Ariel G. Sullivan

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Partner

Ariel Sullivan is a partner in the firm’s Labor & Employment and Higher Education groups, representing businesses and institutions of higher education in proceedings before state and federal courts, and administrative agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”).

Ariel is committed to understanding her clients’ businesses, listening to their concerns, and providing guidance and solutions suited to fit their needs and growth.  She advises clients on all aspects of employment, including hiring, termination, wage and hour practices, personnel policies and handbooks, leaves of absence, non-competition agreements, internal investigations, union avoidance and unfair labor practices, employee discipline and diversity initiatives.  Ariel also assists clients with employment-based immigration matters, including work authorization (Form I-9), use of E-Verify, and temporary working visas (H-1B petitions).

Ariel counsels higher education clients on matters related to faculty and staff employment, student affairs and discipline, disability services, response to subpoenas, FERPA compliance, state authorization, research compliance, and student and faculty handbooks.  Over the last several years, Ariel has been working hand-in-hand with college and university clients and their Title IX coordinators to help them navigate the complexities of Title IX, and revise their policies and procedures in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance.  She frequently assists colleges and universities in responding to allegations of sexual assault on campus, conducts investigations, and provides training to various constituencies on campus, including Title IX coordinators, investigators and adjudicators, campus police and students.

Admitted to Practice: 

Massachusetts
District of Columbia
Maryland

Background: 

Prior to joining Bowditch & Dewey, Ariel was a trial attorney at a Washington, DC-based law firm, where she represented professionals, corporations, and institutions of higher education in medical malpractice, products liability and employment discrimination matters before the state and federal courts.

Professional/Community Affiliations: 

  • Member, Board of Directors, United Way of Tri-County
  • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association and District of Columbia Bar association
  • Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association


Representative Experience

  • Prepared and submitted a university’s response to a Title IX appeal, assisted with revision of the university’s student handbook with respect to Title IX policies and procedures and conducted on-site Title IX training for the university’s hearing board.
  • Delivered webinar and on-site training to the human resource and accounting teams of an international plastics and specialty films manufacturer covering updates to the company’s handbook and state-by-state leave policies.
  • Successfully obtained temporary working (H-1B) visas for non-immigrant employees in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and higher education.
  • Successfully obtained a dismissal of labor-related claims brought by an international labor union against an adult family care, developmental disability and mental health services company.
  • Collaborated directly with the CEO and human resource officers of a family health center regarding an external investigation. Successfully negotiated and documented an agreement and release for employee separation in connection with the investigation.
  • Obtained successful outcomes for a low-income housing nonprofit in discrimination cases before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Speaking Engagements/Publications:

  • “Managing Student, Faculty and Staff Mental Health Disabilities,” Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester/South Hadley, Massachusetts, March 2017
  • Seminar: Maternity Leave, Short and Long Term Disability and the Domestic Violence Leave Act, before the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Human Resource Council, November 18, 2015.
  • Seminar: Leave Me Alone: A Primer for Understanding and Navigating the Laws Related to Employee Leaves of Absence, before the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts Fall Symposium, October 8, 2015.