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Labor, Employment and Benefits


We put a seasoned, interdisciplinary team to work for our clients, combining the highest levels of experience and skill to deliver outstanding legal services in the most efficient manner possible. With all of its lawyers based in Massachusetts and collaborating on every detail, Nutter’s Labor, Employment and Benefits team is constantly poised to deliver consistent, high-caliber representation to our clients.

Nutter was one of the first major Boston law firms to establish a traditional labor practice. As a leader in the field, we advise many employers on a wide range of labor-management issues. Our lawyers represent both private and public sector labor clients, including educational institutions, health care providers, transportation companies, retail operations, manufacturers, energy providers, and media operations.

The labor services we provide to clients include: 

  • Union Avoidance: We advise clients on measures and strategies to avoid unionization, and the development of effective employee communication initiatives. 
  • Union Organizing Efforts, Neutrality and Card Check Agreements and Union Elections: We advise clients in responding to union organizing drives and efforts by unions to obtain neutrality and card check agreements. We represent clients during both private and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections, and assist clients in developing and implementing appropriate campaign strategies. 
  • Collective Bargaining: Our lawyers represent clients during collective bargaining negotiations with unionized workforces, and often serve as primary negotiators for clients at the bargaining table. 
  • Labor Arbitrations: We advise clients in responding to contractual grievances and represent clients in arbitration proceedings. 
  • Unfair Labor Practice Charges: We counsel clients in responding to allegations of unfair labor practices and, when necessary, represent clients in proceedings before the NLRB. 
  • Strike Contingency Planning: We assist clients in developing strike contingency plans and counsel clients in responding to picketing activities. When necessary, we represent clients in obtaining injunctive relief for unlawful picketing. 
  • Labor Management Relations: We counsel clients on a day-to-day basis on the myriad of issues that relate to the labor-management relationship, and assist clients in interpreting their legal obligations under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Our lawyers continuously consult with our clients about employment-related issues, and proactively seek methods and strategies for clients to reduce legal risk and  avoid unnecessary and costly litigation. When required, however, we represent our clients on employment-related litigation matters and have a proven track record of success in such litigation. The employment law services we provide include the following: 

  • Personnel Policies and Practices: We advise our clients on the need for personnel policies and practices that are required by law and/or advisable to ensure compliance with the law and reduce legal risk. In many cases, we draft policies, applications, guidelines, employee manuals, and other employment related documents for our clients. 
  • Employment Related Agreements: We advise clients on issues relating to the employment of key personnel and frequently draft employment and independent contractor agreements, confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-competition agreements, and severance agreements. 
  • Wage and Hour Compliance: We advise clients on matters relating to federal and state wage and hour laws, draft policies relating to these laws, and represent clients during state and federal wage and hour law audits and investigations. 
  • Affirmative Action Plans: We counsel clients on affirmative action compliance and draft affirmative action plans and assist clients with required statistical reporting. 
  • Occupational Safety and Health: We advise clients with respect to OSHA regulations and standards, assist in the development of employer policies and programs relating to OSHA, and represent clients during investigations by OSHA at employer work premises. 
  • Mergers, Acquisitions, Restructurings: We counsel employers on the host of employment-related issues that arise in the context of mergers, acquisitions, and employer restructuring, including compliance with the WARN Act, state plant closing laws, and NLRA issues. 
  • Employment Litigation: In those cases where litigation is required, we represent employers in a wide array of employment-related litigation matters. We regularly assist clients in responding to administrative charges at the state and federal level and regularly represent clients in employment related lawsuits in state and federal courts. We also represent clients in labor related litigation before the NLRB, OSHA-related litigation, and in mediations, arbitrations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

Our ERISA and employee benefits lawyers provide advice and representation to sponsors and fiduciaries of employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. Our lawyers advise plan administrators, plan sponsors, including publicly-traded companies, and other plan fiduciaries on all aspects of plan design and continuing compliance with the applicable requirements of ERISA, the tax code, and where applicable, state insurance laws. Our Employee Benefits practice group has earned a particularly strong reputation for their work in tax-advantaged deferred compensation programs, which are critical to attracting top-level talent. The benefits services we provide include: 

  • Counsel Relating to Benefit Plans: We assist clients in maintaining the tax-qualified status of pension, profit-sharing, savings, and retirement plans, including 401(k), 403(b), 408, and 457 plans, and provide advice for non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements, including 409A plans. 
  • Plan Design: We assist clients in designing and administering stock-based compensation programs. 
  • Fiduciary Obligations: We assist clients in meeting fiduciary rules of conduct and the development of “best practices” for fiduciary decision making. 
  • Representation Before Agencies: We regularly represent employers in audit and other proceedings before government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service. 
  • Reporting and Notice Obligations: We assist clients on meeting reporting and disclosure obligations, including those relating to SARs, SPDs, and SMMs. We also assist clients in meeting notice requirements under HIPAA and COBRA. 
  • Litigation: We represent plan administrators, plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries in litigation relating to the administration of benefit plans.

