Section Review

Labor and Employment Law comments

James Glickman is a senior trial attorney in the Office of the Solicitor, United States Department of Labor in Boston.
As this year's chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section, I am looking forward to a very active and productive year, building on our past efforts. The Labor and Employment Law Section will be sponsoring topical, cutting-edge educational programs, assisting state agencies serving labor and employment law practitioners, and carrying out community-service/pro bono projects, to name just some of the section's activities.

As always, the Labor and Employment Law Section is planning a full slate of education programs and luncheon roundtables for this year. By way of example, "Making and Breaking Non-Compete Agreements" was hosted on Nov. 5 featuring experienced practitioners Jay Shepherd, Bret Cohen and Catherine Reuben.

In the spring, the section will sponsor its 25th annual spring conference, the do-not-miss educational event of the year for the section. We are always interested in hearing ideas for educational programs to assist us in meeting the needs of our section's members. Please e-mail me at [e-mail glickman.james] with any suggestions for educational programs that you may have.

One of the section's top priorities this year is to monitor the impact of the state's ongoing budget woes, reportedly featuring a $1 billion deficit next fiscal year, on state agencies in the labor and employment field. These agencies include the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Civil Service Commission, the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration and the Joint Labor-Management Committee. Our Section Council is also exploring how the MBA can be of assistance.

In this vein, I have established an MCAD working group, an ad hoc group made up of an even number of plaintiff and management attorneys. This working group will work together and will be in touch with the MCAD, seeking practical suggestions on which attorneys on both sides of the aisle agree, which can assist the MCAD in carrying out its duties. And just as the MCAD working group will provide a useful liaison to the MCAD, the section will be in close touch with the other state labor and employment labor agencies, concerning budget and other concerns. These agencies serve labor and employment law practitioners and their clients well only when they are functioning at an adequate professional level, and their well-being is of great concern to the section and all who are affected by the important work these agencies perform.

The section also will participate once again this year in two important community-service/pro bono projects. First, the section will participate in an MCAD mediation project, where an attorney meets with both parties and attempts to mediate an MCAD case. Secondly, section members will visit high schools to inform students of basic employment and labor law rights and responsibilities. I know from having visited a high school last year that it is worthwhile and rewarding both for student and attorney alike. If you are interested in the high school project, please contact Public Service Director Elizabeth O'Neil at the MBA at (617) 338-0560 or [e-mail oneill].

In sum, the Labor and Employment Law Section has many exciting programs and events on tap for this year, and we look forward to including as many of you as possible in the fruits of our efforts.

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