Educational travel company subject to wage act class action

Plaintiff’s counsel Brant Casavant of Boston said he and his client look forward to litigating the case on behalf of the certified class.

“In a broader context, the court’s decision is significant because it addresses the scope of the state overtime law’s administrative employee exemption, which is not an exemption that has been extensively addressed by the state courts,” he added.

Eric T. Berkman, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, July 20, 2017.

Professor's complaint over gay rights roils gordon college

In a complaint to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Margaret DeWeese-Boyd, an assistant professor of sociology, asserts that the college president and provost denied her a promotion to full professor because she has openly criticized the policy since 2013.

Michael Levenson, Boston Globe, April 9, 2017.

gordon professor files discrimination complaint

A Gordon College professor has filed a discrimination complaint against the school, claiming she was denied a promotion for speaking out against the college’s LGBT policies.

Paul Leighton, The Salem News, March 22, 2017.

BROOKLINE POLICE SEEK TO FIRE BLACK COPS WHO ALLEGE RACISM IN DEPARTMENT

A diverse crowd of nearly 200 of the officers' supporters packed into the hearing room in the middle of a work day. As members of the audience nodded in agreement, Hillary Schwab, a lawyer for the two cops, told the hearing officer, James Lampke, that Brookline had refused to take the allegations of racism and offers of mediation seriously.    

Phillip Martin, WGBH News, March 15, 2017.

avis car rental workers snag cert. in ot suit

A Massachusetts judge Wednesday gave the go-ahead to a class action suit alleging Avis Budget Car Rental LLC misclassified employees as managers to avoid paying them overtime.

Rick Archer, Law360, October 27, 2016.

DOMINO'S DRIVERS WIN CLASS CERT ON MASS. TIPS CLAIM

A federal judge in Boston certified a class on Thursday of Domino’s Pizza Inc. delivery drivers who say the company broke Massachusetts law when it kept delivery charges for itself instead of handing them over to the workers.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani said the case dealt with common questions of fact — whether Domino’s adequately informed customers that a delivery charge was not a tip.

Brian Amaral, Law360, September 1, 2016.

Fairmont copley hotel accused of altering worker timecards, skimping on pay

The company that operates the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in downtown Boston has been hit with a class action lawsuit claiming that hotel management told supervisors to secretly change employees’ timecards so that they would be paid less than the hours they worked.

Greg Ryan, Boston Business Journal, August 15, 2016.

Agreement's class-action waiver can't be enforced

A class-action waiver in a mandatory arbitration agreement between a Domino’s Pizza franchisee and its employees could not be enforced against delivery drivers asserting wage and tip law violations, a U.S. District Court judge has ruled. The plaintiff was a delivery driver who claimed in a putative class action that a “delivery charge” imposed on customers was in fact a “service charge” that the defendant franchisee illegally withheld from him and other drivers.

Eric T. Berkman, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, August 11, 2016.

brookline denies paid leave to officers who alleged racial bias

"Our clients have been the targets of workplace discrimination, and they face the threat of serious retaliation," one of their attorneys, Hillary Schwab of Fair Work P.C., said in a press release Thursday.  "The denial of paid administrative leave to these officers is outrageous."

Ellen Ishkanian, Boston Globe, March 11, 2016

Brookline officers file discrimination complaints with state commission

"There is a culture at the Town of Brookline Police Department, which is reinforced by the Chief and other Town officials, that employees should not complain about racial discrimination; that when such complaints are made, they are swept under the rug; and that individuals who complain about racial discrimination are ostracized and subjected to retaliation," their complaints state.

Ellen Ishkanian, Boston Globe, February 24, 2016

Fired Whole foods worker sues

Whole Foods has a reputation for opposing unions, noted Costello’s lawyer, Hillary Schwab, and the petition may look “a little too much like union organizing,” she said. In the 1980s, cofounder John Mackey famously compared unions to herpes, Costello noted.

“It was pretty clear that they had been trying to take advantage of these employees by having them work many more hours with more responsibility without raising their wages,” Schwab said. “I think they viewed Ryan as the ring leader on this and wanted to send a message to other employees not to continue to advocate for themselves.”

Katie Johnston, Boston Globe, January 22, 2016

Limo co. can't enforce forum selection clause

Hillary Schwab of Boston, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said the decision is an important one for workers bringing wage and misclassification claims because it confirms that such claims do not “arise under” independent contractor agreements that employers require workers to sign.

“As plaintiffs consistently argue in these cases, … claims for independent contractor misclassification and related claims have nothing to do with the contract that the employers made them sign, but instead have to do with the actual nature of the relationship between the workers and the employers,” she said.

Eric T. Berkman, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 22, 2015

judge rules boston police exam discriminated against minorities

A federal judge ruled Monday that the city of Boston discriminated against minorities by using a 2008 promotional exam to select police lieutenants that was slanted in favor of white candidates.

In an 82-page opinion, US District Judge William G. Young wrote: “This is a profoundly important case, one that evokes the finest of our nation’s aspirations to give everyone equal opportunity and a fair shot.”

