Practice Areas

Discrimination Law

We live in uncertain times; no one has the certainty of continued employment. Many businesses go under, many others legitimately downsize and employees either lose their jobs or their pay is reduced. Yet, many employees lose their jobs for illegitimate reasons; employers terminate older employees in favor of younger employees to reduce salaries and benefits costs. Despite years of anti-employment discrimination laws on the books, many employees are discriminated due to their sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, or because of their race or national origin. Each year the courts make it more difficult to prove that the real reason for the employment action was the illegitimate one. We now have to prove that the motivating reason was the unlawful reason and but for that unlawful motivation the adverse employment action (refusal to hire, promote, or termination) would not have happened. Despite the obstacles, these cases can be proven, including by circumstantial evidence, and, over many years, I have succeeded on behalf of clients I have served.

Wage and Hour Law

These economic times lend themselves to employers cutting corners by not paying employees according to state and federal wage and hour laws. This includes workers not being paid the minimum wage, which in Massachusetts is currently $8.00 per hour, employees who are not exempt under state and/or federal law not being paid overtime (time and one-half for over 40 hours worked in a workweek), employers under the misconception that a worker is automatically exempt if paid a salary, or overtime being incorrectly computed. Many employers mistakenly classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, thereby not making the appropriate deductions that benefit workers. There are employers who believe they can pay workers under the table in cash. I have handled many cases in these areas of the law over the years. I am the co-author of a chapter on overtime law in Massachusetts Employment Law, a publication of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.

Severance Agreements

In efforts to downsize, some employers offer severance agreements, some of which are legitimate and others not. Before an employee signs such an agreement, s/he ought to seek a legal review of the proposed agreement to see if it is legitimate or masking an unlawful employment termination due to illegitimate reasons.

Non-Compete Agreements

Likewise, many employees are required to sign non-compete agreements, meaning that they are prohibited from working for other employers in the same field or in the same or similar geographical area served by their current employer. This can be a stranglehold on their ability to earn a living and such agreements ought to be reviewed; many of these agreements have been successfully challenged or narrowed.

Other Employment Issues

These and other related employment issues are the focus of Rom Law P.C. While the emphasis is on representing employees wrongfully treated, I have provided legal advice to employers who want to follow the employment laws and who request guidance.