Gavriela M. Bogin-Farber quoted in MLW on SJC decision regarding Personnel Records Act

January 3, 2022

Gavriela M. Bogin-Farber, senior associate in the firm’s Employment Department, was quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Dec. 29, 2021 article, “SJC holds firing over personnel file rebuttal unlawful.” The article discusses the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s (SJC) reversal of the Appeals Court’s decision in Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc. concerning employee rights under the Personnel Records Act.

Gavi authored an amicus brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association (MELA). She has served as President of MELA since 2020.

Read the full article in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (subscriber content).

From the article:

Gavriela M. Bogin-Farber of Boston, who submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, said she was “literally jumping up and down” when the decision was announced.

“The SJC has made it abundantly clear that an employee may not be fired for exercising a statutory employment right,” said Bogin-Farber, the current MELA president. “The court clarified that where there’s a statutory right involved, it’s done, it’s covered. Wrongful termination and public policy claims apply, and there should not be an analysis of whether the policy is important or whether the issue relates primarily to internal affairs.”

Bogin-Farber was also excited that the court addressed the substance of employee rebuttals by acknowledging such rebuttals often involve disputed and contentious subject matter in which emotions run high and by emphasizing that no matter how “intemperate or contentious” an employee’s language may be, he or she cannot be fired for it absent a threat of personal violence or something similarly egregious.

“That wasn’t at issue in this case, but the court anticipated — and rightly so — that it would be an issue in many other cases, and they addressed it head-on and got it right,” she said.