Corey F. Higgins

Corey is a partner in the firm's Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group. He represents both private- and public-sector employers. His practice covers all areas of labor and employment law, including collective bargaining, unfair labor practices, labor arbitration, employment discrimination, non-competition and non-disclosure agreements, unemployment appeals and various other employment-related issues. Corey also routinely counsels employers about the application of various Massachusetts and federal employment laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Time Law, the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), the Massachusetts Plant Closing Law, the Massachusetts Independent Contractor law, and other Massachusetts wage and hour laws.

Corey was named a Massachusetts “Rising Star” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics in 2008-2012. In 2013, he was selected by the Worcester Business Journal as one of “40 under Forty” professionals honored for their professional excellence and community service.

Corey is also an alumnus of the Leadership Worcester class of 2015-2016.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • Villanova University School of Law JD (2002)
  • Lafayette College AB (1999)
  • Represented employers in enforcement and defense of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Represented employers in collective bargaining negotiations and grievance arbitrations
  • Represented employers before the Commonwealth's Division of Unemployment Assistance in matters concerning claims for unemployment filed by former employees
  • Represented employers before the Commonwealth's Department of Labor Relations in prosecution of unfair labor practices committed by unions and in defense of charges of prohibited practice filed by unions
  • Represented employers before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and in state and federal courts in defense of charges of protected class discrimination
  • Represented a school district in defense of a grievance filed by a union alleging the school district's violation of a collective bargaining agreement by changing employee shift assignments
  • Regularly advise employers on matters relating to use of social media in the workplace
  • Routinely advise employers on new Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law
  • Advise employers on marijuana use in the workplace

Publications/Presentations

  • “Navigating the PFML Act,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, January 20, 2021 (presenter)
  • “Massachusetts’ Paid Family & Medical Leave Act,” Mirick O’Connell Webinar, December 3, 2020 (co-presenter)
  • “Paid Family Medical Leave Act Update,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, September 22, 2020 (presenter)
  • What Does the Trump Administration Mean for Employers? North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, January 18, 2017 (co-presenter)
  • “A Review of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Overtime Final Rule, A Reminder About Massachusetts Minimum Wage, and An Update on the New Transgender Law,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, November 16, 2016 (co-presenter)
  • “A Review of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new Overtime Final Rule and Its Affect on the Workplace,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, June 15, 2016, (presenter)
  • “Update on Transgender Issues, Medical Marijuana in the Workplace, and the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, June 3, 2016
  • “What Every Employer Should Know About OSHA,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, April 2016 (co-presenter)
  • “Gender Identity, Transgender Status, and Diversity: The Latest Frontier in Today’s Workforce,” HRMA Perspectives (February 2016)
  • “A Review of Final Regulations on the New Earned Sick Time Law: What Affected Employers Must Do to Be in Compliance,” June 25 and July 16, 2015 (co-presenter)
  • “Managing Employee Leaves of Absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act,” Northeast Human Resources Association, April 27, 2015 (presenter)
  • “Update on the National Labor Relations Board and Social Media,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, April 15, 2015 (presenter)
  • “Update on Earned Sick Time, Parental Leave, and Domestic Violence Leave Laws: How Do These Law Changes Affect Time Off Policies?,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, April 2015 (co-presenter)
  • “Social Media in the Workplace: Potential Risks and Considerations Associated with Both Employer and Employee Usage,” Northeast Human Resources Association, January 26, 2015 (presenter)
  • “What Employers Need to Know About the New Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, January 16, 2015 (co-presenter)
  • “New Law Entitles All Employees to Earned Sick Time in Massachusetts: Employers Must Prepare Accordingly,” HRMA Perspectives, January 2015
  • “A Review of Paid Time Off and the Massachusetts Blue Laws,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Human Resources Council, June 18, 2014 (co-presenter)
  • “A Review of the Hiring Process,” North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Small Business Lunch N’ Learn, May 20, 2014 (presenter)
  • “Some Recommended Best Practices for Avoiding Claims of Discrimination in Managing the Multigenerational Workforce,” HRMA Perspectives, January 2014
  • “What the Presidential Election Means for Non-Unionized Workplaces,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, March 2013 (co-presenter)
  • “Employers Beware of Recent Adverse Decisions Against Companies Whose Employees Were Involved in Auto Accidents While Using Cell Phones While Driving,” HRMA Perspectives, January 2013
  • Fox 25 News Morning Show interview, “Fired For Facebook: Know Your Rights,” August 14, 2012
  • “What Every HR Manager Should Know,” Gould Construction Institute – Associated Builder and Contractors, October 2011 (co-presenter)
  • “Stepping Up Enforcement of Employer Violations for Disciplining Employees for Social Media Postings, NLRB Issues First Ever ALJ Decision Involving Facebook,” HRMA Perspectives, October 2011
  • “Review of Open Meeting Law and Executive Session Rules,” Mirick O’Connell Seminar, September 2011 (co-presenter)
  • “Health Coverage & Collective Bargaining: New Options, New Strategies,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, July 2011 (co-presenter)
  • “Legal Challenges Presented by Social Media,” HRMA, April 2011 (co-presenter)
  • “Social Media: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, March 2011, (co-presenter)
  • “The Next Frontier: Charting a Course to Successfully Tackle Legal Issues Arising from the Use of Social Media Sites and Blogs in the Workplace,” Mirick O’Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, July 2011, (co-presenter)
  • Contributing Author, Mirick O’Connell Business Law e-Report, December 2009
  • “Employers Who Misclassify Employees as Independent Contractors Beware,” HRMA Perspectives, October 2009
  • "Layoffs in a Down Economy," Mirick O'Connell Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar, March 2009 (co-presenter)
  • Moderator, "Employment Agreements: When Are They Enforceable in Massachusetts?" Worcester County Bar Association Bench/Bar Day, Labor and Employment Law Section, March 2008
  • "Recent Amendments to Americans with Disabilities Act Expands Law's Protections," HRMA Perspectives, November 2008
  • "Family and Medical Leave Act Amended to Provide Additional Leave Benefits for Members of Armed Services," HRMA Perspectives, February 2008
  • "Five-Year Gap in Employee's Periods of Service with Same Employer Not Bar to FMLA Eligibility," HRMA Perspectives, March 2007

