617.482.8200

Our Firm

Conn Kavanaugh is a Boston law firm that represents individuals and organizations ranging from closely held and family businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Since our founding in 1988, clients have relied on us for practical and realistic strategies to resolve legal issues quickly and effectively, both in and out of the courthouse.

Leadership

Conn Kavanaugh attorneys hold leadership positions in many community and bar organizations, publish articles and speak at continuing legal education seminars. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts appointed one of our founding partners to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (BBO), the official body that investigates and evaluates complaints against lawyers. Several other firm attorneys are hearing officers for the BBO.

Pro Bono Services

Our attorneys provide pro bono legal services in collaboration with a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Legal Food Hub, Massachusetts Advocates for Children, the Women's Bar Foundation, the Victim Rights Law Center, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Health Law Advocates and Discovering Justice.

Awards

  • 2015: Conn Kavanaugh has received a First Tier ranking in Boston for Employment Litigation by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for 2015.
  • 2015: Four Conn Kavanaugh attorneys were listed in The Best Lawyers in America © 2015.
  • 2014: The publishers of Boston Magazine selected 16 Conn Kavanaugh attorneys as Massachusetts Super Lawyers. The publication also placed members of our team on its lists of Top 100 Massachusetts Lawyers, Top 100 New England Lawyers, Top 50 Massachusetts Women Lawyers, Top 50 New England Women Lawyers, and Massachusetts Rising Stars.
  • 2014: The American Bar Association's Tort Trial & Insurance Section honored one of our partners with the Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award. 
  • 2013: Law & Politics selected 12 Conn Kavanaugh attorneys as Massachusetts Super Lawyers. The publication also placed members of our team on its lists of Top 100 Massachusetts Lawyers, Top 50 Massachusetts Women Lawyers, and Massachusetts Rising Stars.
  • 2013: The Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) honored one of our partners with the Defense Lawyer of the Year award.

Why Choose Conn Kavanaugh

Boston is home to dozens of excellent law firms. Why should you turn to Conn Kavanaugh for assistance with your legal needs?

Accessibility

Conn Kavanaugh offers a level of accessibility and responsive, attentive service that larger firms cannot match. Maintaining close contact and open communication with clients really matters here. We believe in listening to clients and advising them in specific terms to solve their legal challenges. And we aim to develop an ongoing relationship of trust and confidence with clients, becoming part of their team.

Specialized Expertise

We deliver many of the benefits you might associate with a larger firm — for example, breadth and depth of expertise. Each of our attorneys focuses on a select number of practice areas. Collectively, they give our firm the highly specialized expertise necessary to address wide-ranging client needs.

Transactional Experience

Our business attorneys have decades of experience negotiating deals for acquiring and selling companies through mergers, consolidations and asset and stock transactions. We are strong advocates and skilled negotiators. In addition, we bring considerable value to our clients in getting deals done efficiently and effectively while never losing sight of the importance of identifying and managing risk.

Litigation Experience

The Conn Kavanaugh team includes seasoned former prosecutors and a strong, deep bench of attorneys with civil and criminal trial experience, which equips us to solve complex litigation cases for clients. Some of our attorneys are fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the nation's premier professional trial organization.

Cost-efficiency

One reason so many of our clients choose us is that we staff our cases leanly and charge reasonable fees. In addition, we provide practical and realistic strategies to resolve legal issues quickly and effectively, within budgetary constraints.

Please call us today at 617.482.8200 to learn more about what sets Conn Kavanaugh apart.

Search our Attorneys

    A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z View All

    Business Litigation

    Our Business Litigation practice group offers the experience of seasoned lawyers who recognize the value of solving problems to promote your business success.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVita
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt Fliegauf
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Caroline A. O'Connell
    Caroline O'Connell
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'Neal
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Complex Tort Defense

    Since its founding in 1988, a staple of Conn Kavanaugh’s practice has been the defense of business entities in serious and complex personal injury or property damage actions.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Construction

    Whether you are the owner, design professional, general contractor, project administrator, subcontractor, or supplier on a construction project, our Construction practice will assist you in achieving a successful project outcome.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Corporate / Transactional

    Our Corporate/Transactional practice has a broad range of skills. This versatility allows them to remain a principal point of contact with our business clients and to move freely across multiple disciplines to ensure continuity of representation.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    Gregory J. Murphy
    Gregory Murphy
    Caroline A. O'Connell
    Caroline O'Connell
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob Rosenthal
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer

    Criminal / White Collar / Regulatory

    We have extensive experience advising businesses and individuals who are the subject of criminal or regulatory investigations or proceedings.