View Practice Team

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • ALM Works, Inc.

    Nutter served as legal counsel to ALM Works, Inc., the developer of software products to empower project managers around the world with visibility and control, in connection with its acquisition by Tempo Software, a leading provider in team time management and productivity-enhancing solutions.

  • Connected Home Care, LLC

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Connected Home Care, LLC, a leading home care provider serving Medicaid, dual-eligible, and private pay clients throughout Eastern Massachusetts, in connection with its acquisition by HouseWorks, LLC, one of the nation’s largest independent home care companies.

  • Ce3, Inc.

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Ce3, Inc., a full-service CRO focused on providing early phase oncology clinical development services to the biotechnology industry, in connection with its acquisition by Catalyst Clinical Research, a clinical development organization providing highly customizable clinical research solutions to the global biopharmaceutical industry.

  • Gravyty

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Gravyty, a market-defining provider of fundraiser enablement solutions powered by artificial intelligence, in connection with a $21 million investment from K1 Investment Management, a leading investment firm focusing on high-growth enterprise software companies.

  • Innovation Associates

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Innovation Associates, the market-leading provider of high-volume pharmacy automation technology and software solutions to the retail, hospital, government, and mail order pharmacy markets, in connection with a consortium of investors led by Greg Wasson, the former Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO, acquiring a majority stake to scale the business and enhance its pharmacy automation offerings.

  • Centreville Bank

    Nutter served as sole outside legal counsel to Centreville Bank in connection with its agreement to acquire Putnam Bank and its holding company, PB Bancorp, Inc., in a transaction valued at approximately $115.5 million.

  • Class of insurance companies

    Nutter represented a class of insurance companies in RICO litigation filed against one of their competitors.

  • Financial services company

    Nutter obtained summary judgment in an age discrimination suit filed against a large financial services company.

  • Fortune 100 insurance company

    Nutter defended a Fortune 100 insurance company in multistate litigation arising out of the hiring of agents from a competitor, including claims relating to non-competes, breach of contract, and tortious interference.

  • Fortune 100 medical device company

    Nutter represented and counseled a Fortune 100 medical device company in non-compete, non-solicit, and trade secret strategy and litigation throughout the country.

  • Fortune 100 medical device company

    Nutter represented and counseled a Fortune 100 medical device company in non-compete, non-solicit, and trade secret strategy and litigation throughout the country.

  • Health insurance plan

    Nutter represented a health insurance plan in a qui tam lawsuit alleging billing improprieties, and prevailed at motion to dismiss stage.

  • Laboratory

    Nutter represented a laboratory in qui tam litigation alleging fraudulent billing practices, and secured a key court opinion favorable to the entire industry.

  • Major medical device manufacturer

    Nutter represented a major medical device manufacturer in defending multiple whistleblower claims brought by former employees in several jurisdictions.

  • Medical device manufacturer

    Nutter represented a medical device manufacturer in multiyear non-compete litigation involving significant sales representatives who made multiple moves between competitors.

  • Multifacility manufacturer

    Nutter assisted a multifacility manufacturer in negotiating the soft close of a defined benefit pension plan to new union employees.

  • Multinational corporation

    Nutter persuaded the Department of Labor to reestablish its rule against extraterritorial application of Sarbanes-Oxley Section 806, resulting in dismissal of a retaliation claim filed against a multinational corporation filed by an employee of an Asian subsidiary.

  • North Dakota manufacturer

    Nutter successfully defended a North Dakota manufacturer before the National Labor Relations Board against the union’s unfair labor practice claims after the manufacturer withdrew recognition of the union.

  • Pharmaceutical company

    Nutter represented a pharmaceutical company in connection with its hiring of a senior researcher. We navigated the non-compete and trade secret issues and obtained a favorable settlement after expedited discovery.

  • Senior executives in a privately-held company

    Nutter represented senior executives of a privately-held company through change of control and integration into a larger entity.

  • Wealth management group

    Nutter represented a wealth management group in pursuing non-compete and non-solicitation claims against a Fortune 100 company and three former employees. We obtained a favorable pre-litigation settlement.

