The Boston Regional Solicitor's Office is responsible for civil trial litigation and legal advice and support for the U.S. Department of Labor for matters arising in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode island
The Boston Regional Solicitor's Office employs approximately 28 attorneys and 5 legal support staff.
WHAT WE DO:
The Boston Regional Solicitor's Office:
- recommends and prosecutes litigation in administrative law courts and U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts throughout New England;
- provides legal and strategic advice and assistance to DOL worker protection agencies in support of their enforcement priorities;
- works cooperatively with state and local governments and with worker advocacy organizations to achieve common worker protection goals; and
- assists United States Attorney's offices and state and local prosecutors in the prosecution of criminal cases arising from DOL agency civil investigations
Attorneys employed by the Boston Regional Solicitor's Office may be called upon to handle matters in any of the Department of Labor's program areas. Most work performed in this region arises out of investigative activity by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (including Whistleblower), the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Wage and Hour Division, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Among the industries we often deal with are construction, restaurants, temporary staffing agencies, insurance companies, and financial services companies. We frequently handle cases involving:
- vulnerable workers misclassified as independent contractors or otherwise victimized by predatory employment practices
- correction of systemic violations on an enterprise-wide basis where conditions warrant, including from:
- employers operating in multiple states, engaged in wage theft or unsafe work practices, and
- financial institution and insurance company service providers to pension and welfare plans
OSH Act Enforcement
Enforcing an OSHA administrative subpoena to a Massachusetts behavioral health hospital and its parent company after they failed to provide the documents requested and obtaining more than $30,000 in attorneys’ fees after the companies’ outside counsel repeatedly asserted baseless arguments.
Supporting the federal criminal prosecution and conviction of the owner of a Connecticut construction company who made false statements concerning OSHA’s investigation of one of the company’s work sites.
Seeking to enforce a contempt order issued by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to a Massachusetts roofing company after the company failed to honor a settlement agreement with OSHA in which the company pledged to pay its outstanding OSHA penalties and implement specific safety improvements.
Helping to negotiate favorable resolutions of citations issued by OSHA regarding inspections that were conducted where one or more employees were killed, suffered severe injury, or were at risk of same, including inspections involving:
- Hazardous chemical exposures at a Connecticut testing facility;
- Fall protection exposures at a Maine construction site;
- Severe burns suffered by an employee at a Massachusetts plastic packaging facility.
Obtaining a $650,000 jury verdict in U.S. District Court against a Massachusetts construction company and its chief executive officer that retaliated against an employee after he reported an injury by initiating a law enforcement investigation and facilitating his detention by immigration authorities.
Obtaining a consent judgment requiring a Connecticut manufacturing company to pay $160,000 in back wages, interest, emotional and exemplary damages to two employees who were fired after filing OSHA complaints.
Wage and Hour Enforcement
Securing a consent preliminary injunction against a Connecticut bakery and its owner prohibiting them from retaliating against employees and obstructing the Department’s investigation, as well as a consent judgment against the owner and his three bakeries which require them to pay $952,000 in back wages and liquidated damages.
Obtaining a consent preliminary injunction against two Connecticut restaurants and their owners prohibiting them from retaliating or discriminating against employees, as well as a consent judgment requiring them to pay $150,000 to employees they coerced into paying illegal kickbacks.
Securing a consent judgment against a national courier service that misclassified drivers as independent contractors. The judgment requires the company to pay $575,000 to 62 employees in back wages and liquidated damages, and ensure future FLSA compliance at all its locations.
Obtaining $1.8 million in back wages and liquidated damages for 478 misclassified employees through a contempt action in U.S. District Court against two Massachusetts construction companies that failed to comply with a consent judgment.
Winning summary judgment against a Massachusetts restaurant and its owner to recover $312,000 in back wages, stolen tips and liquidated damages, as well as $25,000 in punitive damages for retaliating against workers who cooperated with the Department’s investigation.
Employee Retirement and Income Security Act Enforcement
Securing a consent judgment requiring a Connecticut nursing home operator and its principal to restore almost $4 million to the company’s health and retirement plans.
Negotiating a settlement with a Maine welding equipment supplier and its owners that required the company to pay $6.3 million to participants in its employee stock ownership plan after the company owners manipulated the valuation of the shares in the plan to the detriment of the participants and beneficiaries.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Enforcement
Assisting OFCCP obtain a conciliation agreement requiring the University of Connecticut to pay $249,539 to resolve alleged pay discrimination against seven female employees, as well as ensuring that all employees are afforded equal employment opportunities.
Assisting OFCCP obtain a conciliation agreement requiring a Rhode Island law firm to pay $150,000 in lost bonuses and interest to resolve alleged pay discrimination against 22 female associates, as well as ensuring that all employees are afforded equal employment opportunities.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AGENCIES SUPPORTED:
- Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
- Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
LAW AND PARALEGAL STUDENT INTERN PROGRAM:
The Boston Regional Solicitor's Office operates a vigorous law and paralegal student intern program year-round, offering students exposure to the full range of activities the office engages in. Several of our former interns have gone on to become participants in the Department's Honors Program.
|John F. Kennedy - Federal Office Building
Government Center, Room E-375
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-2142 (FAX
|DEPUTY REGIONAL SOLICITOR
|Christine T. Eskilson
|Counsel for Civil Rights / Whistleblower
|Counsel for ERISA
|Christine A. Collins
|Counsel for Wage and Hour Programs
|Counsel for OSHA
|Judy L. Nelson