Status of Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs) in Massachusetts
Time’s Up to End the Abuse of NDAs
By Senator Diana DiZoglio
Nondisclosure provisions or agreements (NDAs) have historically served and continue to guard businesses against the dissemination by employees and former employees to third parties of proprietary information discovered during the course of employment. Trade secrets, for example, are expressly protected under both Massachusetts and Federal law. However, the use of NDAs has expanded and normalized over time, with confidentiality provisions now typically included in the resolution of legal disputes, barring parties from disclosing settlement terms or, at times, even the existence of the wrongdoing originating the dispute.
Massachusetts has of late taken legislative steps to curtail the use of NDAs between particular parties. During the 2019-2020 legislative session, the General Court enacted a law prohibiting the inclusion of nondisclosure provisions in agreements settling professional misconduct complaints against law enforcement officers. The Massachusetts Senate also took action to prohibit nondisclosure provisions in agreements between the chamber and its members, officers and employees. Notwithstanding the foregoing and other limited statutory examples, the enforceability of NDAs in Massachusetts, including NDAs entered into in the context of settling sex discrimination and sexual harassment claims, remains governed by general principles of contract law and the courts’ interpretation thereof.
NDAs in Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Disputes as Against Public Policy
Sexual harassment and other forms of sex discrimination in the employment context are prohibited under Massachusetts law. As recently spotlighted by the “#MeToo” movement, during which high-profile figures were driven to speak out, NDAs are a frequent tool utilized in the settlement of such claims. The floodgates have since opened, with hundreds of survivor stories evidencing a widespread perpetuation of discriminatory workplace environments facilitated by the use of NDAs to suppress and silence.
In certain circumstances, an NDA will be unenforceable due to conflict with federal labor or civil rights laws. One federal District Court in Massachusetts held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prevents employers from interfering with the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate charges of discrimination, and that any agreement that prohibits or interferes with the EEOC’s ability to communicate with the employee is void as a matter of public policy. (EEOC v. Astra USA, Inc., 929 F. Supp. 512 (D. Mass. 1996).) However, the limited scope of the case is insufficient to protect employees and potential employees from unlawful actions and workplace environments that can be physically and mentally debilitating or outright dangerous. Almost by definition, employees are in positions of inferior bargaining power as compared to their employers. A critical component of an enforceable contract is the concept of “mutual assent”. For an NDA to be enforceable, negotiation must therefore be free of duress. By its nature, sexual harassment seeks to disempower and disadvantage its victims, creating or furthering an environment conducive to pressure and coercion, whether or not intentional.
Following the emergence of the #MeToo movement, the National Women’s Law Center in 2020 released a fact sheet detailing the importance of limiting NDAs that silence workers. The document included policy recommendations and urged lawmakers to “stop the abusive use of NDAs and restore victims’ voices.” The document noted that, since the movement started in 2018, multiple jurisdictions have taken the initiative to do just that and restrict the use of NDAs. States have taken various approaches, distinguishing between pre- and post-dispute NDAs. Eliminating the use of pre-dispute NDAs fosters a more open and inclusive workplace culture, and prevents employers from misleading employees about their rights and duties to disclose. Massachusetts should follow the lead of California, New York, Washington and other states in eliminating pre-dispute NDAs as a condition of employment. To allow employers the ability to preemptively silence employees and prospective employees regarding practices that, by Massachusetts’ own statutes, are unlawful is insupportable.
Regarding post-dispute NDAs, no state has completely eliminated their use, in part to protect the rights of the victim. Protecting victim anonymity has often been cited in Massachusetts as a reason to reject proposed legislation seeking to eliminate the use of post-dispute NDAs. The argument, however, is misleading, as many states have successfully passed carefully crafted legislation designed to help protect the confidentiality of victims while simultaneously holding perpetrators accountable. A victim’s identity can always be redacted from settlement agreements. When NDAs prohibit victims from disclosing violations, employers have little incentive to penalize perpetrators or prevent these, again, unlawful practices from recurring. The function of the Legislature is to pass laws that protect and benefit the public good. To statutorily recognize actions as unlawful but forestall legislation to reduce the incidence of those unlawful actions is a dereliction of duty.
