedicated to helping private and public sector employers achieve their human resource goals. The firm’s mission is simple: to enable clients, using the law, to optimize their investment in human resources at all levels of the organization, so they can focus effectively on their business.

The firm aggressively pursues risk management strategies and positive solutions. We partner with employers to develop policies and procedures which enhance employee relations and limit disputes. The firm’s strategies, counseling and training help our clients avoid costly litigation, and government investigations. When complaints arise, we work with clients to provide solutions that are cost effective and results oriented. Whether the firm is counseling on legal compliance or litigating a complex case, the firm provides our clients with highly responsive, personalized service.

Employment and Labor

The firm counsels employers in all phases of the individual employment relationship including hiring, promotion, severance and retirement. The firm structures, negotiates and enforces employment contracts and related covenants that pertain to executive level and other specific positions in an organization.

The firm trains supervisors to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, avoid workplace disputes, resolve employee relations problems, and satisfy legitimate employee expectations. This preventative approach helps management to avoid the filing of grievances, charges or lawsuits and avoid their costly defense and unproductive diversion of time and energy.

The firm also designs and helps implement sophisticated compensation schemes including innovative equity participation and incentive pay programs.

The firm’s labor relations practice encompasses the full spectrum of traditional management-union matters, from strikes, picketing, and injunctions under the National Labor Relations Act to grievance/arbitration matters, collective bargaining, unfair labor practices proceedings, plant closings and corporate campaigns.

Employee Benefits

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP has extensive private and public sector experience counseling employers and the trustees of single and multi-employer plans in all aspects of employee benefits including plan design and implementation, fund administration, regulatory compliance and litigation.

These plans include defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans, health, dental, vision and prescription drug plans, cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts, apprenticeship plans and prepaid legal assistance plans.

The firm assists our clients in administering benefit plans and identifying issues that may later develop into problem areas. When challenges arise, the firm defends employers against benefit claims and related litigation and provides counsel on all benefit issues occurring in the course of collective bargaining, corporate divestitures, acquisitions, business closures and reductions in force. We also design pension, profit-sharing, 401(k) and other types or retirement, deferred compensation and incentive compensation and welfare benefit plans.

Immigration

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP provides legal services in a variety of immigration areas, ranging from obtaining both temporary (including the H-1B and TN visas) and employment-based permanent immigration visas for foreign nationals to solving problems with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and State Department faced by both employers and employees. The firm advises and trains employers about compliance with I-9 employment authorization requirements and employer sanctions, as well as potential defenses to such sanctions, and assist them in preparing for INS audits. The firm also provides litigation assistance to employers and individuals in matters before the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Health Care Services

From large urban teaching hospitals to mid-sized community-based hospitals to small rural hospitals, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, has significant experience representing health care providers throughout Massachusetts and New England. In addition to acute care hospitals, we have experience representing:

  • Home Health Care Agencies
  • Community Health Centers
  • Visiting Nurse Associations
  • Rehabilitation Hospitals and Nursing Homes
  • Physician Practice Groups
  • Health Care Trade Associations
  • Public Health Departments

Our firm has confronted the gamut of labor law issues that health care institutions routinely face. Many of our health care clients have partially or substantially organized workforces. We have long-term experience and contacts with the unions representing employees in health care institutions, including:

  • Massachusetts Nurses Association
  • 1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East
  • Fireman and Oilers, and other maintenance unions
  • International Union of Operating Engineers

We are sensitive to the unique challenges faced by institutions charged with a care giving mission. Our experience blankets the range of issues confronted by such institutions as:

  • Governance and fiduciary issues including interpreting regulations, drafting policies and by-laws, and dealing with state and federal agencies
  • All personnel and labor relations matters, including executive contracts and compensation, employee benefits, staffing, policies, procedures, contract negotiations and discrimination claims litigation
  • Occupational safety and health issues, including disputes and representation in proceedings before OHSA
  • Business-related issues such as corporate organization, mergers and shared services
  • Compliance with HIPAA and other privacy issues
  • Duty of care and liability issues and risk management
  • Operational matters including negotiations with service providers and equipment providers
  • Representation of health care provider trade organizations

For additional information about our Health Care Legal Services, please contact Katherine A. Hesse at (617) 479-5000 or by e-mail at khesse@mhtl.com.

