Hillary has been handling employment law issues for close to 15 years. Prior to launching Fair Work, P.C., she was a partner at a nationally-recognized employment firm, where she represented workers in individual and class action cases in Massachusetts and beyond. In 2008, Hillary was named as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Hillary’s practice focuses primarily on four areas: (1) class actions brought under the Massachusetts Tips Law and related laws on behalf of employees who earn the majority of their income from gratuities, including food servers, bartenders, and airline skycaps; (2) class actions brought under the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute and related laws; (3) class actions brought under federal wage laws and the wage laws of other states; and (4) individual discrimination and retaliation cases, brought under state and federal anti-discrimination statutes, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Massachusetts Whistleblower Act, and other laws.
Hillary has been co-counsel in three cases brought under the Massachusetts Tip Law in which juries returned verdicts on behalf of workers – cases against the Hilltop Steak House and the Federalist restaurant challenging the restaurants’ practice of not distributing the total proceeds of service charges to the wait staff and a case brought on behalf of American Airlines skycaps challenging American’s policy of charging passengers $2 per bag for baggage checked by the skycaps. Hillary also served as co-counsel in a number of cases brought on behalf of janitorial cleaning workers, challenging the practices of janitorial franchise companies under state independent contractor misclassification laws and statutes challenging unfair and deceptive business practices.
Hillary has also represented individuals in employment discrimination and retaliation cases. In 2009, she was co-counsel in a case in which a jury returned a plaintiff’s verdict in a police officer’s claim that he was removed from his position as head of the detective division for the Stoughton Police Department in violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Massachusetts Whistleblower Act. The jury returned a six-figure award for lost wages, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages, and the judge returned him to his position as head of the detective division. Hillary also represented an individual who had been denied a position with the U.S. Foreign Service because of her diabetes. On the eve of trial in December 2009, the State Department agreed to a settlement in which it paid her attorneys’ fees and lost wages and hired her to a position with the Foreign Service.
Earlier in her career, Hillary worked for several years in civil rights and the public sector. After graduating from Columbia Law School, she was a law clerk for Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and then for Judge Leonard I. Garth for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Hillary then spent a year at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York as a Blackmun Fellow, litigating cases concerning reproductive rights in state and federal courts all over the country. She then practiced law in Wisconsin for several years, where she first worked representing victims of domestic violence in a rural community and then served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Protection Unit at the Wisconsin Department of Justice.