At a minimum, those who serve the public should be held to account. The use of taxpayer-funded NDAs by public officials and entities, meant to silence victims regarding any type of abuse, should be prohibited. It is a gross abuse of taxpayer dollars and the antithesis of public service for those elected or appointed to office to be able to draw on the funds of the very taxpayers who have entrusted them to serve. Those who make and execute the laws are not above the laws. A recently enacted Arizona law (12-720) prohibits the use of public funds to secure an NDA relating to a sexual harassment claim.
In Massachusetts, I have sponsored a number of bills in the Legislature’s 192nd General Court pertaining to sexual harassment and discrimination policies and the use of NDAs. These include S. 1019, which expands and clarifies the definition of sexual harassment and related actions as a form of discrimination; S. 1020, which prohibits the use of NDAs in cases involving sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination in both the public and private sectors; and S. 2047, which protects the taxpayers by prohibiting the use of NDAs by governmental entities.
A wide variety of laws acknowledging the broader awareness of the public health threat posed by sexual harassment and sex discrimination have been successfully enacted in other jurisdictions. These laws demonstrate that it is possible to carefully craft legislation which balances transparency and accountability, victim and survivor rights, and protection of taxpayer funds. These are not competing interests, but all interests necessary to effect the common good.
 Mᴀss. Gᴇɴ. Lᴀᴡs ch. 93, §§ 42-42G; and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1831-1839 (2011).
 Mᴀss. Gᴇɴ. Lᴀᴡs ch. 41, § 98H.
 Mᴀss. Sᴇɴ. Rule 11G, 192nd Congress (2019).
 Mᴀss. Gᴇɴ. Lᴀᴡs ch. 151B; Mᴀss. Gᴇɴ. Lᴀᴡs ch. 214 § 1C.
 Cᴀʟ. Cɪᴠ. Pʀᴏᴄ. Cᴏᴅᴇ § 1001 (2022).
 N.Y. Gᴇɴ. Oʙʟɪɢ. Lᴀᴡ § 5-336 (2018).
 Wᴀsʜ. Rᴇᴠ. Cᴏᴅᴇ § 49.44.210 (2018).
 id. at 5-7.
Diana DiZoglio serves as State Senator for Massachusetts’ First Essex District, which includes the Cities of Amesbury, Haverhill, Methuen and Newburyport, the Towns of Merrimac and Salisbury and portions of the Town of North Andover. She serves as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Export Development and Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.
NDAs: Is There Anything Worth Keeping?
By Ellen J. Zucker
It is a simple – and perhaps profound – political truth: when individuals tell their stories, they can bring about change. Women speaking of terrifying back-alley abortions, same-sex couples describing their families’ daily joys and struggles, black men talking about being pulled over and abused by authorities for no good reason: in each case, it is the personal narrative that has the power to reshape social discourse and provide an impetus for change.
In 2017, in the wake of media reports about serial sexual harassment and assault allegations against famed producer Harvey Weinstein, an actor took to social media. She invited others to step forward and tell their stories with the hashtag #MeToo. While this term had been coined by an activist combating rape culture over a decade earlier, it was in 2017 that the moniker, and its underlying message, went viral. Women began telling their stories in unprecedented numbers; and the nature and scale of the problem, too often ignored or buried in the quiet confines of a lawyer’s settlement file, came to light. Attention began being paid and, for the first time, powerful men were called to account. As this happened, women who had years earlier resolved sexual misconduct complaints with an agreement not to disclose what had happened began to chafe under the weight of their own silence. And we, as a society, began to challenge the private contractual impediments to public accountability.
The potentially pernicious impact of what we commonly call non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) came into focus. Critics noted that NDAs between parties where sexual misconduct is alleged give predators license to continue their misdeeds with impunity. NDAs provide corporations with an easy out, allowing them to purchase silence and then move on, retaining talent – even predatory talent – without any internal dislocation, without accountability and without damage to their brand. NDAs, critics observed, can also have another costly side-effect: they leave victims with feelings of isolation and self-doubt, as many believe – incorrectly – that what they experienced happened to them alone.