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    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen Tagliamonte
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young

    Employment Litigation / Counseling

    Employers and employees alike look to Conn Kavanaugh’s employment lawyers for advice in navigating the increasingly complex web of state and federal statutes,

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVita
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'Neal
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault

    Estate Planning / Administration

    Our Estate Planning attorneys help individuals and their families plan for the future and protect their assets. We handle all aspects of estate planning.

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    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Sheila B. Giglio
    Sheila Giglio
    Gregory J. Murphy
    Gregory Murphy
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young

    Family Law / Probate Litigation

    Our experienced Family Law/Probate Litigation attorneys work zealously to ensure rightful asset distributions in these emotionally charged proceedings. Our group handles a wide range of areas including prenuptial agreements, custody disputes, and post-divorce support or estate modifications.

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    Steven O. Anderson-Garrison
    Steven Anderson-Garrison
    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Sheila B. Giglio
    Sheila Giglio
    Laurel K.  Spallone
    Laurel K. Spallone
    Jared D. Spinelli
    Jared Spinelli
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner
    Kirsten Z. Young
    Kirsten Young
    Lindsay  Zelek-Thompson
    Lindsay Zelek-Thompson

    Land Use / Real Estate Litigation

    Our Land Use/Real Estate Litigation practice has extensive experience in handling real estate disputes of all kinds and at all levels. We can develop a strategy for your dispute.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    George M. Ford
    George Ford
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Mediation / Arbitration

    Having litigated hundreds of cases, the Mediation/Arbitration practice is well-equipped to effectively value cases to resolve disputes according to your needs and goals.

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    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin

    Product Liability

    Conn Kavanaugh’s lawyers regularly represent manufacturers, distributors, and retailers in defending against product liability claims.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Daniel R. Fishman
    Daniel Fishman
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine Kelter
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi

    Professional Liability

    Our trial attorneys are accomplished in defending claims against attorneys, health care professionals, insurance agents and brokers, and other professionals.

    Read More...

    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony Bova
    Russell F. Conn
    Russell Conn
    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew Dennington
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVita
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt Fliegauf
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas Gallitano
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin Higgins
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian Killoy
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna Matloff
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'Toole
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas Peisch
    James B. Peloquin
    James Peloquin
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael Rossi
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol Starkey
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael Sullivan
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher Sweeney
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen Tagliamonte
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis Theriault
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray Wagner

    Real Estate

    Our Real Estate practice provides skilled representation in a variety of transactions, including the financing, leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial properties.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry Gold
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob Rosenthal
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil Schauer

    Architects/Engineers

    Conn Kavanaugh has a wealth of experience advising and representing architects and engineers in many aspects of their businesses.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    James B. Peloquin
    James PeloquinPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen TagliamonteAssociate

    Closely Held/Family Businesses

    Conn Kavanaugh’s business attorneys have a broad range of skills and are very experienced in providing legal services to family-owned and other closely-held businesses.

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    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil SchauerPartner

    Construction

    Conn Kavanaugh has provided an array of services to private and public clients in the construction industry, including the manufacturers of building materials and systems.

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    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    James B. Peloquin
    James PeloquinPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Glen A. Tagliamonte
    Glen TagliamonteAssociate
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Financial Services

    Conn Kavanaugh draws upon a wide range of disciplines to meet the needs of individual and institutional clients in the financial services industry.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Food and Beverage

    Our decades of work in the food and beverage industry, including alcohol regulatory and distribution, have permitted us to gain expertise and insight into the typically fast paced and challenging world of our clients engaged in the food and beverage industry.

