Tim Powell is a labor and employment lawyer focused on helping businesses, non-profits and colleges and universities facing difficult claims and organizational issues. His business and institutional clients vary in size from mid-range on up, are typically based in Massachusetts with operations in the Northeast and beyond and include the healthcare, social services and higher education sectors.
Tim regularly represents clients in proceedings before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. His labor and employment clients often turn to Tim for disputes involving discrimination and retaliation, wage-and-hour, non-competition and trade secrets.
Clients also seek Tim’s advice on their non-litigation needs. For example, his start-up and early-stage clients – such as craft brewers – often come to him for help with labor and employment issues relating to corporate formation, employment policies and personnel management concerns. “I am excited by the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit I see today, particularly among those in my generation, and it’s very satisfying to support these new and growing businesses,” Tim notes. He also advises larger clients on employment policies and practices, and guides higher education clients on a wide range of employee and student matters.
Tim is a frequent speaker at the firm’s College & University Roundtable Seminars and has presented on topics such as the legal implications of study abroad programs, accommodations for students and employees and transgender issues on campus. He has published several articles with national and regional media on workplace bullying, age discrimination, non-competition agreements and other issues in the craft brewing industry and he frequently contributes to the firm’s Campus Counsel, At the Bar with Bowditch and LGBTQ Legal Issues blogs.
During law school, Tim worked as a Summer Associate for Bowditch & Dewey and as a Judicial Intern for The Honorable Juan R. Torruella of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Before law school, Tim was a litigation paralegal at a major law firm in Washington, D.C.
Tim sails, skis and runs, including a couple of marathons. A proficient sailor, he taught sailing before law school and likes to sail around the New England coast. He was a ski racer in high school and college and still hits the slopes as often as he can in the winter. “Knock on wood. No surgeries.”
- Director, The Arc of Opportunity in North Central Massachusetts
Articles + Talks
“C-Suite Employment Contract Clauses Companies and their Boards Must Consider in the Wake of Weinstein,” Bowditch & Dewey, November 17, 2017
“Combating Opioid Abuse in the Workplace: A Proactive Approach For Employers,” Human Resources Management Association, October 12, 2017
“Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: An Employee’s Balm; an Employer’s Bane,” Bowditch & Dewey, July 18, 2017
“Can we Define a ‘Craft Brewery’ by Tax Codes?” Craft Brewing Business, February 24, 2016
- “Outlawing Impolite Behavior at Work: An Ominous Trend,” New England In-House, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, The Daily Record, and Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, August 2015
- “As a Law Grows Older, We Feel Younger: Is it Time the Age Discrimination Law Got a Makeover?” Corporate Counsel, Law.com and Daily Business Review, July 2015
- “Attorney General Publishes Final Regulations for Earned Sick Time Law,” Bowditch & Dewey, June 24, 2015
- “Deadline Fast Approaching to Implement New Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals,” Bowditch & Dewey, April 28, 2015
- “Massachusetts Enacts Law Extending 8-Week Parental Leave to Men,” Bowditch & Dewey, January 13, 2015
- “New NLRB Rules Increase Union Organizing Power,” Bowditch & Dewey, December 19, 2014
- “ViewPoint: Trouble brewing for our other national pastime,” Boston Business Journal, November 28, 2014
- “Massachusetts Voters Approve Paid Sick Time Law,” Bowditch & Dewey, November 6, 2014
- “Massachusetts Enacts Domestic Violence Leave Law,” Bowditch & Dewey, September 15, 2014
- “ViewPoint: Employers should still be cautious with noncompetes,” Boston Business Journal, August 8, 2014
- “EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance On Pregnancy Discrimination,” Bowditch & Dewey, July 15, 2014
- “9th Annual Federal and State Employment Law Update,” Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester/Framingham/Springfield, Massachusetts, January/February 2018
- “8th Annual Federal and State Employment Law Update,” Bowditch & Dewey, Worcester/Newton/South Hadley, Massachusetts, January 2017
- “Study Abroad Programs: Your Legal Responsibilities and Obligations,” Bowditch & Dewey College and University Roundtable, Worcester/South Hadley, Massachusetts, March 2016
“Leaves and Accommodations for Employees and Students,” Bowditch & Dewey College and University Roundtable, Worcester/South Hadley, Massachusetts, October 2014
- J.D., cum laude, Boston University
- B.A., cum laude, Colgate University
Neutralizing a $2 million damages claim
Bowditch took over a case where a large government contractor had been sued in 2014 by a sub, alleging theft of trade secrets. “The plaintiff claimed that our client had taken its trade secrets on a part and then replaced the plaintiff with a different sub.” Tim and a partner calmly and efficiently whittled down the plaintiff’s case, thanks in part to an aggressive motion practice. According to Tim, “We neutralized their $2 million-plus damages claim by showing that they couldn’t point to lost sales.” After only three days into this jury trial in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, the plaintiff settled in March 2017 for a significantly smaller amount.
Avoiding lengthy litigation for a university in a racial discrimination case
When a private, medium-sized university in Massachusetts terminated a male employee for poor performance, the man sued, claiming racial discrimination. He filed his claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and demanded re-instatement. “We interviewed coworkers and supervisors and prepared a detailed written response,” Tim explained. After the parties tried and failed to mediate a resolution, the EEOC investigated the claim. “The agency dismissed the claim against our client in 2016 for lack of probable cause, and we avoided lengthy litigation for the university.”