Kellen J. Safreed quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on Cafarella v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

November 13, 2023

Kellen J. Safreed, associate in the firm’s Employment Department, was quoted in the November 13th issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The article, “Failure-to-rehire suit against MIT avoids dismissal,” discusses U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani’s decision in Cafarella v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The plaintiff in this case, Thomas Cafarella, sued MIT alleging claims for age discrimination and retaliation in violation of state and federal law.

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

From the article:

The decision in Cafarella emphasizes that there are no “unduly strict” requirements for stating failure-to-hire claims in Massachusetts, said Boston employment attorney Kellen J. Safreed.

“In cases like this, where MIT basically took steps to stop this guy from applying in the first place, it is equitable to recognize that there is a valid claim for failure to hire,” Safreed said. “There’s not a strict, hard and fast set of steps that a person has to take to state that claim.”

Safreed added that Cafarella is a good reminder to litigators that there are limits to Federal Rule of Evidence 408’s general prohibition on the admissibility of evidence of settlement offers or statements made during settlement negotiations.

“It’s easy to think that because you’re saying something during a settlement communication, therefore it’s all protected,” Safreed said. “But just calling it ‘settlement communications’ isn’t like an incantation if it can be the basis of an independent violation, like it is here. You do have to be careful if you’re communicating in settlement negotiations. If you say something that’s unrelated to that case you’re trying to settle, it still could be admissible.”