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Labor Attorney Boston: Bennett & Belfort, P.C. Offers Specialized Legal Counsel

Labor Attorney Boston

Labor Attorney in Boston

Labor Attorney Boston

When you need to retain employment or labor law attorneys in Boston, Massachusetts, Bennett & Belfort, P.C. is the ideal law firm.  Serving individuals in Boston, Massachusetts, Bennett & Belfort’s employment lawyers are a trusted resource for labor and employment issues, such as contract review, litigation, and severance negotiations.   

Specialized Legal Counsel in Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Employment Attorneys

If you are located in Boston and you have a labor and employment issue, the law firm of Bennett & Belfort, P.C. has a team of attorneys that can discuss your employment law issues with you, including legal issues such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and/or retaliation

Why Choose Bennett & Belfort, P.C. as your Boston Employment Lawyers?

The labor and employment law attorneys at Bennett & Belfort, P.C. are different than other law firms because we specialize in this area of law, and routinely counsel individuals to assess whether they have potential legal claims for wrongful termination, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, race/color discrimination, national origin discrimination, gender discrimination, religious discrimination, discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual harassment, retaliation, claims in contract, and/or wage claims for violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act.

Legal Consultation and Representation in Boston Massachusetts

The labor and employment law attorneys at Bennett & Belfort, P.C. have been retained by individuals across Massachusetts, including in Boston, to proceed with legal representation.  This often starts with an initial consultation with the labor attorney Boston, which includes a full review of all labor and employment law issues.  If Bennett & Belfort, P.C. is retained to represent you in a labor and employment matter, they will explain the various employment laws that have been violated, and the pros and cons of what litigation would entail.       

Understanding Discrimination Claims

If an employee believes they may require the assistance of a labor attorney to assess a potential discrimination and/or retaliation claim against their employer, the attorneys at Bennett & Belfort, P.C. can assist

Proving Discrimination Claims

Bennett & Belfort lawyers will explain what is required to prove a discrimination claim under Massachusetts law, M.G.L. c. 151B.

An employee asserting a claim for say, race discrimination, against their employer must prove the following: (1) employee is a member of a class protected by M.G. L. c. 151B (such as race); (2) employee performed their job at an acceptable level; and (3) employe was subjected to an adverse employment action (such as a termination).  See Verdrager v. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, Popeo, P.C., 474 Mass. 382 (2016).    

Proving Pretext in Discrimination Cases

If the employee proves the aforementioned three elements, the burden then shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its adverse action.  Verdrager, 474 Mass. at 396.  At the final stage, the burden of production shifts back to the employee to produce evidence that the employer’s articulated justification for the adverse action is not true but a pretext.  Id.

The employer will seek to set forth evidence that there was a legitimate business reason for its decision to commit an adverse action against the employee, such as terminating the individual’s employment.  For example, the employer may produce evidence that the employee was terminated because they were repeatedly tardy to work, late to meetings, unreliable, a poor performer, not a team player, spoke inappropriately to staff, or violated company policies.  If the employer sets for a legitimate business reason for the adverse action, the employee will then have to show that the employer’s purported reason(s) for the adverse action is not the real reason for that action but, rather, pretext.  See Verdrager, 474 Mass. at 397.

In Bulwer v. Mount Auburn Hospital, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court identified a non-exhaustive list of types of evidence from which a jury might infer that an employer’s stated reason for adverse action was not the real reason, including the following: (1) inconsistencies concerning the reasons for the adverse action; (2) evidence that the employee was treated differently than similarly situated individuals outside the protected class; and (3) the employer did not follow company protocol.  473 Mass. at 684-688 (2016)

Retaliation Claims

An employee who believes they have a retaliation claim against their employer under M.G.L. c. 151B, must show the following three elements: (1) they engaged in protected conduct; (2) suffered some adverse action; and (3) that there is a causal connection between the protected conduct and the adverse action.  Mole v. University of Massachusetts, 442 Mass. 582, 591-592 (2004).

Establishing Causation in Retaliation Cases

The causal nexus between the employee’s protected activity and the adverse action is a factor when assessing a retaliation claim.  See King, 71 Mass. App. Ct. at 460 (“a permissible inference of retaliation may be drawn from an adverse action taken in the immediate aftermath of the employer’s becoming aware of the employee’s protected activity, or where adverse employment actions follow close on the heels of protected activity”).    