  • Cali’flour Foods

    Nutter advised Cali’flour Foods, the developer and manufacturer of low-carb, gluten-free cauliflower products, in a Series A financing round led by Sunrise Strategic Partners, with participation from CircleUp Growth Partners.

  • DTM Packaging and Custom Automation

    Nutter served as legal advisor to DTM Packaging and Custom Automation, a leader in machinery manufacturing and re-manufacturing, in its acquisition by The Massman Companies, a Minnesota-based team of machinery and technology companies.

  • Fisher International, Inc.

    Nutter served as sole legal advisor to Fisher International, Inc., a firm supporting the pulp and paper industry with business intelligence and strategy consulting services, in its acquisition by Battery Ventures, a global technology-focused investment firm.

  • Globe Composite Solutions, LLC

    Nutter served as legal advisor to Globe Composite Solutions, LLC (Globe), a navy submarine supplier, in its acquisition by ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE), a global provider of highly engineered products and solutions to diverse and growing end-markets that include the aerospace, space, healthcare, wireless, consumer electronics, electric utility, and renewable energy industries. 

  • Senior management

    Nutter represented certain senior management in connection with the sale of ZappRx to Allscripts.

  • Veracross LLC

    Represented Veracross LLC, a provider of software and services to independent primary and secondary schools, in its majority recapitalization by BV Investment Partners, a middle-market private equity firm focused on the business services, software, and IT services sectors.

  • Lallemand USA, Inc.

    Nutter represented Lallemand USA, Inc. in its acquisition of the Hutchinson, MN yeast manufacturing operations of Ohly. 

  • Shawmut Corporation

    Nutter represented Shawmut Corporation, a developer of high-performance composites, in its joint venture with the automotive headliner and specialty industrial fabrics business of Glen Raven Technical Fabrics LLC, a global provider of innovative technical fabric solutions.

  • PeoplesBancorp, MHC

    Nutter represented PeoplesBancorp, MHC, a Massachusetts mutual holding company, and the bank holding company of PeoplesBank, a Massachusetts-chartered savings bank, both of Holyoke, Massachusetts, in connection with its acquisition of First Suffield Financial, Inc., a Connecticut corporation and the bank holding company of The First National Bank of Suffield, a national bank, both of Suffield, Connecticut. The total value of the transaction was approximately $60 million.


    Nutter represented OSRAM, one of the world’s leading lighting manufacturers with headquarters in Munich, Germany, in its acquisition of Digital Lumens Inc., a Boston-based company that specializes in industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

  • Commerce Bancshares Corp.

    Nutter represented Commerce Bancshares Corp. and its subsidiary, Commerce Bank & Trust Company, in its merger with Berkshire Hills Bancorp. Inc. (NYSE: BHLB), in an all-stock transaction valued at $209 million.

  • Proposed Acquisition

    Represented senior management team of medical-practice management organization through proposed acquisition by private equity fund

  • CIRCOR International, Inc.

    Nutter represented CIRCOR International, Inc. (NYSE: CIR), a leading provider of valves and other highly engineered products for markets including oil and gas, power generation, and aerospace and defense, in its acquisition of Critical Flow Solutions (CFS) for $210 million.

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a medical device company

    Obtaining summary judgment in favor of a medical device company and against a former employee who brought claims sounding in disability discrimination, interference with contractual relations, and breach of a stock options agreement.

  • Defense against claims of breaches of non-competition and non-disclosure agreements

    Pursuing and defending against claims of breaches of non-competition and non-disclosure agreements for a diverse group of employers across the country.

  • Represented several employers in the defense of employee discrimination claims

    Representing several employers, including manufacturers, retailers, food service distributors, and medical device manufacturers, in the defense of employee discrimination claims before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

  • Arbitration

    Defended major ballet orchestra in labor arbitration challenging termination of union musician

  • Affirmative Action Audit

    Assist government contractor prepare affirmative action plan and undergo audit by federal OFCCP

  • Union Negotiation

    Negotiate union contract on behalf of social service agency

  • Represented national office supply retailer against Teamsters organizing effort

    Successfully defeated a Teamsters organizing effort at distribution facilities of a national office supply retailer.

  • Represented international corporation in development and implementation of national labor relations strategies

    Successfully represented an international corporation in developing and implementing national labor relations strategies, including neutrality and private election agreements, and decertification of a union.

  • Represented corporate entities in collective bargaining negotiations

    Successfully represented corporate entities in collective bargaining negotiations with numerous unions, including the SEIU, Steelworkers, UNITE HERE, the UAW, the Teamsters, the Utility Workers, and the Paper Workers Union.

