Meet Our Employment Lawyers
Our employment law team has helped both employers and individual employees in a wide variety of employment law matters. We bring over thirty five years combined experience in Massachusetts state and federal courts to each matter we handle.
Emily Smith-Lee is the owner and founder of slnlaw. She has been practicing law since 1996. She began her practice in a large Boston, Massachusetts law firm. There, she represented businesses large and small in all aspects of civil litigation. She left that firm in 2009 to start her own law firm.
Since then, Emily has represented clients on both the employer and employee side in employment disputes. These include wrongful termination claims, wage and hour violations, fiduciary duty claims, and disputes over non compete agreements. She has helped employees negotiate severance packages and employment agreements. She also works with small business owners and managers to avoid employment disputes or resolve them before they lead to litigation.
Emily has been named to the Super Lawyers directory every year since 2013. She was also named one of Massachusetts Lawyers' Weekly's 2018 Lawyers of the Year. This award recognized her achievement in winning an underdog case before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that changed Massachusetts law.
Emily is the author of "Rules of the Road- What You Need to Know About Employment Law in Massachusetts." She has also appeared as a guest on podcasts, radio shows and a local cable show to discuss employment law issues.
Rebecca Rogers is a 2007 graduate of Boston College Law School and a former clerk for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. She also worked at a large Boston law firm for several years. Rebecca represents employees in discrimination and wrongful termination claims, as well as wage and hour claims. As a former clerk at the state's highest appeals court, Rebecca also assists with representing individuals and businesses who need to pursue an appeal.
Jenna Ordway has been practicing law since 2013. In addition to her work as our lead estate planning attorney, Jenna also represents clients in employment disputes. She has helped people reach resolution in disability discrimination, race discrimination, gender discrimination claims and more.
Jenna is the author of "The Road to Peace of Mind- What You Need to Know About Estate Planning." She was recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2019.
Employment Law Practice Areas
The types of matters our employment law team handles include:
Wrongful Termination. This includes termination based on discrimination or retaliation for reporting discrimination. It also includes actions taken in reprisal for reporting sexual harassment, taking medical leave, or filing for workers compensation benefits. In some situations, termination of a shareholder employee can give rise to a claim as well.
Employment Contract Review. We can help you review and understand your employment contract, either before you accept the job or if issues arise later.
Promissory Estoppel. If an employment termination violates a clear and unambiguous promise made at the start of employment, you may be able to enforce that promise.
Sexual Harassment. We have handled complaints of direct sexual harassment. We also handle claims arising from behavior that creates a hostile work environment.
FMLA and Earned Sick Time. We have helped both employees and employers ensure compliance with state and federal laws about family and medical leave.
Overtime Pay. We have secured compensation for many individuals improperly classified under the overtime laws. We also work with small business owners to make sure their policies do not create a risk for an overtime lawsuit.
Wage and Hour Disputes. We have helped many employees enforce their right to payment of earned wages and commissions. Our trial lawyers have also litigated wage and hour claims on behalf of both employees and business owners.
Equal Pay. We have represented women who were paid less than male colleagues for equal or comparable work.
Independent Contractor Status. Many workers in Massachusetts who are paid as 1099 employees are not properly classified under the law. We help employees get compensation for the benefits they miss as contractors. We also help small businesses understand and apply the independent contractor laws in Massachusetts.
Non Compete Agreements. We have helped many employees to transition to a new job despite a non compete or other obligations to their employer.
We also help individuals considering a new non compete agreement. Our fast turnaround review service will help assess whether the agreement is enforceable. Where necessary, we have also litigated disputes over non competes.
Severance Package Negotiation. Not all disputes about a job termination result in a lawsuit. We have helped many individuals negotiate severance packages that adequately compensate them for the job loss and release of claims.
Working With Our Employment Lawyers
Working with our employment lawyers is easy. Below is a brief overview of our process. All engagements with slnlaw begin with a free consultation.
Services for employees who have been fired. At the free consultation, we will identify any potential legal claims you might have. If you choose to move forward, an attorney will be assigned to assess those claims. Usually that assessment is done for a flat fee.
Once the case assessment is complete, you generally have three choices. You can accept the termination and move on, bring a lawsuit, or attempt to negotiate an appropriate severance package. Most people choose to start with trying to negotiate a severance agreement, though some cases go straight into suit.
Our attorneys can help with either. Negotiating severance is generally done as a combination of the initial flat fee and a contingent fee based on what you recover. If and when a lawsuit needs to be filed, the fees for that are usually contingent upon recovery, less the flat fee you have paid at the beginning.
Services for employees with wage and hour disputes. Like termination, the process starts with a free consultation. If it appears that you may have a claim, you will be assigned an attorney to assess that claim. Because the wage and hour laws require the employer to pay your legal fees if you win, the bulk of our fees on these matters are deferred until resolution of your matter.
Non compete services. If you have been given time to review a new non compete agreement, we can fast track the process and get you assigned to an attorney immediately to review your agreement. If you have a potential dispute about a non compete, we will first try to negotiate a resolution for a flat fee. If it cannot be resolved and there is a lawsuit, we will discuss an appropriate fee arrangement with you at that time.
Services for small business owners. If you find yourself named in an employment lawsuit, we can help get you through it. We can also offer proactive services to help keep you out of court. These include review of employment policies, making sure your employee classifications are correct, and helping guide you through a termination. This work is generally done on an hourly fee basis, though there are some things we can do for a flat fee.
Need Help With an Employment Law Issue?
Advice for Massachusetts Employers in Managing the Coronavirus Emergency
Massachusetts Unemployment for Workers Affected by Coronavirus
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Massachusetts Independent Contractors and COVID 19
Employee Rights During COVID 19
Links to Massachusetts Employment Law Resources
"Emily is an incredible resource of knowledge on employment law. She helped guide us on how to structure our employee classifications and made adjustments to our consulting agreements so our business is better protected and positioned. She's both law-savvy and business minded - great asset to have when launching/growing a business." Diana B.
"SLN represented me in a complicated employment-related dispute. What could have been a prolonged nightmare for me was handled swiftly and skillfully, and with fairness and dignity." Smita N.
"Long overdue public words of gratitude for Emily and her associates' work on my behalf. They were so very respectful of me during an emotionally and financially ridden time -- and that mattered more than the positive result. May all clients have such advocates on their sides!" Donna B.
"Emily Smith Lee handled my age discrimination case against my former employer. She was thorough and professional throughout the whole legal process. Due to her knowledge and efforts we came to an out of court financial settlement with a victory. I would highly recommend Emily to anyone as an extremely competent attorney." Mark B.
"After more than a year of discrimination and harassment in my previous position at a teaching hospital, I was finally at the point when I knew I needed help, otherwise I could break. Thus, I started to search Massachusetts Employment regulations, and one of my Google searches brought me to an advertisement for Emily E. Smith-Lee’s book “Rules of the Road. What You Need to Know About Employment Laws in Massachusetts.” It was my lucky day, and the start of my road out of the continued misery in my workplace... I would like sincerely to thank them both for their excellent job, and emotional support and encouragement. If you feel harassed, bullied, or discriminated against, Emily and Jack are the ones who will go out of their way to help you." Valentina W.
How to Get Started
We can help you assess your employment situation and get clarity on your rights and obligations. You can use the button below to schedule a call back from a member of our team, give us a call at 781-784-2322, or fill out our web form to let us know a little more about your situation.