Interference Claims

An employee may also pursue a claim against certain individuals under M.G.L. c. 151B.  Under Massachusetts law, it is unlawful “for any person to … interfere with another person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by this chapter.”  M.G. L. c. 151B, §4(4A).  To establish a claim for interference against an individual, the employee must show that: (1) the individual had the authority or the duty to act on behalf of the employer; (2) the individual’s actions or failure to act violated implicated rights under the statute; and (3) there is evidence articulated by the employee that the action or failure to act was in deliberate disregard of the employee’s protected rights, allowing the inference to be drawn that there was intent to discriminate or interfere with the employee’s exercise of their rights.  Furtado v. Std. Parking Corp., 820 F. Supp. 2d 261, 278 (D. Mass. 2011).

Seeking Damages

If the employee is successful in their claim under M.G.L., they can seek damages. 

Types of Damages

These damages may include lost wages, emotional distress, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.  Lost compensation is the amount of money equal to lost pay that the employee would have received if they had not been terminated by the employer.  This includes all lost pay, bonuses, and employment benefits that the employee would have accumulated but-for the employer’s unlawful conduct.  Lost back pay represents the amount of compensation lost in the past as the result of the employer’s misconduct, whereas lost front pay represents the amount of compensation that you believe will be lost in the future as the result of the employer’s misconduct.

Emotional Distress and Punitive Damages

Emotional distress damages are designed to compensate the employee for mental pain, discomfort, indignity, depression, fear, anxiety, or humiliation suffered as a result of the employer’s actions.  When considering emotional distress awards, some factors that should be considered include, but are not limited to: (1) the nature and character of the alleged harm; (2) the severity of the harm; (3) the length of time the employee has suffered and reasonably expects to suffer; and (4) whether the employee has attempted to mitigate the harm.  In addition, the employee should show a causal connection between the employer’s unlawful act and the employee’s emotional distress.

The employee may also seek punitive damages, which is awarded for conduct that is outrageous, because of the employer’s evil motive or reckless indifference to the rights of others.  The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the employer for egregious conduct and to deter it from engaging in this type of behavior in the future.  Punitive damages are awarded if the employer acted with evil motive or in a manner that was recklessly indifferent to the employee’s rights, and that the conduct was so outrageous that it warrants public condemnation and punishment.

Consideration of punitive damages passes upon the entire course of conduct, including (a) how offensive was the employer’s conduct; (b) whether it caused harm to the employee; and (c) the employer’s attempt to conceal the wrongdoing.  In deciding the amount of punitive damages, if any, to award the employee, a trier of fact such as a judge or jury, typically consider, in addition to the above: (a) the employer’s assets and resources; and (b) what amount would sufficiently punish the employer so as to prevent a repetition of the unlawful actions.

Litigation Process in Boston with Boston Employment Attorneys

If an employee with a labor and employment issue would like to pursue litigation in or around Boston, Massachusetts, Bennett & Belfort, P.C. will assess all labor and employment laws on the employee’s behalf and proceed accordingly

Bennett & Belfort attorneys have litigated cases across Massachusetts, including in Boston, including discrimination claims.  The first step is often a filing with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).  The MCAD has jurisdiction to hear cases of discrimination in Massachusetts, including age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, race/color discrimination, national origin discrimination, gender discrimination, religious discrimination, discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

Conclusion

Turn to experienced labor and employment law attorneys Boston, Massachusetts

At Bennett & Belfort, our attorneys are experienced in labor and employment issues, and are skilled in both litigation and counseling.  Accordingly, our labor attorney Boston can review your case for potential violation of Massachusetts wage laws, discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims, contract matters, employee leave, and all legal claims.

Contact a Bennett & Belfort labor and employment attorney near Boston, Ma

If you or your business are located in Boston, Massachusetts, and have a potential labor and employment legal claim, feel free to contact labor attorney Boston Bennett & Belfort, P.C. online or by telephone at (617) 577-8800.  To speak with an experienced labor lawyer, employees and employers can contact Bennett & Belfort, P.C.  

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