Cheryl A. Spakauskas

Legal Administrative Assistant Debra M. Ostrander

508.860.1423
dostrander@mirickoconnell.com

Cheryl is a paralegal in the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group. She works with the attorneys in the Group in the representation of public school districts, municipalities and other public entities as well as private employers in labor and employment law. Cheryl specializes in school and public-sector law, assisting attorneys in labor negotiations; arbitrations; Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor Relations and National Labor Relations Board matters. She also has significant experience in preparing Affirmative Action Plans for employers with federal contracts.

Cheryl graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a bachelor's degree in Legal Studies and a minor in Latin. She has served as chair of the Worcester County Bar Association Utilization of Paralegals Committee, as president of the Central Massachusetts Paralegal Association, and on the Advisory Board for Paralegal Studies at Assumption College and for Mount Wachusett Community College. She has also served as a member of Mirick O'Connell's Paralegal Committee.

In 2016, Cheryl received Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly's "Excellence in the Law" award.
 

Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave – Benefits Extended

As employers know, in May 2021, Massachusetts passed a law, “An Act providing for Massachusetts COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave,” which requires employers to provide employees up to 40 hours of paid leave for reasons related to the effects of …

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EEOC Recognizes “Long COVID” as a Disability

Last week, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) formally recognized that “long COVID” may be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Long COVID” occurs when an individual had COVID-19 and continues to suffer from a …

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What Employers Need to Know About President Biden’s “Path Out of the Pandemic” COVID-19 Action Plan

Last Thursday, President Biden announced a broad sweeping, 6-part COVID-19 Action Plan entitled, “Path Out of the Pandemic” (President Biden’s COVID-19 Plan | The White House) aimed at combatting the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. Below are a few of …

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COVID-19 and Masks: Updated Guidance from OSHA and Massachusetts

On the heels of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“CDC”) revised guidance that fully-vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in many indoor or outdoor settings, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced May 17th …

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US Department of Labor Withdraws Independent Contractor Rule

On May 6, 2021, President Biden’s administration halted implementation of a rule published under the Trump administration which would have made it easier for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees. The Trump regulation was supported by …

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Employer Tax Credits for Employee Paid Leave Due to COVID-19 Applies to Government Entities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently published guidance defining “Eligible Employer” for purposes of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) tax credits.     Under ARPA, certain employers can claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the costs of providing …

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COVID-19 Mandates in the Workplace

As we pass the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 Pandemic, new rules regarding COVID-19 mandates in the workplace are imminent. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is preparing an Emergency Temporary Standard (the “Emergency Standard”) to better protect …

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and the anticipated Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave

In lieu of our annual Employment Law Seminar, Mirick O’Connell’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits attorneys are hosting a Spring Webinar Series focusing on hot topics in employment law. Attorney Kim Rozak and I presented the second program in the …

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DOL Publishes Model Notices for COBRA Subsidies

As we previously reported, on March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) into law, which includes a COBRA premium assistance program. Pursuant to ARPA, the Department of Labor (DOL) was instructed to issue model notices …

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American Rescue Plan Act Contains COBRA Subsidies

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA” or the “Act”) into law. The Act creates a six-month subsidy period, from April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021, during which individuals who lost health …

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