Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. The Labor, Employment & Class Action Specialists
Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. The Labor, Employment & Class Action Specialists
Welcome to Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C.
The Labor, Employment & Class Action Specialists

Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. is a plaintiffs’-side employment and union-side labor law firm, whose attorneys have achieved national recognition for their work representing employees and unions in wage and hour, discrimination, and other employment-related litigation. We have tried many cases before juries and judges in federal and state courts, and we pride ourselves on our innovative and creative approaches to advancing workers’ rights.

Our attorneys have brought and won pioneering class action and individual litigation on behalf of tipped employees, employees who have been denied wages and overtime, employees who have been wrongfully misclassified as independent contractors, and employees who have been victims of discrimination, retaliation, and other forms of wrongful misconduct by their employer.

Our attorneys also have a long and proud history of representing private and public sector unions in all aspects of labor law, including arbitration, collective bargaining, and representation of unions before the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission, and state and federal courts. We represent numerous labor unions, including more than 40 locals of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (which represents Verizon workers).

Lichten & Liss-Riordan is a law firm exclusively devoted to the representation of employees and labor unions. We do not represent corporations, large or small; our mission is to advocate for the rights and interests of working people.


Our firm skycapshas been a leading firm challenging employers' misclassification of employees as independent contractors. We have obtained a number of successful rulings and settlements in cases brought on behalf of truck drivers, janitors, exotic dancers, web content editors, and other types of employees who were classified as independent contractors. As part of this litigation, we have sued a number of so-called "cleaning franchise" companies that have preyed on immigrant workers by charging thousands of dollars for low-paying jobs, which we allege the companies churn in order to make a profit. Two federal court judges have ruled that Coverall North America and Jani-King misclassified their cleaning worker "franchisees" as independent contractors when they are really employees, granting our motions for summary judgment. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in August 2011 that the cleaning workers may recover as damages their "franchise fees" and other expenses deducted from their pay.
HawaiiFor the last decade, our firm has pioneered the law protecting tipped employees. We have represented thousands of waitstaff in lawsuits against restaurants, hotels, and other establishments for depriving waitstaff of the full proceeds of customer tips or service charges. In addition to obtaining dozens of court-approved class action settlements, we have won many trials, appeals, and summary judgment rulings for employees. Some recent decisions include federal court rulings in Hawaii, where the court held that the Four Seasons Hotel violated the Hawaii wage law by not distributing the total proceeds of service charges to its waitstaff. We have a number of other cases pending in Hawaii as well, as well as other states, including New York, Florida, and Maine. We have also won summary judgment against Starbucks in Massachusetts, for unlawfully including supervisors in waitstaff tip pools.
Read here about these and our many other successful tips cases.
In the first case of its kind in Massachusetts, king_arthur we have obtained a court ruling that strippers were misclassified as independent contractors. The judge certified the case as a class action and ruled that the dancers were illegally deprived of wages and tips due to their misclassification. Click here to read the court's decision against King Arthur's Lounge, and click here to read what the Boston Globe editorial page had to say.

We recently won a similar ruling against Mario's Showplace. We have brought cases against other strip clubs in Massachusetts and other states, challenging these practices, which are widespread throughout the adult entertainment industry.
Boston Globe - Airline bans tips for skycaps at LoganFor the last six years, we have represented skycap employees challenging airlines for having improperly diverted their tip money by imposing a $2 per bag charge for curbside check-in. We won these claims at trial against American Airlines on behalf of nine Boston skycaps in 2008 (in a case that was affirmed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and later certified, in a companion case, on behalf of a national class of American skycaps). Last year, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the verdict, holding that the statutory claims were preempted by the federal Airline Deregulation Act, and the United States Supreme Court declined to review the case.  We are seeking to continue to press these claims based on the common law, and the issue is now pending at the First Circuit.

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