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Chelsie Vokes.

Associate

Chelsie A. Vokes

Associate

Overview

Chelsie Vokes is an employment, labor and higher education attorney. She represents clients in the full spectrum of employment litigation matters, including wage and hour claims, discrimination actions, non-competition and trade secret disputes, Title IX matters, and contract claims, in state and federal courts, in arbitration and mediation, and before state and federal agencies.

Employers rely on Chelsie for day-to-day counseling in all areas of employment law, including hiring, termination, personnel policies and handbooks, leaves of absence, internal investigations, employee discipline and DEI initiatives. She drafts policies, as well as all manner of employment-related agreements, including employment, compensation, commission, confidentiality, non-competition, and separation agreements. She has conducted investigations into alleged harassment, discrimination, retaliation, bullying and other workplace misconduct.

Chelsie provides higher education clients with advice and counsel in matters specific to colleges and universities, such as Title IX compliance and sexual misconduct matters, student and faculty issues, risk management, and governance matters.

Chelsie co-leads the firm’s sexual misconduct and discrimination practice, which includes Title IX counseling, training, compliance, policy making, investigations, and service on hearing panels. She has conducted dozens of investigations, including witness interviews, for both sexual harassment and Title IX investigations, drafted reports regarding those investigations and, where needed, advised clients on appropriate next steps. She helps colleges and universities understand, implement and carry out their obligation to a provide a prompt, thorough and fair process. She has worked on numerous cases involving sexual misconduct in the role of a litigator, investigator, advisor and trainer to various constituencies on campus.

Before Bowditch

Prior to joining the firm, Chelsie was a Student Advocate for Harvard Legal Services Center, where she drafted motions, amended agreements and created requests for reasonable accommodation. She also conducted in-person and telephone conferences for clients facing eviction and counseled tenants in the Boston Housing Court. During law school, she was Summer Associate at Bowditch.

Besides work

Chelsie grew up on Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury, Mass., where she enjoys winter pond hockey and kayaking, waterskiing and wake surfing each summer.

Affiliations

Articles + Talks

Articles

Talks

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Boston University School of Law
  • B.S., Environmental Science, summa cum laude, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Experience

Dismissal of Title IX federal case against a Massachusetts college by a student

We successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of a Massachusetts college that was sued by a former student for violation of Title IX and negligence.  The student had reported sexual assault by another student on campus and sued the college after a hearing board was unable to conclude, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a sexual assault occurred.  In dismissing the student-plaintiff’s claims, the court adopted the factual and legal arguments detailed in our briefs and at oral argument, and held that the college could not be liable under any theory since it quickly responded to plaintiff’s report, issued a no contact order, gathered statements from plaintiff and multiple witnesses, notified her of her rights, provided her with resources and accommodations, afforded her the opportunity to present evidence and ask questions during the hearing, and otherwise took action to swiftly remedy the situation.

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