Chelsie Vokes is a labor and employment lawyer, advising businesses and nonprofit organizations on discrimination, Wage Act, non-compete and other issues, primarily on behalf of employers. She is also involved with the firm’s environmental practice, an area of her work, as Chelsie puts it, “where my training in Environmental Science is a plus.”
Chelsie already has a reputation as a valued member of the firm. “Chelsie is known by others at Bowditch as personable, thorough and solution-oriented,” says Bob Cox, the firm’s Managing Partner. “She’s a creative thinker and good at spotting issues.”
Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Chelsie interned for a personal injury law firm in the Worcester area. In addition, she was a Student Advocate for Harvard Legal Services Center, where she drafted motions, amended agreements and created requests for reasonable accommodation. Chelsie conducted in-person and telephone conferences for clients facing eviction and counseled tenants in the Boston Housing Court. During law school, she worked as a Summer Associate for Bowditch.
Chelsie grew up on Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury, Mass., where she enjoys kayaking, waterskiing and wake surfing each summer. She also enjoys baking and has a reputation at the firm for her gingerbread cookies.
Articles + Talks
- “Family and Medical Leave Program Draft Regulations Released,” HRMA Perspectives, February 1, 2019.
- “Paid family and medical leave comes to Massachusetts,” Worcester Business Journal, December 3, 2018
- “Paid Family and Medical Leave Comes to Massachusetts,” Bowditch & Dewey, December 3, 2018
- “New Employer Restrictions on Criminal History Requests,” Bowditch & Dewey, September 27, 2018
- “COVID-19 + Working Women: How to Reverse the Shecession,” Worcester Business Journal Webinar, April 20, 2021
- Panelist, “12th Annual Employment Law Update Part 1,” Bowditch & Dewey Webinar, January 19, 2021
- “Title IX Final Regulations Explained,” Bowditch & Dewey Webinar, May 21, 2020
- “11th Annual Employment Law Update,” Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester/Framingham/South Hadley, Massachusetts, January 2020
- “Environmental & Employment Law,” Environmental Science Career Event, UMass Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, April 5, 2018
- “Addressing the #MeToo Movement in Higher Education,” Bowditch & Dewey, South Hadley/Framingham/Worcester, March 2018
- J.D., cum laude, Boston University School of Law
- B.S., Environmental Science, summa cum laude, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Resolving a tenant’s grievance…and saving her from eviction
When Chelsie worked in Boston Housing Court, she helped a tenant facing eviction for nonpayment of rent. “She and I spoke,” Chelsie said, “and I realized the landlord had engaged in ‘cross metering,’ which meant the tenant was paying the electricity for the common areas as well as her apartment. I told her that this was illegal, and she said all she wanted was to not have to pay her back rent.” Chelsie successfully negotiated with the lawyer on the other side to obtain a dismissal without prejudice and an agreement that the tenant would not owe any unpaid rent.