Areas of Concentration

Employment

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Affirmative Action
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Background Investigations
  • Civil Rights Litigation
  • Civil Service Cases
  • Compensation Issues
  • Conducting Investigations
  • Confidentiality and Covenants Not to Compete
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Contract Negotiation and Enforcement
  • Defamation
  • Disability Accommodation/Undue Hardship
  • Discrimination
  • Due Diligence Reviews
  • Employee Benefits
  • Employee Discipline
  • Employee Testing: HIV/AIDS, Drugs & Alcohol
  • Employment Contracts
  • Employment Law Counseling
  • Employment Law Litigation
  • Employment Policies
  • Employee Privacy Rights
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Executive Compensation and Incentive Arrangements
  • Immigration
  • International Labor Law
  • Handbook Preparation
  • Health and Safety in the Workplace
  • Labor Relations
    • Appropriate unit hearings
    • Negotiations of collective bargaining agreements
    • Advice and defense of grievances and arbitrations
    • All forms of dispute resolution including conciliation mediations, fact finding and various favor of interest arbitrations
    • Interest based and collective bargaining
  • Leased/Contingent Work Force Matters
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Mergers/Acquisitions
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • Negligent Hiring, Supervision and Retention
  • Non Competition Agreements
  • Occupational Safety & Health Agency (OSHA)
  • Personnel Policies and Employee Handbooks
  • Privacy Issues
  • Problem Prevention
  • Public Sector Employment Law
  • Reductions-in-Force, Plant Closing and Mass Layoff Counseling and Litigation
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Selection and Hiring Procedures
  • Substance Abuse
  • Technology and Employee Rights
  • Tenure Issues
  • Termination, Retirement and Severance
  • Trade Secret Protection
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Wage and Hour Laws
  • Worker’s Compensation Law
  • Workplace Harassment Counseling, Training and Litigation
  • Workplace Violence
  • Wrongful Termination

Employee Benefits

  • Advice regarding claims processing and administrative matters
  • All aspects of state and federal court litigation and arbitration
  • Benefit Claims appeals and related litigation
  • Collective bargaining, corporate divestitures, acquisitions, business closures and reductions in force
  • Deferred compensation, incentive compensation, 401(k) plans
  • Defined Contribution plans
  • ESOP’s
  • ERISA Plans and Policies
  • Executive Compensation and Incentive Arrangements
  • Fiduciary Check ups
  • Health/Welfare Care: Managed Care Plans, Self-Insured Plans, Cafeteria Plans, Prescription Drug, Dental and Vision
  • Implementation and Administration of Benefit Plans
  • Mergers of Plans and Plan Terminations
  • Participant Loans
  • Pension and Profit-Sharing Agreements
  • Plan Mergers, Spinoffs and Termination
  • Preparation and Submission of Governmental Filings
  • Preparation and Review of Participant Communications
  • Prohibited Transaction Participant Communications
  • QDRO’siand QMSO’s
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Representation in Audits and Other Proceedings with Governmental Agencies
  • Section 403(b) and Section 457 plans
  • Welfare benefit plans

Immigration

  • Temporary Employment Visas
  • Visa Education Programs
  • Long-Term Career Planning for Key Employees
  • In House Visa Programs
  • Conducting Internal, Privileged and Confidential Audits
  • Labor Certification
  • Temporary employment visas for foreign nationals, primarily relating to the employment of nurses (H-1A visas), speciality occupation workers (H-1B visas) and Canadian professionals and business persons (TN visas), as well visas for foreign traders or investors (E visas), exchange program participants (J visas), business visitor or tourist (B-1/B-2 visas) and intracompany transferees (L-1 visas)
  • Employment-based immigrant visas providing unlimited employment authorization and permanent residence in the United States (the “Green Card”)
  • I-9 compliance, training and defenses to employer sanctions
  • Preparation for INS audits
  • Litigation of immigration matters in all administrative agencies and courts, including matters before the Immigration and Naturalization Service, Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals

Contact us today if you have questions about Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits

WACHTERHSUSER, KIER

Kier Wachterhauser

(617) 479-5000 kwachterhauser@mhtl.com

Mr. Wachterhauser is a partner at MHTL.  Mr. Wachterhauser represents private and public sector clients in all areas of labor and employment law and maintains a general litigation practice.  Mr. Wachterhauser 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, such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Read More

Feeney Matthew 6608 wk crop 5x7

Matthew L. Feeney

617-479-5000 mfeeney@mhtl.com

With nearly fifteen years of criminal practice as an Assistant District Attorney in both Essex and Suffolk Counties, Matthew Feeney is a senior associate in our litigation department. Mr. Feeney’s areas of focus include general litigation, advising employers on public safety related matters, providing internal reviews and/or investigations  for both public and private sector clients, and criminal defense, including white collar defense. A lifelong resident of Boston, Mr. Feeney is a  graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston College and Boston Read More