With the social costs of NDAs persuasively identified, advocates called for legislative action. Several states took up the challenge and enacted legislation that limits the use of NDAs. The federal government likewise responded, enacting legislation designed to limit confidentiality in sexual harassment cases by, among other things, altering the deductibility of settlements paid in sexual harassment and abuse cases and prohibiting the enforcement of pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate such claims. In some states, bills have been proposed or enacted that would effect a wholesale ban of NDAs where sexual harassment is alleged. Recently, the Washington State Legislature passed a broad ban on NDAs, explaining the need for the law as follows: “there exists a strong public policy in favor of the disclosure of illegal discrimination, illegal harassment, illegal retaliation, wage and hour violations, and sexual assault …. Nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions in agreements between employers and … employees, and independent contractors have become routine and perpetuate illegal conduct by silencing those who are victims or who have knowledge of illegal [conduct] …. It is the intent of the legislature to prohibit nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions in agreements, which defeat the strong public policy in favor of disclosure.”
While the flurry of legislative proposals and actions in recent years represents a well-intended effort to address the social costs of victim silence, there are unintended but terribly harmful consequences that will likely flow from some of what has been proposed, particularly from any broad prohibition against the use of NDAs. In fact, in the name of equity, some of the legislation will predictably create circumstances where individuals who suffer harassment, discrimination or retaliation on the job or in the course of their education will feel more concerned – not less – about the potential consequences of stepping forward to report what they have experienced.
As counsel to individuals who have faced sexual harassment on the job or in the course of their education, I have been humbled by how hard it is for these victims even to seek legal advice. Most struggle mightily before they ever pick up the phone or come to a lawyer’s office. They have usually suffered alone for months, if not years, as they try to brush off, redirect, avoid or just plain tolerate the offensive behavior. Where harassment occurs in highly specialized work settings, individuals fear that complaining will not only degrade their current work situation but equally their ability to move on to a new position in their field. Where the harassment involves low-wage workers, in job environments where the disparity in power between employee and employer is particularly extreme, employees’ fears can be even more overwhelming.
Victims thus very often feel trapped. They are terrified about complaining, but also know the consequences of acquiescence: isolation, feelings of shame, anger, and ever-increasing disengagement from the workplace – circumstances which themselves can result in flagging job performance and diminished opportunities. In this context, the promise that individuals can come forward to describe what has happened to them in confidence, and at the same time resolve the matter expeditiously and quietly, is often reassuring rather than repressive.
There are many reasons why individuals who are harassed, abused or assaulted may opt for silence. Victims of sexual assault – already physically and emotionally harmed, uneasy and taxed at work or school – too often face further harsh treatment if they speak out about what happened to them. Colleagues turn away, the next job is harder to find if they are known to have complained, and the perpetrators (and their allies) all too often decide that it is in their interest to turn the tables, invoking tired tropes and damaging sexual stereotypes to try to destroy the reputation of their victims.
Indeed, while our anti-discrimination laws, by their very architecture, dignify individuals who bring charges of discrimination or harassment as “private attorney[s] generals” who come forward to vindicate not only their own but also society’s interests, the reality can be quite different and far less dignifying. In the practical world, privacy, peace and job security may seem preferable to public vindication. Settlements exchanged for a promise not to disclose the fact of an agreement or the complaint that resulted in it offer a mechanism for individuals to address sexual harassment and assault concerns without risking as much personal, financial, and professional damage to their lives and futures.
In this context, when individuals victimized by sexual harassment and assault find their way to an attorney willing to assist them, their goals are often at once urgent and unremarkable: they want a solution to help them move forward and put the traumatic and damaging experience behind them, but without suffering further financial, personal or professional harm. Faced with a choice between a quiet settlement and public litigation, most choose the former. This practical reality itself militates against any broad-based ban on NDAs.
There are other factors that likewise counsel against such a prohibition. First, abolishing NDAs only in cases of sexual harassment, as many of the current bills propose, would eliminate critical bargaining power and leverage for victims of sexual harassment while leaving such leverage in place where claimants have raised concerns about other forms of misconduct. However well-meaning, this would leave victims of sexual harassment with fewer tools to resolve disputes, thereby cementing the very power imbalance that lies at the core of sexual harassment itself.
