On May 13, 2014, Bennett & Belfort, P.C. partner David Belfort was an invited speaker at the 2014 Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA Event) annual Convention. Attorney Belfort served on a panel alongside Matthew Fogelman, partner at Fogelman & Fogelman LLC, that focused on both substantive employment law issues impacting personal injury plaintiffs and practice issues affecting law firm management.
Attorney Belfort focused his substantive employment law presentation on the Americans with Disabilities Act and M.G.L. c. 151B (Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute). He discussed leave issues and the mechanisms afforded by key disability statutes to prohibit discrimination based on legally recognized disabilities. Mr. Belfort outlined current precedent as to reasonable accommodation requirements and the reasonableness of leave as a workplace adjustment, the retaliation provisions protecting employees from adverse action when asserting their rights under the disability laws and the mandated good-faith interactive process that employees (and their advocates) should explore.
The panelists also discussed strategies for sound law practice management of firm employees, touching on the importance of certain workplace policies (e.g. sexual harassment), mischaracterization of employees as independent contractors and wage laws that require particular attention in the law firm context.