Attorneys & Professionals

Kathryn M. Murphy

TEL: (617) 479-5000
EMAIL: kmurphy@mhtl.com

Ms. Murphy practices labor and employment law, emphasizing wage and hour, employment discrimination, employment contracts, and related litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Murphy served three years with the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Ms. Murphy worked two years as an Assistant Attorney in the Fair Labor Division where she handled criminal and administrative enforcement of labor laws including wage and hour, public construction, health and safety, child labor, unemployment taxation, and workers' compensation insurance. Before joining the Fair Labor Division, Ms. Murphy worked in the Attorney General's Public Protection area where she provided specialized financial support in fraud cases.

Ms. Murphy was recently appointed to the South Shore Chamber of Commerce's Human Resources Group Advisory Board. She has also been a member of the Office of the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Wage and Hour Advisory Committee, the Attorney General's Child Labor Task Force, and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Home Health Care and Home Care Task. Ms. Murphy is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section, and various other professional associations.

Ms. Murphy graduated cum laude from the Suffolk University Law School where she served on the International Law Review, and previously practiced as a Certified Public Accountant.

What's Happening @ MHTL?

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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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Legal Updates

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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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