Betsy Ehrenberg

Partner

Betsy Ehrenberg is a founding partner of the firm and has been practicing labor and employment law since 1989. She represents individuals and classes of individuals in trials and appeals of employment-related disputes, including employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, civil rights violations, non-competition agreements, and denials of disability accommodations or benefits. She also represents individuals in administrative disciplinary proceedings, including before state licensing agencies.

Ms. Ehrenberg represents unions in negotiations, arbitration, administrative proceedings, and trial and appellate litigation. Among her clients are unions representing food and commercial workers, service employees, healthcare workers, and telecommunications workers. She also represents public sector unions of healthcare workers, mental health professionals, municipal and state government workers, firefighters, and police.

Ms. Ehrenberg has chaired and served as panelist at continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association, the American Bar Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and the National Labor Relations Board, on topics including state and federal anti-discrimination law, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and issues in collective bargaining and arbitration.

Major Cases

Ms. Ehrenberg has litigated successfully on behalf of individuals discriminated against because of disability, age, sex, and sexual orientation, on behalf of unions in arbitration and appellate courts, and on behalf of classes of retirees deprived of promised health insurance benefits. Some representative cases include:

Cargill v. Harvard University, 60 Mass. App. Ct. 585 (2004) (University reference librarian with rheumatoid arthritis entitled to have jury, not judge, decide claims of handicap discrimination and failure to provide reasonable accommodation)

Wennik v. Polygram Group Distribution, 304 F.3d 123 (1st Cir. 2002) (upholding jury verdict for plaintiff discriminated against because of disability)

Dichner v. Liberty Travel, 141 F.3d 24 (1st Cir. 1998) (upholding jury verdict for plaintiff discriminated against because of epilepsy controlled by medication)

Young et al. v. IMO Industries, D. Mass. C. A. No. 94-CV-12508 (Woodlock, J.) (ordering trial on whether, under federal labor and ERISA law, former employer lawfully could change, reduce, or eliminate health insurance benefits promised to retirees in collective bargaining agreements executed by their United Steelworkers of America local during employees’ years of active employment)

Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 791, AFL-CIO, 321 F.3d 251 (1st Cir. 2003) (defeating employer’s attempt to avoid arbitration of grievances under multiple contracts which union sought to consolidate into a single arbitration)

Martin v. Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc., 105 F.3d 40 (1st Cir. 1997), cert. den. 522 U.S. 818, 118 S.Ct. 69 (1997) (settling relationship between state workers compensation law and federal labor law)

In addition, Ms. Ehrenberg has submitted friend of the court briefs in numerous appellate cases on behalf of individuals discriminated against because of sexual orientation, age, sex, race, and national origin.

Education

Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 1989
University of Michigan, M.A. (Clinical Psychology), 1973
Wellesley College, B.A. (Psychology), 1970
Phi Beta Kappa, 1969
Durant Scholar, 1969, 1970

Professional Affiliations

Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
National Employment Lawyers Association
AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee

Bar and Court Admissions

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1989
United States Court of Appeals For The First Circuit, 1996
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 1990

Betsy Ehrenberg

Contact

617.367.7200, ext. 204
617.367.4820 (fax)
behrenberg@pylerome.com

Staff Assistant