Jonathan R. Sigel

Jonathan is a partner, chair of the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group and chair of the Higher Education Group. He advises clients on a broad range of employment issues, including employment and severance agreements, handbooks and policies, and terminations and layoffs. Jonathan also advises management on proper wage and hour classification. Jonathan represents clients in investigations by the Department of Labor and the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. He has extensive experience representing management in the negotiation and litigation of employment and discrimination claims in the state and federal courts, and appears frequently before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and represents employers in wage and hour litigation in court.

In 2003, Jonathan received the "40 under Forty" Award from the Worcester Business Journal. He received the Samuel Seder Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts in 1998. Jonathan has been named a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics every year since 2009. Jonathan was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the field of Employment Law - Management. First listed in 2013.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Emory University School of Law JD (1991)
  • Bowdoin College BA, magna cum laude (1987)
  • Advised clients on a broad range of employment issues, including employment, severance and non-competition agreements, and handbooks, policies, terminations and layoffs
  • Successfully represented many employers in the defense of discrimination claims filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and in state and federal courts
  • Successfully represented many employers in other employment-related litigation, such as disputes regarding employment contracts and confidentiality and non-competition agreements
  • Advised and assisted employers with internal investigations of alleged employee misconduct, including claims of sexual harassment
  • Advised employers on wage and hour compliance matters and represented employers during audits by agencies such as the Department of Labor and the Office of the Attorney General
  • Provided numerous in-house presentations for clients on harassment prevention and employment law basics for supervisors

Publications/Presentations

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Jewish Federation's Governing Board, president (2018-2020); chair of 2009 Jewish Federation Campaign
  • Worcester Community Action Council, former board member
  • Community Legal Aid of Central MA, former board member (2014-2020)
  • Corridor 9/495 Regional Chamber of Commerce, former board member (2017-2019)
  • Worcester Art Museum, Personnel Committee, member, 2020

Employers Must Ensure Compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act as they Re-Open and Recall Employees from Furlough

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued new Questions and Answers regarding its interpretation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). In relevant part, the DOL made clear that if an employer is calling employees back from furlough, the …

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Update: Families First Coronavirus Act

The Department of Labor issued new guidance over the weekend regarding the Families First Act, including important definitions and clarifications.  I broke down the new guidance into the overall framework of the new EFMLA and EPSLA in this recorded webinar. …

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Department of Homeland Security Relaxes Standards for Verifying Work Authorization

  As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has relaxed its standards requiring in-person review of work authorization documents required to complete the I-9 form. Specifically, if an employer has no employees physically present at a …

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Congress Passes Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, Congress passed a bill entitled “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (the “Act”) aimed at alleviating several major burdens families are currently facing as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Act, which goes into effect on …

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …

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The Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Workplace

With cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) significantly on the rise, the World Health Organization declaring the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, and Governor Baker recently declaring a state of emergency in the Commonwealth, employers should be prepared to address a number …

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NLRB Issues Employer-Friendly “Joint Employer” Definition

On February 25, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (the “NLRB”) announced the final rule governing “joint employer” status under the National Labor Relations Act. The determination of whether an entity is a “joint employer” with a direct employer for purposes …

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Act Requiring the Hands-Free Use of Mobile Devices Went into Effect Yesterday

On November 25, 2019, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts approved Chapter 122 of the Acts of 2019. Under this Act, operators of motor vehicles cannot use handheld electronic devices while driving. The Act specifically holds that no operator of a motor vehicle shall …

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U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Updates Joint Guidance on the Applicability of FERPA and HIPAA to Student Records

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued an update to their Joint Guidance on the Applicability of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and …

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U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Joint Employer Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

On January 12, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) governing joint employer status, which significantly narrows the scope of joint employer liability. Under the prior Administration, the DOL …

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