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    Anthony V. Bova
    Anthony BovaAssociate
    James F. Kavanaugh, Jr.
    James Kavanaugh, Jr.Partner
    Caroline A. O'Connell
    Caroline O'ConnellPartner
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'NealPartner
    Kathleen R. O'Toole
    Kathleen O'TooleAssociate

    Government

    Conn Kavanaugh provides an array of services to clients in the public sector, including state agencies, municipalities, and public officials.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner

    Healthcare

    The Conn Kavanaugh team has the skills and experience necessary to successfully maneuver our clients through the increasingly complex and highly regulated environment of the health care industry.

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    Andrew R. Dennington
    Andrew DenningtonPartner
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Carol A. Starkey
    Carol StarkeyPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Insurance

    Our lawyers work with our insurance industry clients in a variety of ways. We represent their insureds in virtually every type of lawsuit for which insurance coverage is available. We represent insurance companies directly in bad faith actions, and in high-exposure losses or losses that present unusual or challenging coverage issues.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Catherine M. DiVita
    Catherine DiVitaAssociate
    Kurt B. Fliegauf
    Kurt FliegaufPartner
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin HigginsPartner
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine KelterAssociate
    Brian J. Killoy
    Brian KilloyAssociate
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Alexis P. Theriault
    Alexis TheriaultAssociate
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Law Firms

    Since the firm was founded in 1988, our attorneys have been known as “lawyers’ lawyers.”

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Erin K. Higgins
    Erin HigginsPartner
    Thomas E. Peisch
    Thomas PeischPartner
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Christopher K. Sweeney
    Christopher SweeneyAssociate

    Manufacturing

    Conn Kavanaugh has broad experience in representing the interests and needs of various manufacturers.

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    Russell F. Conn
    Russell ConnPartner
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner

    Real Estate

    Conn Kavanaugh has a wealth of experience in the real estate field.

    Read More...

    George M. Ford
    George FordOf-Counsel
    Katherine A. Kelter
    Katherine KelterAssociate
    Bob B. Rosenthal
    Bob RosenthalPartner
    Michael J. Rossi
    Michael RossiPartner
    Neil R. Schauer
    Neil SchauerPartner
    Michael T. Sullivan
    Michael SullivanPartner
    James Gray  Wagner
    James Gray WagnerPartner

    Staffing and Recruiting

    Staffing companies and Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are playing an increasingly important role in many aspects of human resource management, as employers are relying more and more on staffing companies and PEOs for payroll and employee benefit administration, risk management, and other increasingly complex administrative burdens.

    Read More...

    Thomas J. Gallitano
    Thomas GallitanoPartner
    Barry E. Gold
    Barry GoldPartner
    Johanna L. Matloff
    Johanna MatloffPartner
    Mary ('Beth') E. O'Neal
    Mary ('Beth') O'NealPartner

    NEWS

    July 26, 2018

    NLRB Issues Guidance on New Employer-Friendly Standard for Handbook Rules

    By Alexis P. Theriault and Catherine M. DiVita

    In early June, the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”) issued Guidance on Handbook Rules Post-Boeing regarding how regional offices should apply its new standard for analyzing employee handbook rules (the “Guidance”). The standard, announced in The Boeing Co., 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), sets forth a balancing approach that is more friendly to employers.

    Under the old standard, a “facially neutral” rule (that is, a rule that is not worded to interfere intentionally with workers’ rights to organize or engage in “protected concerted activity” regarding the terms and conditions of their employment) was unlawful if it could be “reasonably interpreted” to restrict activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (the “NLRA”). Now, the NLRB will balance a rule’s negative impact on the employees’ ability to exercise their NLRA-protected rights and the employer’s right to maintain discipline and productivity in its workplace. When applying this balancing test, the NLRB will take a restricted view of the rule at issue and no longer will interpret generalized rules to ban all activity that conceivably could be included. Significant to employers with cases pending before the NLRB, the new standard will be applied retroactively.

    The Guidance

    In Boeing and the Guidance, the NLRB outlined three categories of rules: (1) rules that are generally lawful to maintain; (2) rules warranting individualized scrutiny; and (3) rules that are plainly unlawful to maintain. The Guidance provides additional information about each category, including examples and a discussion of factors its regional offices should consider.

