Attorneys & Professionals

Katherine A. Hesse

TEL: (617) 479-5000

Katherine Hesse is one of the founding partners of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP. Ms. Hesse concentrates her practice primarily in labor and employment and employee benefits law serving as counsel to individuals, business, government, and tax exempt organizations including hospitals, colleges, churches, and major private and public retirement and health plans. She has litigated numerous employment and benefits cases before the state and federal trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators. She is also an active practitioner in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, conciliation, fact finding and various forms of arbitration.

Ms. Hesse is past Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Boston Bar Association and member of the Labor Law Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association. She has served as president of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists and as chair of the Attorney's Committee of the International Foundation of Employees Benefit Plans. A member of the Editorial Board of Benefits Quarterly, she leads the team of attorneys who write its Legal-Legislative-Regulatory Update. In addition to her professional commitments, Ms. Hesse also serves or has served on a number of boards including the following:

  • House of Delegates, Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Trustee and Oliver Wendell Holmes Life Fellow of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation (the charitable arm of the Massachusetts Bar Association)
  • Board of Directors of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • President, South Shore Chamber of Commerce (the largest Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts with over 2,800 members)
  • Senior Advisory Council, Massachusetts Healthcare Human Resources Association
  • Member of the Board of Directors of St. Mary's Women and Children's Center
  • Past President, The Alliance of Women's Business and Professional Organizations (an umbrella organization of women's business organizations dedicated to enhancing the power, visibility and influence of business and professional women)
  • Former Vice Chair of the Board, Saint John of God Hospital
  • Former Chairman of the Board, St. Coletta's of Massachusetts, Inc., the parent holding company of the Cardinal Cushing School and Training Center, the Braintree St. Coletta's Day School, and the Cardinal Cushing Residence. For over fifty years, St. Coletta's schools have provided programs for the developmentally disabled and, more recently, subsidized housing for clients with special needs

In May of 2009, Ms. Hesse received the Women of Distinction Award from the Woodward School for Girls in Quincy, MA. This award recognizes two women from the South Shore community who have displayed a genuine commitment to community service, high moral character, and who have been successful in their vocations.

She was the 1997 recipient of the Cushing-Gavin Award for excellence in providing management labor relations legal counsel and a 2002 recipient of the Patriots' Trail Girl Scouts Leading Women Award. She also heads the team of attorneys that was named the only firm in New England and one of only eleven in the United States on the special ERISA fiduciary litigation panel for one of the world's largest insurance companies and recently successfully concluded a $110,000,000 class action lawsuit. An MCAD certified trainer, she frequently conducts training seminars for the MBA, MCLE, BBA, and for clients and other professional and business groups on employment and benefits related topics including sexual harassment and diversity.

Ms. Hesse is a graduate of Smith College and the Boston University School of Law. She is admitted to the Bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

What's Happening @ MHTL?

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St Florian & Feeney Named By Board of Bar Overseers

MHTL is pleased to announce that two of its attorneys have been named by the Board of Bar Overseers to serve as Hearing Officers for the 2019-2021 term. Alisia St. Florian is a Partner in the firm’s Education Department. Focusing her practice on the representation of public school districts and collaborative schools in matters pertaining to special education, student discipline and civil rights matters. Matthew Feeney is an Attorney in the firm’s litigation department, having served as an Assistant District Attorney prior to joining the firm. Matt has extensive trial experience with close to 100 jury trials in his career. MHTL is honored to be the only firm having two of its attorneys serving as BBO Hearing Officers for this upcoming term.

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Legal Updates

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U.S. Department of Labor Proposes [Again] Increasing Salary Minimum for Federal Overtime Exemption

As you know from prior Client Alerts, in 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed, among other things, increasing the “salary level test” for exempt employees from the current $455 per week (or $23,660/year) to an indexed amount originally proposed at about $970 per week (or $50,440/year).  The DOL also proposed increasing the “highly compensated employee” exemption from the current $100,000 per year to an indexed amount originally proposed at about $123,000 per year.  After those changes were memorialized in a Final Rule, these proposed changes were challenged in court and essentially abandoned by DOL after the 2016 election.

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