Brian J. MacDonough and David I. Brody quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on adverse action under 151B

February 11, 2019

Brian J. MacDonough, partner in the firm’s Employment Department, and David I. Brody, associate in the firm’s Employment Department were quoted in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article, “Lateral transfer denial could be ‘adverse action’ under 151B.” The article discussed the implications of the recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Yee v. Massachusetts State Police.

From the article:

David I. Brody, an employment lawyer in Boston, said the decision stands for the principle that there are no bright lines about what constitutes adverse action. He said the ruling also shows that discrimination can be about “more than dollar signs”; bias is also about the terms and conditions of employment, something practitioners lose sight of far too often, Brody said.

Additionally, he said, “the SJC is telling lower court judges not to be resolving the issue [of what’s considered an adverse action] at summary judgment. There’s a strong message that these are cases that need to go to a jury.”

Brody’s colleague Brian J. MacDonough stressed that the ruling is not limited to the State Police or public employment context.

“This is across the board,” he said. “And having these cases kicked out and dismissed at the summary judgment stage is more times than not inappropriate. These are genuine issues of fact.”