Employment Discrimination

Upton Hatfield Employment Law

We know that losing your job for an unlawful reason can be devastating.  We understand that harassment and/or discrimination on the job often leads to serious emotional distress as well as substantial economic losses that may continue for years.  Our employment lawyers have extensive experience helping  people who have been wrongfully terminated, people who are whistle-blowers, and people who have been subjected to harassment and discrimination based upon their sex (including pregnancy), race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin, genetic information, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability through the hardship that follows.

Our employment lawyers have extensive experience in employment litigation and are among the most respected and successful advocates in employment law in New Hampshire.

We have successfully litigated employment matters before the federal U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, all of the New Hampshire state superior courts, the First Circuit Court of Appeals and the New Hampshire Supreme Court. In addition, we regularly appear before the:

  • New Hampshire Department of Labor (in claims related to unpaid wages, vacation pay and commissions)
  • New Hampshire Department of Employment Security (in claims for unemployment)
  • New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (in employment discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment cases)

We have been privileged to represent many employees in all manner of employment litigation in the state and federal courts of New Hampshire, including cases of wrongful termination (being terminated for either taking action that public policy would support or refusing to do something that public policy would condemn), whistle-blower protection, discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, physical or mental disability, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation or sexual harassment.

We also represent employees who have been retaliated against for reporting discrimination on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, physical or mental disability, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation or sexual harassment. We have also represented employees in cases involving the Family and Medical Leave Act and cases involving an employer’s failure to pay all wages that are due under state and federal law. Finally, we have represented employees in cases involving an employer’s failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to a disability as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Representative Cases

Cases that we have taken include those for an employee who was:

  • “Laid off” by a large corporate retailer where she worked for 18 years in its automotive department, in a so-called “reorganization” and then failed to be re-hired into another position (for which she was qualified) in the same department because of her gender
  • Demoted from the position he held for over 15 years with a municipality (because the employer presumed he was likely to retire soon and wanted to bring in another person to fill his job), was moved out of his office and then let go in a “layoff” within a year because of his age
  • Terminated from her job eight days after she complained to her employer about sexual harassment by a co-worker out of retaliation for having made the complaint
  • Terminated for standing up to her employer and requesting that she be paid time and one-half for overtime worked (the employee was a non-exempt employee to whom the employer could not lawfully avoid paying overtime pay by paying the employee a salary)
  • Terminated for requesting that his employer reasonably accommodate his severe hearing impairment by providing him with equipment that would better enable him to perform the essential functions of his job (as required of the employer by the Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Terminated for taking a medical leave to which he was entitled for his own serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (which allowed employees working for an employer employing more than 50 employees within a 75 mile radius to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for various reasons, including an employee’s own serious health condition, and requires the employer to reinstate the employee to his position or a comparable position at the end of the leave)
  • Terminated on the heels of reporting that he was being subjected to a hostile work environment based upon his race
  • Terminated because he filed a worker’s compensation claim with his employer following a injury that he suffered while working
  • Terminated because he supported a co-employee (rather than the employer) who complained to the company about sexual harassment
  • Terminated for taking vacation time, which was a paid benefit provided to her by the company
  • Terminated after she informed her employer that she required a kidney transplant because of her Type I diabetes
  • Terminated after taking a maternity leave and returning to find that her job duties had been stripped from her
  • Terminated soon after her hiring as a police officer allegedly based upon her inability to “shoot” prior to ever being sent for state training in firearms (gender discrimination)
  • Paid significantly less than her male peers working as a CFO for a large company
  • Constructively discharged (she felt she had no choice but to resign because of the intolerable working conditions) from her employment with a retail establishment because she was being sexually harassed at work by a co-worker and the employer took no action to remedy the sexual harassment and instead, her supervisor began retaliating against her for her reporting
  • A long-term, older employee who worked for a large company and was passed over for promotions and then terminated after being told that the company wanted to “hire the young”, that the company was trying to “pluck the grays”, and told he didn’t “fit the mold of youth and physical fitness”
  • Terminated after telling her employer that her doctor had advised her to start taking a medication to help control the progression of her Multiple Sclerosis
  • Not paid his annual bonus by his employer following his resignation from employment despite the fact that the employee had worked throughout the calendar year in which the bonus was awarded
  • Terminated after she reported unethical activities occurring at her place of employment

We also provide advice and representation of employees in negotiating employment contracts, non-competition agreements, and separation/severance agreements.

Employment Verdicts

Karen Pepin v. PC Connection Inc. and Gov Connection Inc. (Plaintiff’s Counsel) – Verdict of $277,903.00 in gender/pregnancy discrimination and retaliation case. Claim for front pay and attorneys’ fees and costs was to be filed when case resolved (2010).

Martineau v. City of Concord (age discrimination under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act), U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, 93-268-M, $297,000.00 in damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Boisvert v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. (gender discrimination under Title VII), U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, C-96-495-M, $18,500.00 in back pay, $300,000.00 in compensatory damages, $700,000.00 in punitive damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Madeja v. MPB Corporation d/b/a Split Ballbearing (sexual harassment and retaliation), Sullivan County Superior Court, #00-C-0104, $433,740.00 in money damages plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Chadick v. City of Nashua (gender discrimination), Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District, # 03-C-0042, $200,000.00 in lost wages, compensatory damages and enhanced compensatory damages, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

Harvey and Carmen Bergeron v. Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic – Medical negligence, Merrimack County Superior Court, 04-C-117.

Cook v. Environmental Compliance Specialists, Inc. (wrongful termination), Rockingham County Superior Court, 03-C-0290, $164,000.00 in lost wages and future lost wages, emotional distress damages and enhanced compensatory damages.

Estate of Cheryl Sweeney v. Allard Nazarian Group, Inc. d/b/a Granite State Manufacturing (wrongful termination), Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District, 2002-C-843, $55,000.00 in lost wages and benefits, $150,000.00 in compensatory damages and $275,000.00 in enhanced compensatory damages.

Powers v. Lam Bros d/b/a Dynasty Chinese Restaurant (counsel for defendant) – Defendant’s verdict in negligence case (2005).

Reported Court Opinions

Madeja v. MPB Corp., 149 N.H. 371; 821 A.2d 1034 (2003), Opinion of the New Hampshire Supreme Court

McCusker v. Lakeview Neuro-Rehabilitation, Inc., 150 N.H. 205; 834 A.2d 374 (2003), Opinion of the New Hampshire Supreme Court