Attorneys & Professionals

Clifford R. Rhodes

Mr. Rhodes received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa where he was a University Honors Scholar. In 1992, Mr. Rhodes received his. J.D. from the University of Iowa, College of Law graduating with distinction, and serving as a member of the Iowa Law Review. Mr. Rhodes served as an Assistant Utah Attorney General, where he received the State of Utah Award for outstanding service. He has also served as a prosecutor and most recently served as counsel for the Cambridge Health Alliance and has appeared extensively before the EEOC, the MCAD, and the UADD (Utah’s equivalent to MCAD), as well as before state and federal courts in Utah and Massachusetts. In addition, Mr. Rhodes has testified and argued before legislative subcommittees on labor and employment issues. Mr. Rhodes concentrates in litigationlabor and employment benefits law with both private and public sector clients.

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Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce: Labor & Law Employment Update

MHTL attorneys Katherine Hesse and Kier Wachterhauser will be presenting information regarding important legal issues and developments in the Labor & Employment field at a Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce (NVCC) event on Thursday, November 15th.  These presentations will include a comprehensive overview of major legislative/regulatory/case law developments, as well as best practices in navigating issues such as marijuana in the workplace and sexual harassment.

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Supreme Judicial Court Issues Important Decision Protecting Employers – Back Pay Awards Do Not Constitute “Wages” Under the Wage Act and Thus Are Not Subject To Trebling

In a recent decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC” or “Court”) declined to classify a court-ordered “back pay” award as “wages” under the Massachusetts Wage Act (“Wage Act”).   In response to a request for briefs from the Court, Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP (MHTL), on behalf of its public and private clients, submitted an amicus brief, supporting the defendant employer’s position.   The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the New England Legal Foundation also submitted amici briefs.  This decision – a significant victory for employers – has far-reaching consequences and helps to protect employers from punitive and excessive penalties in many employment contexts.  Had the case been decided for the plaintiffs, it could have had significant ramifications for employers, extending the punitive damage scheme under the Wage Act (strict liability, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, individual liability, etc.) to a myriad of different employment contexts.

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