Michaela May practices primarily in the areas of employment law and litigation. She is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States District Court – District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit.
Education / Background
Michaela earned her Juris Doctorate with Cum Laude honors from Boston University School of Law in 2009, where she was executive editor of the Public Interest Law Journal and a legal writing fellow. Prior to entering the legal profession, Michaela was a journalist in Washington, D.C. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with honors from Brandeis University, where she was a Justice Louis Brandeis Scholar and editor in chief of the Justice.
Michaela is an active member of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (MELA). She serves as co-chair of MELA’s Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Committee and on MELA’s Executive Board. She is also a member of the Women’s Bar Association.
Michaela was named as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star” in the field of Employment & Labor from 2015-2019.
Prior to joining Bennett & Belfort, P.C., Michaela practiced in the field of employment law and litigation for several years, including as a solo practitioner and at the Law Office of Paul H. Merry and the Law Office of Joel P. Suttenberg, both in Boston. Her legal counseling and litigation experience includes:
* Litigation of employment claims, including under the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act, G.L. c. 151B, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Massachusetts Wage Act.
* Review and negotiation of employment agreements, including severance and non-competition agreements, in a variety of industries, including tech and finance.
* Litigation and resolution of employment discrimination claims based on race, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual harassment, pregnancy, disability, age, and retaliation.
* Represented three of Thai restaurant workers in a jury trial resulting in single damages award of more than $114,000 in unpaid overtime compensation. An application for treble damages under the Wage Act and a petition for attorneys’ fees and costs is pending.
* Secured real estate attachment of $300,000 in Superior Court on behalf of restaurant workers who were not paid overtime compensation.
* Represented employee who was terminated because she was pregnant, through trial that resulted in six-figure award and subsequent appeal that upheld discrimination verdict in client’s favor.
* Represented employee with diabetes who was denied reasonable accommodations and experienced workplace bullying because of his disability, through favorable settlement during litigation.
* Secured favorable settlement in federal court action on behalf of a group of six restaurant workers who were denied overtime compensation, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
* Represented four Central American factory workers who experienced national original and race discrimination and harassment while working at a Boston-area facility, through settlement reached weeks before MCAD public hearing.
* In Wage Act case in federal court, represented client whose employer withheld his salary and failed to pay overtime compensation, through real estate attachment of $250,000 and settlement.
* Represented mental health practitioner with claims for misclassification and breach of contract, which resulted in pre-suit settlement.
* Served as trial counsel in sex-discrimination claim brought by police officer in Superior Court.
* Advised clients making internal complaints of discrimination, including for sexual harassment.
* Secured dismissal of counterclaims brought against wage-and-hour client in federal court action.
* Served as counsel for spouse in divorce action through trial, which resulted in award of alimony to client and allocation of substantial debts to client’s ex-spouse.
* Represented client who developed post-traumatic stress disorder due to supervisor’s abusive conduct, through resolution at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
* Represented maintenance engineer in disability discrimination, race discrimination and retaliation claims through trial in Superior Court.
* Advised clients concerning and resolution of housing discrimination claims, including with respect to the Massachusetts Lead Law.
* Represented employee of national non-profit organization before the MCAD, where she brought claims for age and disability discrimination after she was terminated due to cardiac condition.
* Advised clients concerning employment issues, including concerning reasonable accommodation for disabilities, reporting of sexual harassment, and termination.
Michaela lives with her spouse and two daughters in Arlington, Massachusetts, where she is a member of Town Meeting.
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