HESSE, KATHRYN

Katherine A. Hesse

Partner

(617) 479-5000 khesse@mhtl.com

Katherine Hesse is one of the founding partners of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. Ms. Hesse concentrates her practice primarily in labor and employment and employee benefits law serving as counsel to individuals, business, government, and tax exempt organizations including hospitals, colleges, churches, and major private and public retirement and health plans. She has litigated numerous employment and benefits cases before the state and federal trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. She is also an active practitioner in all Read More

King Paul_9735 wk final

Paul G. King

617-479-5000 pking@mhtl.com

Mr. King’s practice is primarily focused on the areas of labor and employment law in the public and private sector, education law, and litigation. Mr. King has represented clients in collective bargaining negotiations, before administrative bodies, and in federal and state courts. Mr. King routinely handles employee disciplinary matters and represents employers during arbitrations. Mr. King conducts investigations into workplace misconduct such as sexual harassment and discrimination. In addition, he represents school districts and school committees in a variety of Read More

MACCARO, MIKE

Michael J. Maccaro

Partner

(617) 479-5000 mmaccaro@mhtl.com

Mr. Maccaro’s practice is focused on the areas of labor and employment in the public and private sector, litigation, and employee benefits. Following law school, Mr. Maccaro served as a Law Clerk to the Justices of the Superior Court for two years. Prior to joining Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP, Mr. Maccaro served as Associate General Counsel for a large public sector labor union.  He has litigated numerous matters, negotiated hundreds of contracts and has argued before various state courts, appellate courts, and Read More

MURPHY, ARTHUR

Arthur P. Murphy

Partner

(617) 479-5000 amurphy@mhtl.com

Mr. Murphy’s legal career emphasizes management labor, corporate and litigation matters. Selected in the publication of Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Murphy represents many large and small businesses, including Fortune 500 corporations, and serves as counsel to a variety of trade associations as well as major governmental agencies in all areas of labor and employment law. Mr. Murphy has presented and argued hundreds of cases including labor and employment matters in proceedings at the administrative, state and federal levels. He has successfully argued labor Read More

MURPHY, KATHY

Kathryn M. Murphy

Partner

(617) 479-5000 kmurphy@mhtl.com

Ms. Murphy 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 Read More

O'NEIL, NAN

Nan O'Neill

Partner

617-479-5000 noneill@mhtl.com

Nan is Senior Counsel in the law firm of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP with 30 years of experience counseling and representing employers in all aspects of employment and traditional labor law. Nan has extensive experience in the litigation of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, reasonable accommodation, sexual harassment and wrongful termination matters, before state and federal courts and administrative agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, having litigated approximately 30 cases in Massachusetts courts and the MCAD. As an employment Read More

Cliff color jpg

Clifford R. Rhodes

Attorney

crhodes@mhtl.com

Mr. Rhodes received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa where he was a University Honors Scholar. In 1992, Mr. Rhodes received his. J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law graduating with distinction, and serving as a member of the Iowa Law Review.  He obtained his MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and received his LLM in Taxation, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law.  He has extensive experience in health care compliance Read More

SPATAFORE, SARAH

Sarah C. Spatafore

Partner

(617) 479-5000 sspatafore@mhtl.com

Ms. Spatafore is a partner with the firm. She practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients.  Ms. Spatafore also handles education issues.  Ms. Spatafore has represented clients before a number of courts and administrative tribunals at both the state and federal level. Ms. Spatafore regularly advises clients on a variety of issues related to labor and employment, represents clients on issues related to collective bargaining, grievances, and arbitrations, and has conducted numerous workplace Read More

Contact us today if you have questions about Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits

WACHTERHSUSER, KIER

Kier Wachterhauser

(617) 479-5000 kwachterhauser@mhtl.com

Mr. Wachterhauser is a partner at MHTL.  Mr. Wachterhauser represents private and public sector clients in all areas of labor and employment law and maintains a general litigation practice.  Mr. Wachterhauser 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, such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and Read More

Feeney Matthew 6608 wk crop 5x7

Matthew L. Feeney

617-479-5000 mfeeney@mhtl.com

With nearly fifteen years of criminal practice as an Assistant District Attorney in both Essex and Suffolk Counties, Matthew Feeney is a senior associate in our litigation department. Mr. Feeney’s areas of focus include general litigation, advising employers on public safety related matters, providing internal reviews and/or investigations  for both public and private sector clients, and criminal defense, including white collar defense. A lifelong resident of Boston, Mr. Feeney is a  graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston College and Boston Read More

HESSE, KATHRYN

Katherine A. Hesse

Partner

(617) 479-5000 khesse@mhtl.com

Katherine Hesse is one of the founding partners of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. Ms. Hesse concentrates her practice primarily in labor and employment and employee benefits law serving as counsel to individuals, business, government, and tax exempt organizations including hospitals, colleges, churches, and major private and public retirement and health plans. She has litigated numerous employment and benefits cases before the state and federal trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. She is also an active practitioner in all Read More

