Susan P. Mitchell

Legal Administrative Assistant Sharon M. Palinsky

508.860.1421
spalinsky@mirickoconnell.com

Susan is a paralegal in the Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group. She routinely handles a broad range of labor and employment issues, and specializes, in discrimination law. Susan is on the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s list of approved trainers, and conducts discrimination and harassment prevention training for both public and private employers. She also investigates complaints of harassment and conducts ADA interactive conferences in connection with requests for accommodation. She actively participates in the defense of discrimination claims, conducting fact gathering, interviewing witnesses, and drafting related pleadings, such as Position Statements, affidavits, and discovery. Susan served for a number of years as president of the Central Massachusetts Paralegal Association. She also served on the Advisory Board for Paralegal Studies at Assumption College and the Paralegal Advisory Committee for Bay Path College. Susan has presented at the MCLE Annual Paralegal Conference, discussing the employer's perspective in preparing MCAD cases. She is an associate member of the Worcester County Bar Association. She is also a Notary Public. Susan attended Pennsylvania State University.

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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. …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]