Employment Law for Individuals

Representing employees in workplace disputes has been a specialty at Cohen Kinne Valicenti & Cook since its inception.

We believe that all employees are entitled to receive wages they have earned, including overtime, commissions, and bonuses.  We also believe that all types of workplace discrimination and harassment, whether based upon gender, race, national origin, age, disability, sex, or sexual orientation are unacceptable, no matter the type or size of the business.  Our employment lawyers are accessible, approachable, compassionate, and caring, and will not only represent your legal interests, but will also be a part of your support system during this challenging time.  For summaries on recent changes to employment law, view our blog: CKVC Works

Wage and Hour and Overtime

You work hard, and you have the right to be paid what you are owed. Numerous laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Massachusetts Wage and Tip Acts require employers to pay their employees what they are owed and stiffly penalize employers who fail to do so. Our attorneys know wage-and-hour law inside and out, and regularly represent individuals whose employers have violated local, state, and federal laws governing the payment of overtime, bonuses, tips, commissions, and other types of compensation. We also represent employees who have been misclassified as independent contractors. We frequently pursue these claims on a class or collective basis and recover two and sometimes three times the wrongfully withheld amount.

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment

Every individual has a right to a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment, whether based upon someone’s age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, gender identity, or ethnicity. Laws such as Massachusetts Chapter 151B, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act make these employee rights a reality and provide extensive remedies for employees who have worked in a hostile work environment. Discrimination and harassment can take many forms, including demotion, failures to promote, unfair discipline or termination, hostile comments, workplace bullying, reduction in pay, changes in schedule, transfer of locations, and elimination of responsibilities. We have successfully represented individuals who have suffered unlawful workplace discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment, and will tirelessly advocate for your protection in the workplace.

Workplace Retaliation

Individuals who have the courage to challenge conduct they believe to be unlawful should be protected and not disciplined for doing the right thing. Unfortunately, many employers retaliate against employees who express concern about conduct they believe is unlawful. Our employment lawyers regularly work with employees who suffer retaliation, and have successfully recovered sizable awards for these clients, including claims arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Massachusetts Wage Act, Massachusetts Chapter 151B, Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. We are experienced and knowledgeable in laws prohibiting retaliation and are ready to help you through this difficult time.

Class and Collective Actions

Employers who violate the law and workers’ rights often do so in a way that affects a large group of individuals. In these instances, class and collective actions allow the injured employees to sue their employers as a group. We have considerable experience representing groups of injured employees, including bringing group claims under the Massachusetts Tip Act, the Massachusetts Wage Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act, across a wide variety of industries.

Termination and Separation Agreements

Employees are frequently asked to sign termination or separation agreements when their employment ends. Understanding these agreements is critical, as they often include a promise from the employee to release potentially valuable claims and not to sue his or her employer. We work with you to obtain the best possible separation terms and to aggressively pursue those terms through negotiation, mediation, or litigation.

Employment Agreements

Employees are often asked to sign a number of documents when they begin their jobs. These documents typically include important provisions that will govern their employment, including how they will be paid, promises to be employed at-will and non-compete promises. Our attorneys have considerable experience negotiating these agreements on behalf of employees and can help you decipher the complexities and understand the full implications of entering into these agreements.

Layoffs and Closings

Our employment lawyers frequently represent employees who have been affected by a reduction in force or who have lost their jobs because of a workplace closure. Important state and federal laws, including the WARN Act, provide important protections and rights to these employees, and we can help you navigate them.

Employee Privacy and Technology

Employee privacy and technology is one of the most rapidly changing areas of the law. We advocate on behalf of employees to ensure that their rights are protected and to address situations where employers have improperly invaded employee privacy. This includes claims and issues arising out of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, credit checks, background checks, invasion of privacy, monitoring use of technology, and monitoring social media use.
Contact our team
Contact Us

CKVC Works