Recent Developments

25 January, 2017

Massachusetts public employers having been trying a new tactic when public safety unions are unwilling to accept take-it-or-leave-it contract proposals: suing when unions ask for a mediator. Thankfully, Attorney Leah Barrault, has defeated two of these charges. Last December, the Department of Labor Relations dismissed a charge against Seekonk Fire Fighters based on the Union's request for Joint Labor Management Committee mediation of the bargaining dispute.

17 January, 2017

A regional office of the National Labor Relations Board affirmed that Duke University PhD students have the right to form a union because they, like common-law employees, work in exchange for compensation. Attorney Patrick Bryant, at the request of Service Employees International Union, assisted the primary attorneys, Patterson Harkavy, LLP, and SEIU Fellow Trisha Pande, to advocate for the rights of graduate workers. This parallels graduate student organizing drives at Columbia, Yale, and Harvard Universities.

3 January, 2017

The Partners of Pyle Rome are proud to start the new year by welcoming Jim Hykel as our newest partner. Jim, who is licensed to practice in both Massachusetts and Maine, has worked tirelessly defending the rights of unions and employees for a decade, the last three years of which have been with the firm.

11 December, 2016

An investigator with the Department of Labor Relations, following an evidentiary hearing, issued a three-charge complaint against the Town of Mendon alleging misbehavior by the Board of Selectmen toward the President of Mendon Permanent Firefighters Association, Local 4936 IAFF. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented Local 4936 at the DLR.

11 December, 2016

After contract negotiations with the Town of Seekonk were headed nowhere, Seekonk Fire Local 1931, IAFF asked the Joint Labor Management Commitment (JLMC) for help. The legislature established the JLMC to help public safety unions and employers resolve contract bargaining disputes.

27 November, 2016

Pyle Rome is excited to announce that Northeastern University Law Student and former PFFM employee Mark Macchi is joining the firm as a law clerk beginning November 29, 2016. We look forward to working with Mark and drawing on his education and experience with the PFFM in providing the most effective representation to our union clients, and particularly to our firefighter unions.

7 November, 2016

In the rapidly changing retail sales environment where Internet-based sales are becoming more the rule than the exception, an arbitrator has ruled that Macy's has unfairly taken advantage of its commission sales associates by making them take time off the sales floor to work on fulfillment of web sales without proper compensation. The case was argued by Attorney Al Gordon O'Connell on behalf of UFCW, Local 1445, which represents employees at the Macy's store in Downtown Boston as well as a number of branch locations.

26 October, 2016

Unions frequently allow employees and employers the flexibility to establish changing schedules and to have both full-time and part-time options.

30 October, 2016

A neutral arbitrator agreed that an employer does not have just cause to terminate a school bus driver merely for being involved in an accident or causing property damage - where the employer cannot show the employee was at fault or that the incidents were preventable .

6 October, 2016

An employer who stops a long-established benefit for employees violates a collective bargaining agreement, even if there is no specific language violated. That's why a neutral arbitrator ruled that Southcoast Hospital Group violated its contract with 1199SEIU United Health Care Workers East when it stopping giving meal vouchers to employees on their birthdays.