Elizabeth A. Rodgers, PCElizabeth Rodgers was reelected President of National Employment Lawyers Association, Massachusetts Chapter, 2007-2008. MELA is an organization of over 100 lawyers who represent plaintiffs in over 50% of their employment law practice. MELA holds nine programs a year for the benefit of employment lawyers, and a Regional Conference bi–annually. She has been selected for the National NELA planning committee for its 2008 National Convention. Elizabeth Rodgers is a Partner in Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz, LLP. She was admitted to the Massachusetts and Federal Court bar in 1977. For 25 years she has been litigating employment issues in a practice, which includes numerous jury trials, many confidential settlements and increasingly successful mediation of disputes. Before founding Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz in 2000, to specialize in employment law, she had 23 years of experience as principal counsel in personal injury, toxic tort, malpractice and employment litigation, with successful six figure outcomes in each area. She has the intellectual underpinnings of having been an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern School of Law from 1978-1986, having received her J.D. there in 1976. She has a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelors (Economics) from Wellesley College. In 2000, she co-founded Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP, with three other partners who enjoy first class reputations in securing justice and verdicts for victims of discrimination, civil rights violations, wrongful discharge, whistle-blowing, and retaliation for opposing illegal conduct. The firm now has eight lawyers and is located in Boston, MA.
Elizabeth A. Rodgers has been elected as a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by ones colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence.
The College was established in 1995 through an initiative of the Council of The Section of Labor and Employment Law of the American Bar Association. It is a free standing organization recognizing those who, by long and outstanding service, have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field. There are only 950 members nationwide in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. The twelfth installation of Fellows will be held September 13, 2008 in Denver, CO.
Rodgers is recognized by her peers for 30 years of employment law representations of individuals in every rank and way of life. President of the Mass. Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association for 2006-2008, she had authored and presented 30 lectures on Employment law for all the bar associations in MA, the ABA and NELA. She has a reputation for a tremendous command of the law, demonstrated success in jury trials, creatively integrating all areas of law, music, humor and personal authenticity to her representation of clients, and has brought countless cases to successful resolution through shrewd choices of litigation or effective negotiation. Rodgers’ partner, Kevin Powers, is also a member of the College. Offering the full range of attorney representation, Rodgers has a reputation as both a vigorous trial litigator, and for obtaining expeditious resolution of matters when the client seeks to obtain a prompt and fair resolution and move on. She has obtained jury verdicts and settlements in excess of $500,000 after zealous litigation for many years, as well as negotiated countless severance agreements, non-competition issues and exit strategies. She has enjoyed representing clients in financial, retail, academic and legal communities, as well as a broad range of employees in every walk and station of life. Since 2002 she has represented numerous CEO's, Medical Device Engineers, Recruiters, Law Partners, Branch Managers of large security firms, and many other senior executives in information technology, environmental, financial publishing and insurance firms. She also has numerous clients in the academic setting, including the Dean of an Ivy League school, obtaining reappointment for junior faculty and tenure for mid-career faculty, as well as exit strategies and sexual harassment abatement advice. She has taken on the heads of state agencies, heads of non-profits, prestigious law firms and even the judiciary. She has enjoyed representing the pioneers in traditionally male or all white workplaces, such as brokerage, auto, or printing industries who experienced denial of hire or transfer, wage inequality or sexual harassment.
A lawyer's lawyer, 90% of her business is from other legal referrals or former clients. For 2007-2009, she is on the planning committee for the National Employment Lawyers’ Association National Conference, in addition to the Local NELA Chapter President Role. She has been a frequent contributor as a seminar presenter on employment law issues for the Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and NELA for over 20 years. Her materials have been selected for republication in the Section Review of the Massachusetts Bar Association. A comprehensive list is available at www.theemploymentlawyers.com., the website of Rodgers, Powers & Schwartz LLP . (See same list, below)
She is the lead author of the chapter on the Massachusetts Wage and Hour Law Timely Payment of Wages Act for the MCLE treatise on employment law with Attorney Linda Evans of Rodgers, Powers, & Schwartz, LLP and Philip Gordon of the Gordon Law Group. 2002, 2005, 2007 forthcoming. She has also presented nationally for the ABA Labor and Employment Section in Florida and has been the plaintiff spokesperson at training for employers by the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. Rodgers will be on the faculty of the NELA Regional Convention in 2008. She is certified as a mediator and has extensive experience in resolving disputes through mediations, counseling, and negotiation, as well as litigation, such as:
Recently resolved litigation includes a case against a serial predator who harassed four women; litigating the denial of stock options for a whistleblower; litigating the replacement of a high achieving female by a less qualified male who was failing in his own job; representing a building inspector fired for adhering to safety codes, and a number of other cases involving workers related to pregnancy, cancer or whistle-blowing.
