Susan G. Fentin

Susan G. Fentin
(413) 737-4753 v-card download

When Susan Fentin graduated from law school, she wasn’t sure what area of the law would interest her, but she was pretty sure she didn’t want to become a divorce lawyer; the conflict and drama of spousal and family relationships didn’t appeal to her. But when she decided to focus on labor and employment law, she soon realized that the employment law relationship is more like a family relationship than a strictly business arrangement. Employees often see their identity through their work, and in times of conflict, they tend to take things personally. So Susan has developed an area of expertise in helping clients resolve difficult employee problems in a way that helps to minimize that conflict and hopefully avoid legal battles. That involves helping clients understand their legal obligations under the multiple employment laws that cover Massachusetts employers and working with them to create strategies that meet those obligations.

The best part of my practice is helping my clients solve problems. I always like to say that I’d much rather have a 15 minute phone conversation with a client about a difficult decision than be faced with defending them in litigation if they make a misstep. I pride myself on my personal relationship with my clients. I feel as if I’m a part of their team, not just an attorney who is only interested in the legal issues. Instead, I work with my clients to help them make logical, defensible decisions about their employees. Frankly, all of us at Skoler Abbott feel that we are on the same side as the administrative agencies that handle employment-related disputes: We all want to see that both employers and employees are treated fairly.

Susan’s legal and professional skills have been recognized many times by outside organizations. She’s been named a Super Lawyer since 2008, was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Massachusetts in 2015, has been recognized as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in Massachusetts by the prestigious Chambers and Partners rating organization, and was honored as a distinguished alumna of the Western New England University Law Review. She also conducts supervisor trainings and regularly presents webinars and seminars on topics of significance to employers.  Here is a clip from Susan’s presentation at BLR’s 2016 Advanced Employment Issues Symposium (AEIS), where she discussed the growing trend of paid leave laws across the country.

  • Admitted

    • Massachusetts, 1996
    • Connecticut, 1997
    • United States District Court, Massachusetts and Connecticut, 1997
    • United States District Court, Vermont, 2001
  • Affiliations

    • Member, Massachusetts Bar Association
    • Member, Hampden County Bar Association
  • Education

    • J.D., magna cum laude, Western New England University School of Law, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1996
    • B.A., Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 1971
  • Noteworthy

    • Clerk to the Honorable John M. Greaney, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 1996-1997
    • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2005-2006
    • Super Lawyers, 2008-present
    • Recognized as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in Massachusetts by Chambers and Partners, 2010-2015
    • Named as one of Top 50 Women Attorneys in Massachusetts in 2015
  • Professional Activities/Community Involvement

    • Board of Trustees, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, North Hatfield, MA; President, 2009-2012, Board Member 2007-2015
    • Board of Directors, Riverside Industries, Inc., Easthampton, MA, 2010-2015; First Vice President, 2012-2013; Second Vice President, 2013-2014; President, 2014-2015
    • Board of Directors, The Academy of Music Theatre, Northampton, MA, 2005-2012
    • Board of Trustees, WFCR, New England Public Radio; President, 2003-2005, Board Member, 2000-2006
    • Board of Directors, Greenfield Cooperative Bank, 2014-present
    • Board of Tribunes for WGBY TV
  • Published Works

  • Teacher/Presenter

    • Speaker, Advanced Employment Issues Symposium, Nashville, TN, 2004-present
    • Keynote Panel, Advanced Employment Issues Symposium, Nashville, TN, 2008-2016
    • Master Classes held in Cambridge and Springfield, Massachusetts on behalf of BLR:
      •  Americans with Disabilities Act
      •  Wage and Hour: Fair Labor Standards Act
      •  Family and Medical Leave Act
      •  HR Foundations
  • Webinars Presented

    • Defensible Employment Documentation: How to Build a Wall and Minimize Legal Risks
    • 7 Anti-Employer Laws
    • How to Manage and Survive an EEOC Investigation
    • What You Can Do About Employee Depression
    • FMLA Self-Audit
    • 6 Anti-Employer Laws in 2010
    • Domestic Partners and the FMLA
    • FMLA’s New Domestic Partner Rights
    • Mental Illness
    • Conducting Exemption Audits Under the FLSA
    • Depression and Other Mental Illness Under New ADA
    • Workplace Scents and Allergies
    • Bipolar Disorder
    • Documentation
    • FMLA Bootcamp for Supervisors
    • Anxiety Disorder: Strategies for Human Resources