    Category 1 Rules

    Category 1 Rules are generally lawful either because they do not prohibit or interfere with NLRA-protected rights or the employer’s business reasons for the rule outweigh the potential adverse impact on those rights.

    Examples of these rules include so-called “civility” rules that require employees not to be rude, discourteous or disparaging to their co-workers; rules that prohibit employees from photographing worksites or recording conversations, phone calls, or company images without advance approval; rules that prohibit insubordination, unlawful or improper conduct, uncooperative behavior, disruptive behavior, or other on-the-job conduct that adversely affects the employer’s operations; and rules prohibiting the discussion and/or disclosure of confidential, proprietary, or customer information. For more information about the nature and quality of these Category 1 Rules, the Guidance discusses them and the basis for their lawfulness at length.

    Employers should note that even if having these types of rules is lawful, the NLRB will not treat as lawful the use of these rules to prohibit NLRA-protected concerted activity or to discipline employees engaged in such activity.

    Category 2 Rules

    Category 2 Rules are not obviously lawful or unlawful. As a result, these rules must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine if the rule would prohibit or interfere with NLRA-protected rights, and if so, whether the employer’s justification for the rule outweighs that adverse impact. This case-by-case analysis requires examining the context of the rule, which includes interpreting the rule as it relates to other rules, the examples the employer provides for how the rule will be applied, the type and character of the workplace, and whether evidence exists that a rule actually has caused employees to refrain from NLRA-protected concerted activity.

    Examples of these rules include broad conflict-of-interest rules that do not specifically target fraud or exploiting one’s position with the employer for personal gain and which do not restrict membership in, or voting for, a union; broad confidentiality rules regarding “employer business”; broad confidentiality rules regarding “employee information” generally; and rules generally prohibiting disparagement or criticism of the employer. Further examples of these Category 2 Rules and how they compare to Category 1 and Category 3 Rules are discussed in the Guidance.

    Category 3 Rules

    Category 3 Rules are rules the NLRB has designated as unlawful because they prohibit or limit NLRA-protected concerted activity and the adverse impact on the NLRA-protected rights is not outweighed by the employer’s justifications for the rule.

    Examples of these rules include rules expressly prohibiting employees from disclosing salaries or other information pertaining to their wages, commissions, performance, and the contents of their employment contracts; rules expressly prohibiting employees from discussing their working conditions or other terms of their employment; rules prohibiting employees from disclosing to the media information regarding their employment and their working conditions; and rules regulating memberships in outside organizations (such as unions or employee committees), including rules prohibiting discussing or voting on matters concerning the employer.

    It should be no surprise to employers that these rules, which strike at the heart of the protections afforded by the NLRA, would be deemed unlawful. Employers who seek to impose such rules to protect legitimate interests should consider carefully whether there is a narrower rule that will protect the same interest without infringing on NLRA-protected rights.

    Massachusetts employers also should note that under the Amended Massachusetts Equal Pay Act no employer may prohibit its employees from discussing their wages. If such a policy exists, the employer may be subject to direct suit by its employees on an individual or class-wide basis. Employers interested in learning more about the MEPA should review our tips for complying with the Act, our discussion of the Act, and our discussion of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office’s formal guidance regarding the Act.

    Preparing Lawful Handbook Rules

    The Guidance should be at the top of any employer’s reading list when evaluating its Employee Handbook, rules, and policies. Employers should keep in mind that the NLRA applies to most private-sector employers, and not only employers with unionized workforces.

    Although the Guidance is employer-friendly, employers should not view it as a blank check to create workplace rules that infringe on its employees’ NLRA-protected rights. The balancing approach set forth in Boeing and discussed in the Guidance applies only to facially neutral rules. Rules that specifically ban NLRA-protected activities or are applied to discipline employees engaged in such activities remain unlawful.

    Unless and until all possible rules are categorized, the key question regarding any rule will involve how to predict whether the rule falls into Categories 1, 2, or 3. The Guidance takes a big step toward explaining how the NLRB’s regional offices will categorize common workplace rules, and employers should become familiar with the Guidance and its helpful illustrations of the policies it categorized.

    Employers with questions about whether their handbooks, rules, and policies are lawful should contact one of Conn Kavanaugh’s experienced employment lawyers.