Ian O. Russell


Ian Russell’s practice involves a variety of labor and employment issues. He represents union clients in both the private and public sector. He regularly represents clients in cases before private arbitrators, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Massachusetts state and federal courts. He has also worked extensively on state and federal class actions involving failure to pay overtime wages, gratuities and the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. He has substantial experience in appellate matters, having authored briefs in cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and having argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the Massachusetts Appeals Court. He was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine between 2013 and 2018. He has been named as a Super Lawyer in Employment and Labor Law each year since 2019.

Major Cases

Serv. Emps. Int'l Union, Loc. 509 v. Dep't of Mental Health, 476 Mass. 51 (2016) (unanimous decision by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court finding that contracts entered into in violation of state contracting law were void); Town of Athol v. Prof'l Firefighters of Athol, Local 1751, I.A.F.F, 470 Mass. 1001 (2014) (unanimous decision by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court confirming arbitrator's award requiring Town to reimburse fire fighters for health insurance co-payment increases where town failed to bargain with union); Service Employees International Union, Local 509 v. Department of Mental Health, 469 Mass. 323 (2014) (unanimous decision by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upholding union's direct standing to sue over state's failure to follow pre-contracting requirements); Scantland v. Jeffry Knight, Inc., 721 F.3d 1308 (11th Cir. 2013) (decision by United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit finding that cable technicians were likely employees, rather than independent contractors, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and that trial court had erred in granting summary judgment to defendant); City of Boston v. Commonwealth Employment Relations Bd., No. 14-P-324, 2015 WL 4528049 (Mass. App. Ct. July 28, 2015) (decision upholding finding by CERB that City committed unfair labor practice by repudiating settlement agreement with union); City of Medford v. Local 1032, Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 1108 (2015) (decision upholding arbitrator's award finding that City violated out-of-grade pay provisions in collective bargaining agreement); Awuah v. Coverall N. Am., Inc., 460 Mass. 484 (2011) (co-authored briefing in case where the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court determined that deductions from the pay of janitorial workers were improper under the Massachusetts Wage Act); Camara v. Attorney Gen., 458 Mass. 756 (2011) (co-authored amicus brief in case where Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court determined that wage deductions for damage to vehicles caused by employees violated the Massachusetts Wage Act).


Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 2008 St. Lawrence University, B.A., 2001

Professional Affiliations

Massachusetts Bar Association

AFL-CIO Union Lawyers Alliance

Bar and Court Admissions

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

State of New Hampshire

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Speaking Engagements

The Tsunami of Labor Law Issues Impacting Your Employment Law Practice, Keynote Panel at MCLE Employment Law Conference (2012) Navigating the Wage and Hour Deluge - A Panel Discussion on Overtime, Tips and Employee/Contractor Classification, Northeastern University School of Law (2010) The Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors - Bad For Business; Bad For The Economy; Bad for Government; And Bad For The Employee, Harold L. Lichten, Ian O. Russell, LCC Conference, May 2008.


617.367.7200, ext. 203 617.367.4820 (fax) irussell@pylerome.com

Practice Areas

Mr. Russell represents unions and union members in labor disputes, as well as employees in class action litigation concerning employment related issues, such as the failure to pay proper wages and the misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

Staff Assistant