Mark W. Batten

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Mark Batten is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Class & Collective Actions Group.

Mark represents employers nationwide at all stages of complex employment litigation, including class and collective actions on wage and hour matters and discrimination claims. Ranked by Chambers USA, Mark is hailed as “a fabulous lawyer, handling interesting and complex cases.” Clients “highly recommend him to anyone seeking litigation counsel in the Boston area,” as well as note “he is responsive, pragmatic and team-oriented, and offers excellent legal advice.”

Latest Articles

As the Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) prepares to issue final regulations in coming months, the Commonwealth has begun posting a number of documents to assist employers and workers prepare for the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML” Law), including summary guides of the PFML law (one directed at employers and one directed at workers) and a workplace poster that the Commonwealth will require employers to display in a conspicuous spot…
On Friday April 12, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court confirmed that plaintiffs seeking to bring class actions asserting Massachusetts Wage Act (“Wage Act”) violations must meet the certification standards set by Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (“Rule 23”), and cannot avail themselves of a lower bar to class certification. In Gammella v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., plaintiff Felice Gammella argued that the Commonwealth’s Wage Act (Mass. Gen. L. ch. 149, §§ 148, 150) provides its…
Paid Family and Medical Leave is on its way to Massachusetts.  In its latest update, the Commonwealth’s Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) published proposed regulations on March 29, 2019 for public comment.  After the next round of revisions, the final Paid Family Medical Leave (“PFML”) regulations will become effective July 1, 2019.  The Commonwealth also recently published summary guides of the PFML law, one directed at employers and one directed at workers,…
In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Sotomayor on February 26, 2019, the Supreme Court held that the 14-day deadline to seek permission to appeal a decision granting or denying class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) cannot be extended through the doctrine of equitable tolling. Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert. The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which had accepted a petition filed more than 14 days after the trial court’s decertification…
In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Sotomayor on February 26, 2019, the Supreme Court held that the 14-day deadline to seek permission to appeal a decision granting or denying class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f) cannot be extended through the doctrine of equitable tolling. Nutraceutical Corp. v. Lambert, No. 17-1094, 586 U.S. ___ (2019). The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision, which had accepted a petition filed more than 14 days…
As has been long anticipated, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently gave a green light to plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking a fee award under the Commonwealth’s Payment of Wages Act, even where an action ends in settlement.  The Wage Act (Mass. General Laws ch. 149 §§ 148, 150) awards costs and fees when an employee “prevails” in an action arising under the statute.  In Ferman v. Sturgis Cleaners, Inc., No. SJC-12602, decided Feb.…
Massachusetts employers’ decision-making processes with regards to lateral, internal employee transfers are now subject to possible state law discrimination claims.  On January 29, 2019, the SJC issued its decision in Yee v. Massachusetts State Police, SCJ-12485, holding that when two jobs at the same level for the same employer offer “material differences” in compensation opportunity, or in any other terms and conditions of employment, a denied lateral transfer to the more desirable position could be…
On January 23, 2019, Massachusetts released draft regulations on the Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) Law, signed into law last summer (as previously discussed here) and set to begin taking effect this upcoming July.  The Department of Family and Medical Leave released these draft regulations for public comment only, with the deadline for publication of official regulations set for March 31, 2019.  The draft regulations are not yet binding on employers, but they…
The Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) permits removal of many class actions from state to federal court, but includes a “local controversy” exception that forbids removal where two-thirds or more of the proposed class resides in the state where the action is brought. In disputes over efforts to use CAFA to remove class actions, the residence of the class members often is difficult to assess. Earlier this month, in King v. Great American Chicken Corp.,…
On August 10, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill making significant reforms to Massachusetts’ law regarding non-compete agreements, as well as adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) (joining 48 other states as well as DC in adopting the UTSA at least in part, and leaving New York as the lone state to not have adopted any version of the UTSA). The reform comes at the tail end of the 2018…