Attorneys & Professionals

Sarah C. Spatafore

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

Ms. Spatafore is an associate attorney with the firm. She practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients.  Ms. Spatafore also handles education issues.  Ms. Spatafore has represented clients before a number of courts and administrative tribunals at both the state and federal level.  She regularly conducts seminars and training programs on unlawful harassment, preventing discrimination, and a variety of other labor and employment issues.  Ms. Spatafore has completed all the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination-certified “Train-the-Trainer” courses.

Ms. Spatafore graduated from Bates College in 2007. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Spatafore spent a year working on a presidential campaign and then served as a presidential appointee at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Washington, D.C.  She received her Juris Doctor, with Honors, from Boston College Law School in 2012. In law school, Ms. Spatafore interned at the Massachusetts Superior Court. As a law student, Ms. Spatafore was a member of the Jessup International Moot Court team.  The team won the Northeast Super Regional Competition and, in the Jessup Cup International Rounds, Ms. Spatafore individually placed 3rd among several hundred oralists. She was a co-recipient of the third year best oralist award at Boston College Law School.  Prior to matriculating with the firm, Ms. Spatafore worked for a presidential campaign as a law clerk and was sent to a targeted swing state to serve as the Election Day Operations Director for the general election.

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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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