Jack Gearan

Jack S. Gearan is a shareholder in the Boston office of Greenberg Traurig, LLP. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Labor & Employment and Litigation, where he defends companies and public institutions in labor and employment, business, and consumer actions, including class and collective actions. He is experienced in complex employment litigation and trials, and frequently handles state and federal whistleblower claims, non-compete and restrictive covenant litigation, trade secret, wage and hour litigation, and individual employee discrimination, harassment, and retaliation litigation and arbitrations. Jack also focuses his practice on handling pharmaceutical and medical device products liability cases.

Jack’s business litigation practice covers a variety of business torts, including misrepresentation, fraud, contract disputes, and claims under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A – the Massachusetts unfair trade practices statute

In addition to defending clients in litigation when necessary, Jack provides counsel to senior management and human resource personnel on various employment law compliance matters, such as leaves of absence, exempt status classification under the FLSA and state law, employee discipline and restrictive covenant agreements. Jack is also regularly called upon by clients to conduct outside independent investigations of sensitive personnel issues or threatened legal actions. Additionally, Jack has advised companies regarding employment law in connection with various corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, and reductions in force.

Subscribe to all posts by Jack Gearan

Governor Baker Announces Reopening Plan for Massachusetts Economy

On May 18, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Baker announced the implementation of a four-phase reopening plan for Massachusetts. For an overview of the four-phase plan, see GT Alert, Massachusetts Announces Four-Phase Reopening Approach and Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards, May 14, 2020. Businesses eligible to reopen in Phase One must follow both mandatory workplace safety standards and sector-specific requirements. Businesses … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Announces Four-Phase Reopening Approach and Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards

On May 11, 2020, Massachusetts Gov. Baker announced a four-phase approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy in light of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The phased reopening is based on public health guidance, and is intended to allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while aiming to protect public health and limit a … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Payroll Deductions Begin Oct. 1 2019

For those companies employing Massachusetts workers, payroll withholdings to fund the leave program established by the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) will begin Oct. 1, 2019. As reported in previous GT Alerts (see July 2018 and May 2019), the PFML provides eligible employees with paid medical and family leave benefits effective Jan. … Continue Reading

A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

The enforceability of restrictive covenants, particularly non-compete agreements, can be very difficult for employers to navigate, especially for companies in their “start-up” phase. Technology companies in particular face challenges in structuring non-competes that balance their need to attract talent with their need to protect confidential and sensitive information, while preventing unfair competition by former employees. … Continue Reading

Impact of New Massachusetts Noncompete Law on Emerging Tech Companies

The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 24L, has been the law of the Commonwealth for almost four months. The statute only applies to agreements entered into between employers and certain employees and independent contractors on or after Oct. 1, 2018, so the law’s ramifications are still largely yet to be determined. Nevertheless, … Continue Reading

UPDATE: New Anti-Sexual Harassment Compliance Mandates for New York State and New York City in Full Swing

New York State and New York City have passed new legislation in an effort to strengthen prohibitions against sexual harassment in the workplace. Last month, we reported on those new developments (See GT Alert, “New Anti-Sexual Harassment Compliance Mandates for New York State and New York City in Full Swing,” September 2018). By Oct. 9, … Continue Reading

New Anti-Sexual Harassment Compliance Mandates for New York State and New York City in Full Swing

For New York employers who may not have closely monitored legal developments in the human resources and sexual harassment sphere over the summer, now is a good time to become familiar with the significant legal changes in effect, especially those with pressing deadlines. With increasing national media coverage of sexual harassment claims, both New York … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Rules Dodd-Frank Does Not Protect Internal Whistleblowing

On Feb. 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) protects only employees who complain to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and not those who make only internal complaints. In a unanimous decision, the justices ruled in favor of Digital Realty Trust (Digital Realty), finding that … Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Resolve Circuit Split Over Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

On Monday, June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review whether the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) prohibits retaliation against internal whistleblowers or only covers individuals who report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC).  This question has divided practitioners and lower courts alike since Dodd-Frank’s passage in 2010. As reported in our previous … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowing

Introduction On March 8, 2017, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No.15-cv-17352 (9th Cir., March 8, 2017), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss a whistleblower claim brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s (“DFA”)’s anti-retaliation provision. In a 2-1 decision, the majority endorsed the approach … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Joins Six Other Circuits in Ruling Exhaustion of Plan’s Administrative Procedures Not Required When Asserting Statutory Violations

On Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Hitchcock v. Cumberland University, No. 3:15-cv-01215, 2017 WL 971790 (6th Cir. Mar. 14, 2017), the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals joined six other federal circuits in ruling that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) plan beneficiaries are not required to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit when asserting … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Widens Circuit Split as to Class Action Waivers in Employee Arbitration Agreements

In a decision likely to have significant ramifications for employers, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that employers cannot require employees to individually arbitrate their claims by way of “separate proceedings.” In Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, No. 13-16599, D.C. No. 5:12-cv-04964 (9th Cir. August 22, 2016), … Continue Reading

SEC Scrutinizes Severance Agreements for Compliance With Dodd-Frank

Recent SEC Fines On Aug. 16, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had issued its second fine in as many weeks concerning a company’s use of severance agreements that contain confidentiality and/or covenant-not-to-sue or release provisions that allegedly violate SEC whistleblower Rules. These recent SEC charges arise from SEC Rules, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law Becomes Effective July 1, 2015

The Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, § 148C), approved by a statewide ballot question last fall, goes into effect July 1, 2015. As of July 1, 2015, all employers must comply with the statute. Applicable regulations promulgated by the Massachusetts Attorney General have also been issued. Importantly, all employers operating … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Voters Approve Ballot Question Mandating Paid Sick Time

On Nov. 4, 2014, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question that entitles employees to earn up to 40 hours of sick time each year. Employees who work for Massachusetts employers having 11 or more employees could earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year. Employees working for smaller employers could earn up … Continue Reading

NLRB To Revisit Use of Company Email in Union Organizing

In May, this blog discussed the National Labor Relations Board (the Board or NLRB)’s potential targeting of policies regulating employee use of company email for non-business purposes. In inviting the filing of amicus briefs on the issue, (Purple Commc’ns, Inc., NLRB, No. 21-CA-95151, invitation to file briefs 5/1/14), the Board signaled that it may overturn … Continue Reading

NLRB To Revisit Use of Company E-Mail Accounts in Union Organizing and Personal Use

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) under The President has broadly interpreted the protections afforded under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).  Section 7 gives employees the right to engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection and to form, join or assist labor unions.  Employees also … Continue Reading

Employers Can be Held Liable for Failing to Protect Employees From Sexual Harassment Based on Sexual Orientation

In a unanimous decision due to be published on May 15, the Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that employers can be held liable for failing to protect employees from harassment based upon sexual orientation.  In Patino v. Birken Manufacturing Company, a former employee of the jet engine component maker Birken Manufacturing, Co. accused the company of … Continue Reading

EEOC Says That Criminal Screens Must Be Job-Related

Yesterday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued ”Updated Enforcement Guidance,” reminding employers that screen applicants’ criminal backgrounds that they must prove that any use of information acquired through such screens is job-related to avoid potential discrimination suits.   The Enforcement Guidance states that an employer accused of violating Title VII will have to carry the burden of proving … Continue Reading
LexBlog