Business & Employment Law

Working is one of the fundamental aspects of our lives. Whether you are an employee or a business owner, employment laws affect you on a daily basis. The decisions to hire or fire someone – or the experience of being on the other end of those decisions – often call for an attorney’s advice.

Levine-Piro Law offers employment law services for every stage in the employment relationship – and for both employers and employees. By understanding all sides of this important area of the law, we are able to offer services uniquely tailored to our clients’ needs.

Our services include representation for employment litigation, including cases involving wage and hour claims, discrimination and harassment, and wrongful termination. In addition, we draft and review all types of employment agreements from the inception to the conclusion of the employment relationship, including independent contractor arrangements, non-compete agreements, and separation or severance agreements.

We also serve as outside general counsel for small businesses and entrepreneurs, offer human resources consulting, and conduct workplace trainings for our clients.

If you have a need or concern in this area, please contact us to set up a consultation.

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Employment Litigation

Wage and Hour Litigation

Wage and Hour Litigation encompasses a wide range of issues, including misclassification of employees as independent contractors, compliance with the salary-basis requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, recordkeeping obligations, failure to pay overtime compensation, improper calculation of regular rate, failure to pay minimum wage, and other pay practice irregularities. Our attorneys here at Levine-Piro Law are well-versed in federal and state wage and hour laws and are happy to offer our legal expertise to represent both employers and employees in cases stemming from wage and hour disputes.

Wrongful Termination Claims

Wrongful termination occurs when an employee is wrongly fired by his or her employer. Various examples of wrongful termination include being fired on a discriminatory basis, being fired as a way of retaliating after complaining about an unlawful workplace practice, being fired for refusing to commit an illegal act, or being fired in a way that violates the termination procedures outlined in one’s employment agreement. If you have been fired for one of these reasons, you may have a valid claim for wrongful termination against your former employer. Speaking with an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Discrimination and Harassment

Employment discrimination is a form of discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or age by employers. It is illegal to discriminate against or harass a person based on these attributes. Additionally, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has held that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation is an extension of discrimination based on one’s sex, and is therefore unlawful. The state of Massachusetts also has supplementary laws banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of discrimination and would like to learn more about your legal rights regarding discrimination, please contact our legal team here at Levine-Piro Law.

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Employment Agreements

Non-compete Agreements

In a climate of increasing worker mobility and competition for talent, employers need to be vigilant in ensuring that effective non-compete agreements are in place to protect their companies. A non-compete agreement is a contract between two parties in which one party agrees not to compete with the other for a period of time. Such agreements are usually drafted to prevent departing employees from starting a competing business or going to work for a rival company, although they may also be drafted as a precondition to a business relationship. Non-compete agreements lessen the prospect that knowledge gained by an employee or business partner, such as sensitive information regarding customer or client lists, business practices, or upcoming products, will be used in the future to compete against them.

Employment Agreements and Independent Contractor Agreements

Effective employment or independent contractor agreements are essential for creating a healthy business relationship. These contracts are generally entered into before the start of the employment relationship between an employee and employer and set forth the material terms of the relationship. This can include the duration of employment, compensation, benefits, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the executive and employer. Employment agreements may also establish a mechanism for dispute resolution. Employment and independent contractor agreements are vital both for protecting the rights of employees or independent contractors and for protecting employers against future lawsuits.

Separation Agreements

When an employee departs, it can be to the benefit of all parties for a negotiated separation agreement to be put in place. Typically, these agreements involve the employer giving a benefit to the employee (such as a severance payment and/or an agreement not to contest unemployment) in exchange for the departing employee’s agreement to waive any legal claims he or she may have. There are a multitude of components that can and should go into an effective separation agreement, and the law imposes strict standards on these agreements especially where the departing employee is over 40 years ago. Consultation with an attorney is essential before entering into such an agreement.

If you have a need or concern in this area, please contact us to set up a consultation.

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Outside Human Resources

Levine-Piro Law routinely serves as outside counsel for small businesses who want to ensure that they comply with employment laws and implement best practices. In many cases, companies retain us to function as an “outside” human resources department.

Our yearly retainer for this service includes unlimited legal services and advice on everything but litigation.

For example, our services frequently include drafting employee handbooks that comply with Massachusetts and federal employment laws, incorporate industry standards and best practices, and are tailored to your needs; drafting and reviewing non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements; drafting social media policies; advising employers on new hires; overseeing thoughtful and lawful termination of employees; and, where necessary, drafting separation agreements to protect our business clients from potential litigation.

In addition, when we function as outside HR, we are available to address the needs of our clients on an ongoing basis. Instead of being retained only in the event of a crisis, our clients can get advice on issues as they arise.

If you have a need or concern in this area, please contact us to set up a consultation.

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Workplace Trainings

While workplace trainings are not required under Massachusetts law, they are encouraged. Having well trained staff on critical business issues is not a “nice to have,” but a necessity. Trainings can help the day to day functioning of your business and are a great tool in risk management. Trainings are available to your business on a variety of mission-critical issues. Each training is designed for two hours, but can be extended based on your business’ needs.

Available Trainings:

  • Diversity Training
  • Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodation Training
  • Sexual Harassment Training