Second, an overbroad ban on NDAs will deny victims protection from their harasser’s public attacks in the future. For the ban will extend not merely to alleged victims, but to the alleged perpetrators as well, the latter of whom will be free to speak about past events without contractual limitation.
Finally, there is another reality that those of us who fight for individual rights in the workplace must acknowledge: those accused rarely confess their misconduct, the truth of what occurred may be difficult to establish, and employers of the accused may – in earnest – believe a complainant’s assertions are overstated in terms of legal liability. In these situations, the promise of confidentiality becomes a central – if not the essential – element of any settlement. Without the business justification of an NDA, employers are more likely to conclude that they are better served by not settling at all and instead litigating the allegations vigorously. If they are in all events going to be exposed to the public relations harm to their brand that results when an individual speaks out about alleged workplace harassment, many employers will opt to litigate the claims. They will make this choice either because they truly believe they will be vindicated, or because they believe they can dirty up the image of the complainant or simply outlast that person, ultimately resolving the case on more favorable terms. This is not a desirable outcome for the victim, and just as surely not in the public interest.
These practical – and important – considerations counsel against the strict limitation on NDAs reflected in the proposals put forward in Massachusetts by Senator DiZoglio and others. We must work, instead, to make sure that any legislative impairment of the ability of parties to enter into settlement agreements that contain non-disclosure provisions does not (in the name of a public good) further burden and disempower the very victims of sexual harassment whose stories animate such proposals. We must look to ensure that, in any efforts to address workplace misconduct and protect future victims, it is employers and perpetrators – and not their victims – who bear the burden of accountability and compliance.
There are a number of legislative fixes that would address the operation of NDAs to effect positive social change for both victims and the workplace as a whole. Non-disclosure agreements, for example, could be required:
- to establish a sunset on confidentiality and non-disclosure of substantive allegations;
- to meet established standards assuring that any settlement agreement’s non-disclosure, non-disparagement or confidentiality provisions be reasonably mutual, and providing a mechanism for individuals to address disclosures made or disparagement voiced by corporate actors not bound by such provisions, and to exempt from any such provisions the discussion of substantive allegations with an individual’s family members and/or medical/mental health providers;
- to provide that all complaints or expressed concerns about harassment, discrimination or retaliation be maintained in an alleged perpetrator’s personnel file and, in the event that civil litigation is initiated by another claimant or a government investigation related to the conduct of the alleged perpetrator is commenced and such information is requested, disclosure of all such prior complaints must occur without objection based upon privacy or confidentiality;
- to affirm that all agreements containing confidentiality and/or non-disparagement clauses that apply to allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation under state or federal anti-discrimination or whistleblower laws do not limit an individual’s ability to bring their concerns to law enforcement or governmental agencies charged with enforcing such laws, and that testimony in response to lawful process or requests from any governmental agency may likewise not be inhibited by such clauses;
- to bar pre-dispute confidentiality and non-disclosure provisions or agreements to arbitrate such claims which effectively provide fewer benefits incident to employment (relative to other workers) to those who suffer discrimination, harassment or retaliation; and,
- to allocate what percentage of proceeds in a settlement is paid for non-disclosure (as opposed to emotional distress, past wages and the like), and that that amount could be considered severable from the rest and clawed back by the employer (trued up for tax consequences) in the event that a claimant in the future wishes to speak out.
In sum, while banning all non-disclosure agreements where sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation is alleged unfairly disempowers and burdens victims and should be rejected, this should not end the discussion. There are other ways to even the playing field and reduce the deleterious social costs of silence. Advocates should continue to explore creative solutions that address the ramifications at play – solutions which enhance rather than narrow the options individuals have when trying to navigate deeply troubling circumstances and move forward with their lives.
 Brushed into this category are both sweeping pre-dispute confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses contained in boilerplate agreements signed incident to employment on-boarding, as well as narrower post-dispute agreements not to engage in disparagement or to keep a particular set of terms, conditions and the substantive allegations underlying same in confidence. According to the Harvard Business Review, in 2018, over one third of the U.S. workforce is bound by some form of non-disclosure agreement. Orly Lobel, NDAs Are Out of Control. Here’s What Needs to Change, Harv. Bus. Rev., Jan. 30, 2018.
