Suzanne W. King
An experienced management-side employment lawyer, Suzanne King counsels employers on a wide range of employment practices, including: hiring, managing employee performance and discipline, terminations, reductions in force, complaints about sexual and other harassment, reasonable accommodations under the ADA, leave under the FMLA and various state laws, wage and hour practices, including employee classification issues and pay equity, and data privacy and security. Suzanne also has extensive experience drafting a variety of employment agreements (including executive employment, non-disclosure, non-competition, and severance agreements) as well as employee handbooks, individual policies, and offer letters.
Suzanne regularly trains HR professionals and managers on a full range of employment law issues, including sexual harassment and FMLA and ADA procedures. Twice a year, Suzanne offers Managing Employees 101, a half-day program for supervisors and managers that includes the ten things every manager and supervisor should know about employment law as well as practical tools for managing employee performance.
Suzanne has conducted numerous workplace investigations in response to employee complaints of harassment, discrimination, and/or retaliation as well as workplace injuries and/or safety violations.
Suzanne also regularly works with clients to minimize litigation risk by responding effectively to demand letters, cease and desist letters, federal and state DOL investigations, and charges of discrimination at state agencies and the EEOC. Many disputes can be resolved without litigation through strong advocacy and skillful negotiation, and Suzanne has successfully negotiated hundreds of resolutions on behalf of employers.
With 15 years of in-house experience, Suzanne understands the importance of practical solutions. Clients rely on Suzanne for her ability to apply the law to real-world situations. Suzanne’s clients include large non-profits, independent schools, colleges and universities, financial services companies, credit unions, life sciences and technology companies, manufacturers, start-ups, and medical practices.
As a member of the firm’s Education Practice Group, Suzanne routinely assists independent schools with employee and student issues. Suzanne also assists colleges and universities with policies and procedures affecting students and employees, including student complaint procedures and Title IX, Clery Act, and FERPA compliance. In addition, she conducts training on responding effectively to student complaints of harassment or sexual violence.
Prior to joining Pierce Atwood in 2015, Suzanne was a partner in a small firm specializing in employment and education law. Prior to that, Suzanne was in-house employment counsel at a multistate energy company.
- Named a “Go-To" Employment Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2021)
- Recognized by Chambers USA for Labor & Employment Law (2019-present)
- Member, Boston Bar Association
- Co-chair, Harbor Forum
- Webinar: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: OSHA Vaccination Mandate: What Happens Next? (November 2021)
- Webinar: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: "Delta Variant and New Considerations for Employers" (September 2021)
- Webinar: Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: "Returning to Work Post-Pandemic: What Employers Need to Know" (July 2021)
- Webinar: Society for Human Resource Management and Employee Benefits News: "HR Compliance: Mitigating Risk in 2020" (December 2019)
- University of New Hampshire Center for Family Enterprise: "People: The Hardest Part of Management - Dealing with Conflict, Communications, and the Law" (December 2019)
- Maine Bankers Association Fall Management Conference: "Guns in the Workplace: Policy, Liability, and Discussion" (November 2019)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Focus Clearly in 2020: Make Your Workplace Compliant, Fair, Healthy, and Effective" (October 2019)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Massachusetts Paid Family Medical Leave: What Employers Need to Know Now" (September 2019)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Managing Employees 101 – Best Practices for Managing Effectively and Lawfully" (September 2019)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Hot Topics in Employment Law" (April 2019)
- National Business Officers Association: "What Employers Need to Know About Pay Equity" (March 2019)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "The New Non-Compete Law in Massachusetts: What Employers Need to Know Now" (September 2018)
- “Managing in the #TimesUp and #MeToo Era: Confronting Bad Behavior in the Workplace,” presented by Yale School of Management Alumni Association, Boston Chapter and SOM Alumni Relations, YaleWomen-Boston and The Yale Club of Boston (April 2018)
- Executive Circle Luncheon, The Chamber Collaborative of Greater Portsmouth (April 2018)
- National Business Officers Association annual meeting: "When Employees Can’t Work: Managing FMLA Leave and ADA Accommodations" (March 2018)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Are You Ready for Pregnancy Accommodation and Pay Equity in Massachusetts?" (February 2018)
- Boston Bar Association: "The Nuts and Bolts of Complying with New Pay Equity Law" (June 2017)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Saving Energy: Steps Independent Schools Can Take Now to Reduce Energy Costs and Promote Sustainability" (March 2017)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Surviving the Storm 2017: Employee Benefit Compliance & Employment Law Update" (March 2017)
- Pierce Atwood seminar: "Effects of the Defend Trade Secrets Act" (August 2016)
- Co-author, New Hampshire section on Employment in North America for Lexology “Getting the Deal Done” (2022)
- Successfully defended a race discrimination complaint before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) for food industry client.
- Resolved a wage and hour case before the Connecticut Department of Labor for a fraction of the initial penalty and back pay award.
- On behalf of a manufacturing client, resolved a drug testing complaint before the Maine Department of Labor with no penalty.
- Performed pay equity audits for numerous clients, including a prominent private college in Massachusetts, a large medical provider, and a large engineering firm.
- Drafted and negotiated an employment agreement for the new president of a large non-profit organization in Massachusetts.
- Regularly conduct sexual harassment prevention training for clients, including public biotech company, banks and credit union, food industry, software developer, and non-profit organizations.
- Successfully defeated demand for enforcement of non-compete agreement for a client in the food industry.
- On behalf on an independent day school in Massachusetts, negotiated and prepared vendor contract with a company providing residential housing arrangements for international students.
- Conducted due diligence regarding employment matters in connection with purchase of medical supply company.