  • Represented major universities in NLRB proceedings

    Successfully represented two major universities in NLRB proceedings and providing counsel in opposition to unionization of campus police officers and unionization of graduate students serving as teaching assistants and research assistants.

  • Served as counsel for major universities in wide range of matters including litigation of discrimination and wrongful termination claims and class action defense by outsourced employees

    Successfully served as counsel for two major universities on a wide range of matters including litigation of discrimination and wrongful termination claims, class action defense of claims by outsourced employees, litigation of claims by students/parents, tenured faculty discharge hearings, hearings to revoke the award of a professional degree, internal faculty/student investigations and grievance hearings, and preventive training on employment law and human resources issues, successfully avoiding any material liability.

  • Represented pharmaceutical, surgical, and health care companies in employment litigation, including discrimination and wrongful termination claims

    Nutter represented a family of national corporations devoted to pharmaceutical, surgical, and health care services, handling litigation of discrimination and wrongful termination claims, litigation of non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, and trade secrets, and preventive training on disability law, internal corporate investigations, and layoffs and reductions in force. We successfully avoided any material liability claims while adhering to budget constraints.

  • Represented employer against former executive in severance payment claim

    Successfully defended an employer against a former executive seeking severance payments in excess of $4 million.

  • Defended multiple FLSA class action lawsuits for unpaid overtime

    Successfully defended multiple FLSA class action lawsuits for unpaid overtime wages on behalf of regional and national clients.

  • Abveris

    Nutter advised Abveris (formally known as AbX Biologics, Inc.), a privately-held in vivo antibody discovery services company, in connection with its acquisition by Twist Bioscience Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology and genomics company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology.

  • AppwoRx LLC

    Nutter served as legal counsel to AppwoRx LLC, a Boston-based medical technology manufacturer, in connection with its acquisition by PatientNOW, a private equity-backed computer software company headquartered in Englewood, CO.

  • Baril Corporation

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Baril Corporation, a leading medical specialty manufacturer of infection prevention, wound care, clinical chemistry, patient monitoring, and medical and surgical consumable products, in its acquisition by TEAM Technologies, Inc., a leading North American healthcare specialty manufacturer focused on oral and dental care and medical end markets. 

  • Copley Equity Partners

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Copley Equity Partners, a Boston-based private investment firm, in its investment to recapitalize, and facilitate the merger of, Aethon Aerial Solutions and Flight Evolved.

  • Eastern Bankshares, Inc.

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Eastern Bankshares, Inc. (Nasdaq Global Select Market: EBC), the stock holding company for Eastern Bank, in connection with its acquisition of Century Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNBKA), the stock holding company for Century Bank and Trust Company, in a transaction valued at approximately $642 million.

  • Invoke Solutions, Inc.

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Invoke Solutions, Inc., a research and content testing platform that serves many of the world's top video streaming services and broadcasters, in connection with its acquisition by MarketCast LLC.

  • iResearch

    Nutter served as legal counsel to iResearch, a leading multi-specialty clinical research center with locations in Decatur, GA and Savannah, GA, in connection with its acquisition by CenExel.

  • Kalahari Snacks

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Kalahari Snacks, the #2 biltong brand in the U.S., in its acquisition by Stryve Foods LLC, an emerging healthy snacking platform and the leading air-dried meat snack company in the country.

  • National Women’s Hockey League

    Nutter represented the NWHL in connection with its preparation of the NWHL 2021 Season in Lake Placid, including securing a broadcast agreement with NBC Sports Network and a venue agreement for the event with the Herb Brooks Arena. Nutter also represented the NWHL in connection with its reorganization to an unincorporated association and new governance model, resulting in the original six NWHL member clubs being subject to the terms of the NWHL Constitution and Bylaws with each of the member clubs being represented on the NWHL Board of Governors.  

  • OpenClinica

    Nutter served as legal counsel to OpenClinica, an industry-leading clinical research solutions provider based in Waltham, MA, in connection with a strategic investment with Thompson Street Capital Partners.

  • Shepley Wood Products

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Shepley Wood Products, the premier building supply company for Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Southeastern Massachusetts, in its acquisition by Kodiak Building Partners, a Denver-based building products distribution platform.

  • T.F. Boyle Transportation, Inc.

    Nutter served as legal counsel to T.F. Boyle Transportation, Inc. in its acquisition by Toronto-based Andlauer Healthcare Group Inc. (TSX: AND).

  • Veristat, LLC

    Nutter served as legal counsel to Veristat, LLC, a scientifically minded global clinical research organization (CRO), in its acquisition by WindRose Health Investors, LLC, a New York City-based health care private equity firm.

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