Michael L. Rosen


I am an experienced litigator and advisor on complex employment issues.

Michael Rosen represents employers across the full spectrum of employment law matters. His practice focus is two-fold: he litigates every kind of employment-related dispute; and he regularly counsels employers on all of the strategic and day-to-day issues relating to their employees.

Mike has extensive experience in litigating and advising clients about restrictive covenants, including non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, as well as related issues of unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty. He has successfully assisted employers in the life sciences, professional services, technology, retail and manufacturing industries with actions involving the enforcement of restrictive agreements. He also helps departing employees and hiring employers in achieving their business goals when confronted with potential application of restrictive agreements.

Mike regularly counsels employers on a wide range of employment law matters, such as executive separations, employment contracts, wage/hour compliance, EEO complaints and investigations, leave-of-absence issues, independent contractors, employee handbooks, employee screening, social media, workforce reductions and employment law compliance training.

Mike has served as lead counsel in defending claims of age, disability, race and gender discrimination and retaliation under state and federal laws, as well as claims brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act, FLSA, state wage and hour laws, and ERISA. He regularly represents employers before federal and state equal opportunity commissions, such as the EEOC and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

 Mike also serves as General Counsel of Foley Hoag, overseeing the firm’s risk management practices.


  • New York University School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1991
  • University of Miami, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1988

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


  • Obtained injunction preventing pharmacy benefit manager executive from joining competitor and successfully defended the injunction on appeal to the First Circuit (CVS Pharmacy Inc. v. Lavin, 951 F.3d 50 (1st Cir. 2020))
  • Defeated injunction request in Massachusetts Business Litigation Session on behalf of team of wealth managers joining new firm
  • Obtained stipulated injunction on behalf of life sciences company whose former salesperson solicited business from customers
  • Successfully represented a start-up in defeating a multi-national cosmetics company's attempt to enjoin our client's hire of a new CEO to oversee its product development and marketing efforts
  • Defeated a multi-million dollar "raiding" case brought before a FINRA panel by a brokerage house in connection with the hiring of a group of financial advisors
  • Regularly advises employers and individuals in high stakes recruitment and hiring matters, analyzing applicable restrictions and relevant law and crafting strategies to cost-effectively achieve clients’ objectives
  • Successfully represented a manufacturer in defense of a putative collective action under FLSA and class action under state law, involving claims under federal law of failure to pay overtime on a timely basis and under state law of failure to pay non-exempt employees on a bi-weekly basis  
  • Successfully represented software company in defending collective and class action claims that account specialists were misclassified as exempt 
  • Represented clients in DOL and state attorney general investigations into compliance with wage and hours laws, including contractor vs. employee issues, exempt classification issues, and 
  • Regularly counsels employers in a wide array of industries regarding classification issues and wage and hour compliance 
  • Obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a large manufacturer on claims by a former employee that he had been terminated based on his race and disability in refusing to return to work following a medical disability leave
  • Obtained “lack of probable cause” dismissals of dozens of discrimination and retaliation charges brought at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, EEOC, and other state and local EEO agencies
  • Regularly advises boards of directors on internal complaints and investigations involving alleged executive misconduct
  • Successfully represented a large healthcare client in a multi-million dollar ERISA arbitration brought by the former chief executive of a client’s predecessor entity, who alleged he wrongfully had been denied retirement benefits under a split dollar plan
  • Obtained on behalf of a multi-national financial services company a favorable award from an arbitration panel against a highly-compensated former research analyst who claimed entitlement to millions of dollars in severance pay and bonus amounts associated with his employment termination
  • Advised clients on dozens of complex and highly-sensitive executive separations


  • "Employing Workers in Massachusetts: A Guide for Emerging Companies" e-book
  • "Employment Law: 'But for' a Criminal Case," ABA Labor and Employment Law newsletter (Summer 2014, Volume 42, Number 4)
  • "Section 409A (Deferred Compensation) Issues in Employment Agreements," Mid-Winter Meeting Materials, ABA Labor and Employment Section, Committee on Employment Rights and Responsibilities, Subcommittee on Contracts and Executive Compensation (with Teresa Martland) (March 2012)

Foley Hoag Publications

Publication 09/06/2019

Honors & Involvement

  • Ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business as one of Massachusetts' leading labor and employment lawyers (2011-2022)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2023) 
  • Listed in Massachusetts Super Lawyers 
  • Received the Myron Greene Award for Excellence in Advocacy at New York University School of Law
  • Co-Chair, Statutory Rights Subcommittee, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Committee on Employee Rights and Responsibilities
  • Vice-Chair, Publications Committee, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section (2020-21)
  • Boston Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Member 
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Member

Speaking Engagements

  • “Age Discrimination in a New Age,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting (March 2022) 
  • “Covid 19 Vaccines and the Workplace: A Webinar for Business Owners, Managers and HR Professionals” (March 2021)
  • “How the New Non-Compete Law Affects Your Clients," presented by JAMS and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (October 2018) 
  • "The New Massachusetts Noncompete Law: What You Need to Know," Foley Hoag Labor and Employment Webinar (August 2018)
  • “The Legal and Other Challenges to the ‘Gig Economy’ around the Globe: What's the Score?,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting (March 2018) 
  • "Beyond Harvey Weinstein: Workplace Sexual Harassment in the U.S.," Harvard Law School (December 2017)
  • “Handling the Perils and Pitfalls Arising from Alleged Executive Misconduct,” ABA Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting (March 2017) 
  • "Litigation Strategies for In-House Counsel: Ten Commandments of Practical Lawyering," TechGC (March 2017)
  • "Restrictive Covenants in Massachusetts: Strategies for Defending and Enforcing in a Changing Legal Climate," 19th Annual Employment Law Conference 2016, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (December 2016)
  • "Best Practices in Workplace Investigations," Boston Bar Association (November 2016)
  • "Preparing for the New Law," The New Pay Equity Law: What Your Company Needs to Know, Foley Hoag Seminar (November 2016)
  • “Your Employment Agreements Are Under Attack,” Foley Hoag Labor and Employment Webinar (January 2016)