Cheryl A. Spakauskas
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.
Navigating Pay Transparency Laws: What Employers Need to Know
Over the last several years, in an effort to close the gender pay gap, several states and localities across the country have enacted pay transparency laws that, generally, require employers of certain sizes with employees in those locations to disclose …[ load webpage to read more ]
Private Employers Take Note: Overbroad Non-Disparagement & Confidentiality Restrictions in Severance Agreements Run Afoul of the National Labor Relations Act
As many employers well know, it is customary to include non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in severance agreements that prohibit departing employees from (i) making disparaging, critical, or otherwise detrimental comments concerning the employer and (ii) disclosing information concerning the substance, …[ load webpage to read more ]
Is Your Company in Compliance With Executive Order 13706?
In September 2015, Executive Order 13706 was signed, requiring employers that enter into covered contracts with the federal government to provide covered employees with up to seven days (56 hours) of paid sick leave annually, including paid leave allowing for …[ load webpage to read more ]
SJC Finds Public Meeting Comment Restrictions Unconstitutional
Government boards and committees should review their public comment policies following a decision this week by the Supreme Judicial Court holding that a “civility code” violated the Massachusetts Constitution’s Declaration of Rights and the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act. In Barron v. …[ load webpage to read more ]
The FTC’s Proposed Ban On Noncompetes – Predictions
Following his election, President Biden issued “The Biden Plan for Strengthening Worker Organizing, Collective Bargaining and Unions,” in which he promised to work with Congress to “eliminate all non-compete agreements” with very limited exceptions. While a bipartisan bill, the Workforce …[ load webpage to read more ]
Update Policies to Comply with the Massachusetts CROWN Act
At the end of October 2022, the Massachusetts Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Natural and Protective Hairstyles (the “CROWN Act”) went into effect. The CROWN Act expands the definition of “race” under Chapter 151B to include “traits historically associated with …[ load webpage to read more ]
2023 Changes in Massachusetts Employment Laws
Beginning January 1, 2023, changes to the Massachusetts Minimum Wage Law, retail premium pay, and Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law take effect. Changes to Minimum Wage & Premium Pay Changes to Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) …[ load webpage to read more ]
Employers Must Remember Their Obligations under the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “Act”), which went into effect on April 1, 2018, amended Massachusetts General Law c. 151B to include “pregnancy or a condition related to pregnancy, including, but not limited to, lactation, or the need …[ load webpage to read more ]
DOL Proposes to Revert the Independent Contractor Analysis to the Employee-Friendly Totality-Of-The-Circumstances Analysis
On October 11, 2022, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a new proposed rule, entitled “Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” for determining whether an individual is an independent contractor or an employee under the Fair Labor …[ load webpage to read more ]
EEOC Issues Updated Guidance Regarding COVID Screening by Employers
On July 12, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated guidance for employers regarding COVID-19 testing and accommodations. Perhaps most impactful, the EEOC altered its position regarding employers testing employees for COVID-19 as part of a mandatory screening prior …[ load webpage to read more ]