Jonathan R. Sigel

Jonathan is a partner and chair of the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits 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.

Jonathan has been named a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” by Boston magazine and Law & Politics every year since 2009. He was included in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2013. In addition, Jonathan was named the Best Lawyers® Employment Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year” in Westborough, 2021 and 2023. 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.

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, Trustee; chair of the Human Resources Committee

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 ]

Don’t Delay: MA Employers Are Now Strictly Liable for Three Times the Amount of Wages for Late Payments With No Safe Harbor for Paying in Full Prior to Suit!

Under the Massachusetts Wage Act (the “Wage Act”), if an employee voluntarily quits their employment, the employer must pay the employee their final wages, including any earned, unused vacation pay, on the employer’s next regular pay day. However, when an employee …

[ load webpage to read more ]

The Times They Keep A-Changing: The New Illinois Restrictions on the Use of Non-Compete and Non-Solicit Agreements

The state-by-state non-compete reform movement keeps rolling – this time in the state of Illinois.  Effective January 1, 2022, the Illinois Freedom to Work Act has dramatically changed the landscape for employers in that state who desire to use non-compete …

[ load webpage to read more ]

OSHA Withdraws COVID-19 ETS, But Signals That It Is Moving Forward with Final Rule

On January 25, 2022, OSHA announced the withdrawal COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (the “ETS”). In the announcement, OSHA stated that although it “is withdrawing the [ETS] as an enforceable emergency temporary standard, [it] is not withdrawing the …

[ load webpage to read more ]

Supreme Court Stays OSHA’s COVID ETS

The OSHA COVID ETS is once again stayed. On January 13, 2022, the United States Supreme Court stayed OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard which required that employers with 100+ employees require employees to either (a) become vaccinated against COVID-19; or (b) …

[ load webpage to read more ]

The District of Columbia’s Aggressive Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Likely to Take Effect in 2022

In December 2020, the District of Columbia Council passed and in January 2021, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed legislation entitled the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020 (the “DC Act”).  While the effective date of the Act was delayed …

[ load webpage to read more ]

Don’t Forget! Minimum Wage Rates in Massachusetts Increase, Effective January 1, 2022

The minimum wage in Massachusetts will increase from $13.50 to $14.25 an hour, effective January 1, 2022. In addition, the minimum wage for tipped employees who make more than $20/month in tips will increase from $5.55/hour to $6.15/hour. Employers may …

[ load webpage to read more ]

CDC Shortens COVID-19 Related Isolation and Quarantine Period, and Distinguishes Between Vaccinated Individuals With/Without Booster

On December 27, 2021, the CDC issued updated guidance which significantly shortens the periods of isolation and quarantine it recommends for COVID-related diagnosis and/or exposure. Specifically, the CDC now recommends that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination …

[ load webpage to read more ]