- George Washington University Law School, JD, 1986, Honors
- Vassar College, AB, 1979, cum laude
Valerie C. SamuelsPartner
Valerie is a partner in the firm and co-chairs the Employment Law Group.
Valerie represents executives and companies in a wide variety of employment matters, including discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, reductions in force, wage and hour, whistleblowing, and restrictive covenants. She has substantial expertise in executive advocacy and transition, representing executives and professionals in complex employment issues, including contract negotiation, non-competition and non-solicitation covenants, severance, change of control, deferred compensation, and equity interests. Valerie provides harassment, discrimination and diversity awareness training, drafts employee handbooks, social media, and other policies. She also represents management in connection with union elections, unfair labor practices, collective bargaining, grievances and arbitration and union avoidance counseling. She has guided numerous companies and executives through the most difficult employment situations, with sensitivity, intellectualism, and compassion.
Valerie mediates cases for private parties, and has done so for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the United States District Court for Massachusetts. She was trained in civil mediation by the Community Dispute Settlement Center in 2001, and also received advanced mediation training. She is certified as a harassment prevention and disability discrimination trainer by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. Valerie conducts workplace investigations and fact-finding.
Valerie routinely appears before federal and state courts and agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board.
- Represented a senior executive in a retaliation case against a major high tech company in Massachusetts Superior Court and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
- Mediated discrimination, wage and hour, commercial, and product liability disputes.
- Represented a multi-national advertising agency in maternity, gender, and age discrimination claims, including proceedings before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Massachusetts Superior Court.
- Represented a pregnant employee in a gender bias claim.
- Represented a national facilities management company in an age discrimination class action case in federal court.
- Represented multiple employees in wage and hour litigation.
- Represented a group of female employees in sexual harassment claims against their employer and third parties.
- Represented a community health center in a disability discrimination claim in federal court.
- Represented a national truck leasing company in connection with multiple sexual harassment claims.
- Represented multiple clients in the prosecution and defense of lawsuits concerning breach of non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality restrictions.
- Represented a national health care provider in multiple discrimination claims involving gender, race and disability discrimination.
- Represented commercial real estate companies in housing discrimination claims.
- Represented insureds in connection with legal malpractice claims in discrimination cases.
- Represented management in unionization campaigns, collective bargaining, labor arbitrations.
- Represented insureds in bad faith claims.
- American Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Boston Bar Association, Section on Labor and Employment Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
- Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- Massachusetts LGBT Bar Association
- New England Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution
- Society for Human Resource Management
- National Employment Lawyers Association
- Defense Research Institute
Valerie has spoken widely before business and professional groups, including The Commonwealth Institute, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Build Boston, The Massachusetts Society of CPAs, and The Boston Club.
She is also a frequent expert contributor to The Boston Globe’s “Job Doc” column.