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Worcester County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, past co-chair
  • Community Legal Aid of Central MA, board member

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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The American Rescue Plan and Paid Leave: What Employers Need to Know

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  President Biden is expected to sign the Act into law by March 14, 2021. Employers are rightfully eager to learn whether the Act extends the Families First …

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Massachusetts Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Defamation Claim After Employee is Escorted Out of Work Following Termination

By: Jonathan Sigel, Esq. and Ashlyn Dowd, Esq. The Federal District Court of Massachusetts recently denied a defendant company’s motion to dismiss a defamation claim following the termination of the company’s Vice President.  The plaintiff former employee, Sandra Madden, was …

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EEOC Opinion Letter: Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)

On January 14, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) finally issued an opinion letter addressing the long standing issue of whether information about non-U.S. citizen employees working outside of the United States must be included in the information disclosure …

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Link Fixed! Minimum Wage Increases to $13.50 Per Hour While Holiday and Sunday Premium Pay for Retail Employees Continues Down The Path To Abolishment

As of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage for regular employees (i.e., non-tipped minimum wage employees) increased to $13.50 per hour.  The minimum wage is scheduled to increase twice more, to $14.25 and $15.00 per hour, on January 1, 2022 …

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President Biden Issues Executive Order Regarding Workplace Discrimination

That was quick! On his first day in office, President Joseph Biden issued the Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.  With the Executive Order, President Biden instructed each federal agency …

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COVID-19 Related Updates for Massachusetts Employers

New COVID Relief Bill On Monday, December 21, 2020 the United States Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes several provisions aimed at providing COVID-19 relief (the “Relief Bill”).  As public employers and employers with less than 500 …

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EEOC Releases Guidance on Mandatory Vaccinations

With Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine receiving emergency approval from the FDA, and emergency approval for Moderna’s vaccine expected shortly, many employers are wondering whether they can require employees to receive the vaccine once it becomes available to the general public. On December …

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Massachusetts’ Sector Specific Workplace Safety Standards for Office Spaces Updated

Governor Baker’s administration updated Massachusetts’ Sector Specific Workplace Specific Safety Standards for Office Spaces to Address COVID-19 (the “Standards”).  While all employers operating office spaces are advised to review the complete Standards, key provisions are: Face coverings: workers and visitors …

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