- Representing a major broadcast star in highly visible, a wrongful termination
Negotiating reappointment or reversal of unfair decisions involving discrimination or reasonable accommodation
- Resolving an exit for a highly honored executive who had become enmeshed in personality conflicts within eight weeks.
- Before initiating suit, obtaining short term disability leave, retraining, relocation, continued employment and a substantial sum for a utility worker who had been subjected to terrifying harassment.
- Negotiating complex friction issues within an academic department permitting her client to remain.
She has obtained procedural victories in:
- Defeating summary judgment in three cases where defendants' claimed there were no facts in dispute
- Obtaining a court ordering the defendants' expert to permit videotaping of a hostile psychological exam
- Obtaining a court order prohibiting the defendants' seeking unrelated agency records
- Using Freedom of Information Act or external investigation to prove dishonesty and obtain confidential settlements
- Obtaining the right to video tape employment settings revealing unexpected evidence in sex discrimination cases
Elizabeth A. Rodgers was born in White Plains, NY, October 31, 1947, admitted to bar, 1977; Massachusetts.
Education: Wellesley College (B.A. Economics 1969); Northeastern School of Law (J.D. 1976). Adjunct and Visiting Professor of Law, Northeastern School of Law, 1978-1986. London School of Economics (M.Sc., Soc. Admin. 1971)
Formerly Partner, Kehoe, Doyle, Playter & Novick, 1980-98; Rodgers and Associates, 1999-2000.
Current member: Massachusetts (Labor and Employment Section), Boston Bar Association, National Employment Lawyers Association;
Former positions: Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor Section Council, 1988-1998; member Northeastern School of Law Alumni Association, Board of Directors, 1978-1988, President of Alumni Association, 1988-1989. Ms. Rodgers was a former Vice President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, MA chapter. Languages: Spanish, French.Practice areas: Employment law, Whistle-blower, harassment, age discrimination, counseling, investigations, mediation and litigation.Attorney Rodgers has been "AV" rated since 1986, (the highest rating of a commercial service listing attorneys nationwide), and she has had numerous jury trials, including three trials exceeding 40 days, representing thousands of individuals. In 2005, Rodgers obtained the first Superior Court decision acknowledging the protection of employees associated with pregnant wives from discrimination, defeating summary judgment in Curley v. Sentry Insurance, (Middlesex, 2005) and obtained a decision upholding the right of a building inspector to a trial against the Town and Town Manager and a Selectman where he has been fired, under a Whistle blowing statute and freedom of speech and tort claims. Gauthier v. Town of Dracut. (Middlesex, 2005). (defeating summary judgment). She defeated summary judgment in a case of a female highly paid merchandizer replaced by a failing male vice president. Anderson v. SmartBargains, (Suffolk, 2006). She co-counseled Moskowitz v. Lotus Development Corp. in 1994 obtaining a $500,000 verdict, in an age and sex case, after a 40 day trial, and was lead counsel in obtaining a $600,000 jury verdict Hezekiah v. Rowe Brothers (Essex Co), in 1989. She co-counseled at the trial of Brown v. Freedman Bakery, 810 F.2d 6, 11 (1st Cir. 1987) obtaining a verdict of $198,000 in 1987 with 69,000 in fees and costs.
St. Patrick’s Day History: Rodgers recently visited Ireland and discovered that her maternal family of origin, the Higgins, had been poets, bards and lawyers for hundreds of years, until the ouster of the Catholic rulers, whom they supported, when many became tenant farmers on Protestant estates. Her forebears left for the US during the famine in 1849, and worked in the coal mines of Pottsville PA. Involved in organizing the mines when repression came down in the 1870’s, her great grandfather high tailed it out of the county to Boston, where he became a small business man, (a/k/a saloon keeper), got all his daughters college educated, and died just before Prohibition. Rodgers’ grandmother used her college degree to teach and raise six children after her husband died in 1939. The paternal grandparents were also Irish, inventive, and hardworking. and her father, a humorous and generous textile executive, was fired in 1964 for refusing to lie about a contract –which taught her integrity and grit. They were brilliant forebears of what Rodgers does and why she does it.
To learn more about the Solomon Amendment, visit:
For information about the FAIR v. Rumsfeld litigation, visit:
To read Attorney Smolik's declaration, as cited in the federal District Court's ruling in Forum for Academic & Institutional Rights, Inc. v. Rumsfeld, 291 F. Supp. 2d 269, 282, 294 (D.N.J. 2003), visit:
Ms. Smolik is a member of the Massachusetts and National Employment Lawyers Associations and the American Constitution Society. She lives in Cambridge with her family.
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