- Panelist, Our Workplaces and the Opioid Epidemic, Massachusetts Health Council, June 2016
- Panelist, Masters of Corporate Culture: Boston’s Top Women HR Officers, Tomorrow’s Women Today, June 2016
- Panelist, Scaling a Business, Supporting Strategies Business Fundamentals Boot Camp, June 2016
- Presenter: Employment Law Update, Supporting Strategies Business Fundamentals Boot Camp, January 2016
- Presenter, Employment Law Update for Non-Profits, Massachusetts Society of CPAs, January 2016
- Expert contributor, “Concerns Over A Teacher’s Behavior”, The Boston Globe, October 2015
- Expert contributor, “Blocking Access to Sites at Work”, The Boston Globe, April 2015
- Panelist, “Contract, Tort, Wage Act and Legislative Update,” MCLE 17th Annual Employment Law Conference, December 2014
- Panelist, “Employment Law Basics,” Boston Bar Association, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014
- Expert contributor, “SS Numbers and Online Applications”, The Boston Globe, May 2014
- Expert contributor, “Can Discussing Salaries With Colleagues Be Illegal?”, The Boston Globe, April 2014
- Expert contributor, “Is my Severance Package Agreement Violating the First Amendment?”, The Boston Globe, January 2014
- Expert contributor, “Collecting Employee Health Information - Is It Legal?”, The Boston Globe, August 2013
- Expert contributor, “Harassment Concerns Within The Workplace”, The Boston Globe, August 2013
- Expert contributor, “Is it Management or Harassment?”, The Boston Globe, January 2013
- Expert contributor, “Calculation of Unpaid Vacation”, The Boston Globe, January 2013
- Expert Contributor, “Unemployment Eligibility”, The Boston Globe, November 2012
- Expert Contributor, “Policies On Travel Expenses Should Be Clear”, The Boston Globe, August 2012
- Presenter, “Employee Misclassification Issues”, Annual Nonprofit Conference, Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, Inc., 2012
- Co-author, “Employment Law Guide: A Practical Guide to Understanding Massachusetts Employment Law”, BBA, 2007
- Author, “Bargaining Power Guides Non-Competes”, Women’s Business, February 2005
- Co-author, Finally, Some Good News On Employment Law”, New England In-House, October 2005
- Contributing author of a chapter titled “Wage and Hour Laws: A State By State Survey,” BNA 2004 (and 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 supplements)
- Co-author, “Insurance Coverage for Employment Claims”, appearing as a chapter in Employment Law Conference 2000, MCLE, 2000
- Contributing author, “The Fair Labor Standards Act”, BNA, 1999
- Contributing author, “Report of The Fair Labor Standards Act Subcommittee”, American Bar Association, 1997
Valerie was named Massachusetts Super Lawyer in 2004, 2005, and every year from 2007-2016. She was named “2016 Top Woman Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. She was also named one of the "Top 10 Attorneys" in 2006 in Women's Business. She was named as one of “New England’s Top Rated Lawyers” in 2013 by ALM.
Justice Resource Institute, Inc., Member, Board of Trustees
Anti-Defamation League, New England Region, Member, Board of Directors
USA 500 Clubs, Member
News & Media
- Massachusetts’ Highest Court Creates Reefer Madness for Employers
- A World of Difference
- Valerie C. Samuels, 2016 Top Woman of Law
- At Resignation, How Final Wages Are Calculated Matters
- Federal Overtime Rules: What You Need to Know About the New Regulations
- Transparency Hurdle: Workers Don’t Want Their Pay Disclosed
- State Street Layoffs
- Keeping Salaries Confidential
- Concerns Over A Teacher’s Behavior
- All Employers Need A Workplace Violence Plan
- Violence In The Workplace
- Netflix’s Extended Paid Parental Leave Sets New Bar
- Netflix Extended Maternity & Paternity Leave Sounds Great, But Could It Promote Discrimination?
- Blocking Access to Sites at Work
- Four Things to Know About Massachusetts’ New Paternity Leave Law
- Employers Must Provide Paternity Leave to Male Employees
- Marijuana Legalization Raises HR Questions
- Employer’s Duty to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Remains Hazy
- SS Numbers and Online Applications
- Can Discussing Salaries With Colleagues Be Illegal?
- Is my Severance Package Agreement Violating the First Amendment?
- Time to Give Transgender Community the Rights They Deserve
- Collecting Employee Health Information - Is It Legal?
- Harassment Concerns Within The Workplace
- Experts: CVS won’t be last to seek health info
- Is it Management or Harassment?
- Calculation of Vacation Payout
- Unemployment Eligibility
- Policies On Travel Expenses Should Be Clear
- Gender Identity To Be Protected Under Massachusetts Law
- Employers Beware: The Scope of the Wage Act Continues to Expand
- Intellectual Property Issues and Employment Law
- "Dodging the Tax Bullet" MCLE seminar
- Federal Employment Law: Insights on Recent Developments
- Complying with Employment Regulations