Photo of Jeffrey C. McLucas

With more than 25 years of trial and litigation experience, Jeff McLucas is a versatile and proven litigator. A partner in the firm, Jeff has represented corporations and various business entities nationwide as well as individuals in state and federal court, before state and federal administrative agencies, and in mediation and arbitration proceedings.

Partner Jeff McLucas explores Employment Issues in the Age of Coronavirus. For more information, we encourage you to contact Jeff and visit the Employment Litigation section of the MG+M website. 

COVID-19 has impacted the entire planet and the daily lives of all. The pandemic has turned our valued first responders into heroic warriors on the front lines of the battle against the virus. COVID-19 has wreaked a tragic toll upon the population, taking lives and destroying families. At the micro-level, the Coronavirus has turned the incidents of daily life into a herculean task. Social distancing requirements, stay-at-home orders, the closures of schools, businesses and places of social gathering and recreation, restricted travel and limited public transportation have completely disrupted the daily routines and habits of everyone.

Beyond the obvious health related issues, the initial impact of COVID-19 was widely felt through the closures of schools and the closure or severe operational limitations on government and private businesses. Closures, layoffs, furloughs and other austerity measures have become the rule and not the exception. The closures or limited operations of courts both state and federal as well as the disruption to the functioning of law firms may have slowed or delayed various civil employment actions ranging from unemployment claims to discrimination charges to cases under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”). However, the litigation of such claims by employees is inevitable through individual suits and class actions.

Multiple complaints relating to Coronavirus workplace exposure have been filed with the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). OSHA has issued advisory guidance with recommendations for the workplace and descriptions of health and safety standards including how existing regulations apply to the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA issued an interim enforcement response plan for OSHA Area Offices and compliance safety and health officers for handling complaints and reports of Coronavirus. An array of OSHA guidance is available at www.osha.gov.

Like OSHA, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has issued a variety of publications relating to COVID-19, available on its website: www.eeoc.gov. The EEOC emphasizes that despite the closure of its physical offices to the public, the agency remains “virtually” open and accessible by phone and through the EEOC’s website.

The remote work environment fashioned by private and public employers alike in response to the Coronavirus does not mean a suspension of discrimination and equal opportunity laws. There are large, multi-state employers actively seeking to hire tens of thousands of workers to adjust to the overwhelming increase in e-commerce demands. Equal opportunity laws that apply to the hiring process remain in effect. Physical workplace environments already complicated by the internet and smartphones have evolved into virtual workspaces where electronic harassment and discrimination remain a constant issue for employers to monitor.

With reports of new infection rates slowing and evidence of some states of “flattening of the curve,” plans for and initial steps of easing back of restrictions are now evolving and taking place. Following measures taken
Continue Reading To Work Or Not To Work…That Is The Question.

July 18, 2019–MG+M’s Jeff McLucas successfully defended the summary judgment dismissal of a wrongful death civil case stemming from the shooting, and ultimate death, of a drive-by shooting victim in Boston that occurred on a public sidewalk adjacent to a housing development. Holloway v. Madison Trinity Limited Partnership, 2019 WL 3227215, Appeals Court of Massachusetts No. 18-P-1323 (July 18, 2019).

The decedent was shot by unidentified individuals who were never apprehended, initially paralyzed and eventually passed away from complications stemming from her injuries. The Plaintiff brought negligence claims against the operator and manager of the adjacent housing development claiming that the Defendants failed to provide adequate security in the area or to warn her about the dangers presented by criminal activity in the neighborhood. Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Paul Wilson granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants finding that there was no legally actionable duty of care running from the Defendants to the decedent in the circumstances presented by the case. MG+M successfully defended the appeal of the dismissal.

The subject shooting incident occurred on a public street and sidewalk adjacent in the neighborhood known as Orchard Gardens which was previously operated as a public housing project by the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and known as Orchard Park. The neighborhood was substantially redeveloped in the late 1990s and subsequently operated by the Defendants pursuant to an agreement with the BHA. Orchard Park was plagued by widespread drug trafficking and violence which persisted after the neighborhood was developed into Orchard Gardens.
Continue Reading MG+M Prevails at Massachusetts Appeals Court in Wrongful Death Shooting Case