 See, e.g., Nat’l Women’s Law Ctr., Limiting Nondisclosure and Nondisparagement Agreements That Silence Workers: Policy Recommendations (Fact Sheet, Apr. 2020). See also, e.g., Vasundhara Prasad, If Anyone Is Listening, #MeToo: Breaking the Culture of Silence Around Sexual Abuse Through Regulating Non-Disclosure Agreements and Secret Settlements, 59 B.C. L. Rev. 2507 (2018) (Note); Emily Otte, Toxic Secrecy: Non-Disclosure Agreements and #MeToo, 69 U. Kan. L. Rev. 545 (2021).
 From 2018 into 2020, more than a dozen states – with legislative leadership across a broad political spectrum – passed new laws limiting the use of NDAs. See, e.g., La. Rev. Stat. § 13:5109.1 (2019); A.B. 248, 80th Leg. (Nev. 2019); S.B. 479, 80th Leg. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Or. 2019); S.B. 726, 80th Leg. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Or. 2019); H.B. 594, 111th Gen. Assemb., Reg. Sess. (Tenn. 2019); VA. CODE ANN. § 40.1-28.01 (2019); see also A. Johnson, R. Sekarian & S. Gombar, Nat’l Women’s L. Ctr., Progress Update(s): MeToo Workplace Reforms, https://nwlc.org/resource (Oct. 2021), https://nwlc.org/resource/2021-progress-update-metoo-workplace-reforms-in-the-states/#. In 2020, Hawaii enacted a law prohibiting employers from requiring employees to execute pre-employment non-disclosure agreements that would prevent discussion of workplace harassment. H.B. 2054 HD1 SD1, 30th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Haw. 2020). New Mexico passed into law a bill prohibiting private employers from requiring NDAs relating to the underlying circumstances resulting in the agreement, where sexual harassment is involved, unless such an agreement is at the employee’s request in order to protect confidentiality. H.B. 21, 2020 Reg. Sess. (N.M. 2020). Illinois enacted legislation that seeks to limit the use of NDAs where they are imposed unilaterally. S.B. 0075, 101st Gen. Assemb. (Ill. 2019). In 2021, California passed the Silenced No More Act, S.B. 331 (Cal. 2021), which prohibits employers from using non-disparagement or non-disclosure agreements to prevent employees from discussing factual information related to a claim for workplace harassment or discrimination, whether or not it is gender-based. New Jersey has enacted a law broadly invalidating NDAs, with exceptions for non-competition and trade secret agreements. N.J. STAT. ANN. § 10:5 – 12.8 (2019). Notably, the New York, California, and Illinois laws prohibit nondisclosure provisions related to unlawful discrimination in settlement agreements unless an employee wants such confidentiality, and in New York, nondisclosure clauses in pre-employment and severance agreements are still permissible. Other state efforts, such as those in Massachusetts, have made only limited progress; but legislation remains under consideration, as Senator DiZoglio describes in her article.
 The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that took effect in January of 2018 amended Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code, eliminating tax deductions for settlements, payouts and attorneys’ fees “related to sexual harassment or sexual abuse if such payments are subject to a nondisclosure agreement” (emphasis added). The amendment applies to all employers, no matter what their size or revenue.
 On March 3, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, which amends the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and limits the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements and class action waivers covering sexual assault and sexual harassment claims. The law provides: “at the election of the person alleging conduct constituting a sexual harassment dispute or a sexual assault dispute, or the named representative of a class or in a collective action alleging such conduct, no predispute arbitration agreement or predispute joint-action waiver shall be valid or enforceable with respect to a case which is filed under Federal, Tribal, or State law and relates to the sexual assault dispute or the sexual harassment dispute.” Id. On June 29, 2022, a bi-partisan group of House lawmakers introduced the Speak Out Act which seeks to prohibit pre-dispute nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) in instances in which sexual harassment or sexual assault has been alleged. See Press Releases, Reps. Frankel, Buck Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Empower Employees, Consumers to Speak Out Against Sexual Harassment, Congresswoman Louis Frankel (Jun. 29, 2022), https://frankel.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=3497.
