Partner

Valerie C. Samuels

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Overview

Valerie is a partner and the chair of the Employment Group.

Valerie represents executives and companies in a wide variety of employment matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, reductions in force, wage and hour, whistleblowing, and restrictive covenants. She has substantial expertise in executive advocacy and transition, representing executives and professionals in complex employment issues, including contract negotiation, non-competition and non-solicitation covenants, severance, change of control, deferred compensation, and equity interests. Valerie provides harassment, discrimination and diversity awareness training, drafts employee handbooks, social media, and other policies. She also represents management in connection with union elections, unfair labor practices, collective bargaining, grievances and arbitration and union avoidance counseling. She has guided numerous companies and executives through the most difficult employment situations, with sensitivity, intellectualism, and compassion.

Valerie mediates and arbitrates cases for private parties, and has mediated cases for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the United States District Court for Massachusetts. She is a member of the American Arbitration Association Arbitration Panel for Employment Disputes. Valerie was trained in civil mediation by the Community Dispute Settlement Center in 2001, and also received advanced mediation training. She is certified as a harassment prevention and disability discrimination trainer by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Valerie conducts workplace investigations and fact-finding.

Valerie routinely appears before federal and state courts and agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board.

Education
  • Vassar College, AB, cum laude, 1979
  • George Washington University Law School, JD, with honors, 1986
Memberships
  • American Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Boston Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Massachusetts LGBT Bar Association
  • New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Defense Research Institute
Experience
  • Represented a senior executive in a retaliation case against a major high tech company in Massachusetts Superior Court and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
  • Mediated discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, and commercial disputes.
  • Represented a multi-national advertising agency in maternity, gender, and age discrimination claims, including proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Massachusetts Superior Court.
  • Represented a senior sales manager in gender, age, and familial discrimination case against a high tech company.
  • Represented a pregnant employee in a gender bias claim.
  • Represented a national facilities management company in an age discrimination class action case in federal court.
  • Represented multiple employees in wage and hour litigation.
  • Represented a group of female employees in sexual harassment claims against their employer and third parties.
  • Represented a community health center in a disability discrimination claim in federal court.
  • Represented a national truck leasing company in connection with multiple sexual harassment claims.
  • Represented multiple clients in the prosecution and defense of lawsuits concerning breach of non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality restrictions.
  • Represented a national health care provider in multiple discrimination claims involving gender, race and disability discrimination.
  • Represented commercial real estate companies in housing discrimination claims.
  • Represented insureds in connection with legal malpractice claims in discrimination cases.
  • Represented management in unionization campaigns, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations.
  • Represented insureds in bad faith claims.
News & Press Recognitions
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyer in 2004, 2005, and every year from 2007-2017.
  • “2016 Top Woman Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
  • “Top 10 Attorneys” in 2006 in Women’s Business.
  • “New England’s Top Rated Lawyers” in 2013 by ALM.