Shelley Murphy, Boston Globe, November 17, 2015

Dominos sued by boston delivery driver over tips confusion

At least three similar cases have been filed in Massachusetts.  One case filed by driver Eduardo Carpaneda against many of the same defendants was settled for $19,500 before it went to trial.  Earlier this  year, a judge ordered the Domino's defendants to pay an additional $41,000 in attorneys' fees.  Another case was filed by driver Marilia Prinholato, who accepted a settlement of $46,500 plus attorneys fees.  A third case, filed by driver Edione Lisandro, is about to go to trial.  The same law firm, Fair Work P.C., represented the drivers in all four cases.

Jack Newsham, Boston Globe, October 2, 2015

Employee who worked during lunch hours can sue for overtime

Plaintiff's counsel Stephen S. Churchill of Fair Work, P.C. in Boston said the decision provides "important guidance" about an employer's obligation to ensure that workers are paid for overtime hours.

"If an employer has reason to believe that employees might be working unreported overtime, it cannot ignore its obligation to pay overtime simply because the employees are not reporting all of their hours," said Churchill.

Eric T. Berkman, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, September 2, 2015

Foxy Lady dancers launch class action suit over wages

An exotic dancer has brought a class action lawsuit against the Foxy Lady, alleging that the strip club violated fair labor standards by failing to pay her and other dancers a base wage and forcing them to 'tip-out' the house mom, deejay and others as a condition of their employment.

Katie Mulvaney, Providence Journal, May 29, 2015.

Legal Sea foods faces new lawsuit over shared tips

"Legal Sea Foods has been hit with another class-action lawsuit over tips, this time by wait staff in Kendall Square and Chestnut Hill who say that their gratuities were shared illegally with oyster shuckers.

According to state law, only employees who serve food or drinks to customers, or clear their tables, are entitled to tips. Requiring waiters and bartenders, who are paid a minimum of $3 an hour, to share tips with oyster shuckers violates the law, the complaint says, and therefore the restaurant chain owes servers and bartenders the full minimum wage, which rose to $9 an hour this year."

Katie Johnston, Boston Globe, March 21, 2015.

Attorneys - fees - minimum wage - tips

Where a plaintiff was awarded $19,500, the full amount requested in a suit brought under the Massachusetts minimum wage law and the Massachusetts tips law, the plaintiff should be granted the full amount of his claimed counsel fees ($41,320) and costs ($2,098.75).

Tom Egan, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 9, 2015

former prosecutor sues suffolk district attorney

"What is particularly disturbing about this case is that the DA's Office is charged with enforcing the law, and here it appears to have violated one of the core civil rights that employees have in the workplace," said Stephen S. Churchill, Corda's lawyer.

Megan Woodhouse, Boston Globe, March 4, 2015.

Legal Sea Foods sued over tip policy

“One of the problems with a practice like this is that the employer is having one group of employees pay another to do their job,” said Hillary Schwab, the lawyer representing the wait staff. “Silverware rolling has nothing to do with customer service, it’s just something that has to be done in the restaurant, and Legal was having the waiters pay the silverware rollers.”

Katie Johnston, Boston Globe, November 28, 2014.

Real estate agents, others fixed on matter before SJC

"One of the most high-profile cases remaining on the Supreme Judicial Court’s docket this year has started making waves months in advance of oral arguments scheduled for December.  In Monell, et al. v. Boston Pads, LLC, et al., the SJC will determine whether Suffolk Superior Court Judge Robert C. Cosgrove properly exempted the real estate industry from the state’s independent contractor law, G.L.c. 149, §148B."

Brandon Gee, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, October 9, 2014.

Retaliation claim by skycap can proceed

"'The 1st Circuit took this case as an opportunity to remind both plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys that a judge can only grant summary judgment if there are no disputes of fact. Here, there were plenty of disputes of fact about what the company’s motives were for terminating [the employee],' he said.

That is good news for employees because the 1st Circuit is clarifying that retaliation cases will not be subjected to a higher evidentiary standard or require a greater showing of causation or motive than any other case, Casavant added."

Eric T. Berkman, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 19, 2013.

Former aide plans to sue state auditor

"'This is a strong case and exactly what the First Amendment and whistleblower acts were intended to protect against,' said Marlin's lawyer, Hillary Schwab.

Jim O'Sullivan, Boston Globe, August 6, 2014.

Rainforest Cafe workers sue over wage-tip policy

"As a result of the Rainforest Cafe policy, Schwab says the restaurant failed to satisfy tip-credit standards that must be met to legally pay servers an hourly rate of $2.63. The general minimum wage in Massachusetts is $8 per hour. 'They should have paid the minimum wage in full,' Schwab said. 'Judicial rulings have decided that if you don’t do everything you are supposed to in order to pay the very low minimum wage, then your right to take the tip credit is invalidated.'"

Taryn Luna, Boston Globe, June 4, 2013.