King Paul_9735 wk final

Paul G. King

617-479-5000 pking@mhtl.com

Mr. King’s practice is primarily focused on the areas of labor and employment law in the public and private sector, education law, and litigation. Mr. King has represented clients in collective bargaining negotiations, before administrative bodies, and in federal and state courts. Mr. King routinely handles employee disciplinary matters and represents employers during arbitrations. Mr. King conducts investigations into workplace misconduct such as sexual harassment and discrimination. In addition, he represents school districts and school committees in a variety of Read More

MACCARO, MIKE

Michael J. Maccaro

Partner

(617) 479-5000 mmaccaro@mhtl.com

Mr. Maccaro’s practice is focused on the areas of labor and employment in the public and private sector, litigation, and employee benefits. Following law school, Mr. Maccaro served as a Law Clerk to the Justices of the Superior Court for two years. Prior to joining Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP, Mr. Maccaro served as Associate General Counsel for a large public sector labor union.  He has litigated numerous matters, negotiated hundreds of contracts and has argued before various state courts, appellate courts, and Read More

MURPHY, ARTHUR

Arthur P. Murphy

Partner

(617) 479-5000 amurphy@mhtl.com

Mr. Murphy’s legal career emphasizes management labor, corporate and litigation matters. Selected in the publication of Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Murphy represents many large and small businesses, including Fortune 500 corporations, and serves as counsel to a variety of trade associations as well as major governmental agencies in all areas of labor and employment law. Mr. Murphy has presented and argued hundreds of cases including labor and employment matters in proceedings at the administrative, state and federal levels. He has successfully argued labor Read More

MURPHY, KATHY

Kathryn M. Murphy

Partner

(617) 479-5000 kmurphy@mhtl.com

Ms. Murphy 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 Read More

O'NEIL, NAN

Nan O'Neill

Partner

617-479-5000 noneill@mhtl.com

Nan is Senior Counsel in the law firm of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP with 30 years of experience counseling and representing employers in all aspects of employment and traditional labor law. Nan has extensive experience in the litigation of employment-related disputes, including discrimination, reasonable accommodation, sexual harassment and wrongful termination matters, before state and federal courts and administrative agencies such as the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, having litigated approximately 30 cases in Massachusetts courts and the MCAD. As an employment Read More

Cliff color jpg

Clifford R. Rhodes

Attorney

crhodes@mhtl.com

Mr. Rhodes received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa where he was a University Honors Scholar. In 1992, Mr. Rhodes received his. J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law graduating with distinction, and serving as a member of the Iowa Law Review.  He obtained his MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and received his LLM in Taxation, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Alabama School of Law.  He has extensive experience in health care compliance Read More

SPATAFORE, SARAH

Sarah C. Spatafore

Partner

(617) 479-5000 sspatafore@mhtl.com

Ms. Spatafore is a partner with the firm. She practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients.  Ms. Spatafore also handles education issues.  Ms. Spatafore has represented clients before a number of courts and administrative tribunals at both the state and federal level. Ms. Spatafore regularly advises clients on a variety of issues related to labor and employment, represents clients on issues related to collective bargaining, grievances, and arbitrations, and has conducted numerous workplace Read More

Mills, Rachel

Rachel L. Mills

Associate

(617) 479-5000 rmills@mhtl.com

Ms. Mills’ practice is primarily focused on the areas of labor and employment law. Ms. Mills was a summer associate with the firm during law school. As a summer associate, Ms. Mills participated in arbitrations, negotiations of collective bargaining agreements, drafting litigation documents, and research on labor and employment matters. Ms. Mills has also worked in our municipal department on a variety of research projects and litigation matters. Ms. Mills graduated summa cum laude from Boston College in 2016 with Read More

Latest News

Murphy. Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Advisor, Thomas Jorling Pens the Attack on the Rule of Law

  Tom Jorling, is an attorney, advisor to MHTL, former co-drafter of the Clean Air and Water Act and former Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation under Governor Mario Cuomo. Tom Jorling served under 4 presidents, including Deputy Director of the Environmental Agency. Mr. Jorling was the recipient of the inaugural Boston College Law School Public Interest Law Foundation Distinction in Public Service Award in April 2019. Thomas Jorling pens the article below on the attack of the Rule Read More

Legal Updates

Expansion of Federal Protections for LGBT Workers

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a historic 6-3 decision authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, in which the Court held that employers cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This case, Bostock v. Clayton County, was a consolidation of three cases, involving two gay men, who were terminated based on their sexual orientation, and one transgender woman, who was terminated based on her gender identity.

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

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