 See H.B. 1795, 67th Leg., Reg. Sess. (Wash. 2022). On March 24, 2022, Washington State’s Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1795, the Silenced No More Act, was signed into law , and took effect on June 9, 2022. The law prohibits employers from requiring or even requesting that workers sign agreements containing non-disclosure and non-disparagement provisions which would restrict their right to discuss factual information regarding discrimination, harassment, sexual assault, retaliation, wage and hour violations, or any other conduct “that is recognized as against a clear mandate of public policy.” Id. The new section, inserted as Section 49.44.211 of the Revised Code of Washington, provides that “a provision in an agreement between an employer and employee not to disclose or discuss conduct, or the existence of a settlement involving conduct, that the employee reasonably believed to be illegal discrimination, illegal harassment, illegal retaliation, a wage and hour violation, sexual assault, or against a clear mandate of public policy is void and unenforceable.” The Act broadly defines “employee” to include current, former, and prospective employees, as well as independent contractors; and encompasses all work-related conduct, whether occurring in the workplace or off-site. There is a narrow exception to the scope of this new law: employers may keep the amount paid in a settlement confidential and the law expressly does not apply to agreements not to disclose trade secrets or proprietary information. While other states, see supra, have enacted laws that limit NDAs, Washington State’s law appears to be the most restrictive, as it bars confidentiality clauses even if they are requested by an employee.
 The phenomenon has its own acronym: DARVO (“deny, attack, and reverse victim and offender”). While the term was first coined by psychologist Jennifer Freyd in 1997, see Jennifer Freyd, Violations of power, adaptive blindness, and betrayal trauma theory, 7 Feminism & Psych. 22, 22–32 (1997), in recent years it has been applied to the conduct of those accused of sexual harassment in high profile cases and cases involving highly specialized workplaces. E.g., Louise F. Fitzgerald & Jennifer J. Freyd, Trump’s DARVO defense of harassment accusations, Boston Globe (Dec. 20, 2017), https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2017/12/20/trump-darvo-defense-harassment-accusations/bTCR8QDrjLaYAwsQHCtpsM/story.html; Resa Lewiss, M.D. et al, Who’s Really the Victim Here? It’s time to end DARVO behavior in the healthcare workplace, MedPageToday (Jun. 2, 2022), https://www.medpagetoday.com/opinion/second-opinions/99015.
 Individuals who step forward to raise these concerns, after all, engage in an activity essential to the functioning of our civil rights laws. See Christiansburg Garment Co. v. EEOC, 434 U.S. 412, 418–19 (1978) (citing Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, 390 U.S. 400, 402 (1968) (individuals serve as “private attorney[s] general,” vindicating not only their rights but society’s as well)).
 As made clear below, the critique offered here does not address pre-dispute NDAs that are the focus of some state legislative efforts – and the current Speak Out Act introduced in the House in June of 2022. These efforts are righteous, and correctly rebalance the respective power of the parties when an individual comes forward with concerns about sexual harassment, discrimination and/or sexual assault. The only quarrel this author has with the legislation proposed is that it should not parse the forms of discrimination suffered so finely, and all statutory civil rights or whistleblower claims should be deemed beyond the reach of any pre-dispute NDA.
 This does little more than what the law already requires; but clarity as to this limitation would be useful. Indeed, such limits on agreements have been set by courts, and it is now well established that private agreements to remain quiet or talk positively yield to the requirement that one speak candidly when under oath. E.g., EEOC v. Astra USA, Inc., 94 F.3d 732, 738 (1st Cir. 1996) (declining to enforce private confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements when testimony is provided under subpoena).
 A legislative enactment that so provides would work a benefit for employers and claimants alike, particularly in light of changes in tax law which affect the deductibility of payments made in exchange for a non-disclosure agreement. Supra at n.4.
Ellen Zucker is a partner at Burns & Levinson LLP. Her practices focuses on employment litigation and counseling. She served as lead counsel for Dennis Burke, M.D, in a whistleblower lawsuit relating to the practice of double booking surgical cases and Carol Warfield, M.D., in a gender discrimination and retaliation case against a Boston area teaching hospital.