In a landmark decision that is sending shockwaves through the employment law bar, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal appeals court located in Chicago, IL, which covers the states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin), issued a decision which holds that discrimination based on one's sexual orientation is prohibited under the Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964. This ruling is the first time that a federal appeals court has held that Title VII protects workers against discrimination due to their sexual orientation.
Mark M. WhitneyDownload VCard
Mark founded WLG in 2017. For 15 years prior to founding WLG, Mark gained experience at Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP in Boston, one of the oldest and largest management-side employment law boutiques in the country. Mark was an equity partner at MB&J from 2006 to 2017. Prior to that, Mark worked at two Am Law 100 firms in New York City and Boston, and at the largest law firm in New Hampshire.
For his first 24 years of practice, Mark has focused on employment law and a variety of complex commercial litigation. Mark spent the vast majority of his practice representing employers and insurance companies.
Mark has a broad spectrum of employment law experience. He has successfully handled cases before administrative agencies and the courts in disputes arising under the myriad state and federal laws that regulate the employment relationship. An important part of Mark's practice has been helping clients prevent such disputes by providing consulting services on a variety of employment law issues, such as risk management practices, personnel policies, and statutory compliance. Mark also conducts employment law-related risk management training for executives/management and employees.
Over the years Mark developed substantial experience in the areas of restrictive covenants, trade secret and intellectual property protection, and unfair competition law. He helps companies protect their valuable trade secrets and business relationships. Mark assists clients with prevention and strategic advice, including development and implementation of critical policies, best practices, key agreements (noncompete, nonsolicitation, nondisclosure, inventions and developments, separation, and other employment-related agreements), hiring and other business strategy decisions. Mark has represented companies in court and arbitration proceedings concerning disputes over misappropriation of trade secrets, employee raiding, breaches of restrictive covenants, violations of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty and related business torts, or other methods of unfair competition. Mark is the author of the New England Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Digest, a blog that covers developments in the law of Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition, Employee Mobility, and Business Torts in the six New England states. Mark is a member of the Advisory Board of Brooklyn Law School’s Trade Secrets Institute. He is an active member of the Trade Secrets and Interference with Contracts Committee of the ABA’s Section of Intellectual Property Law, and authors the First Circuit Trade Secret Law Update for the ABA IP law section’s annual meeting. Mark previously served for several years as the editor of the Massachusetts chapter of the leading national treatise on noncompetition law. [Covenants Not to Compete: A State By State Survey (BNA 2004)]
At WLG, Mark puts his years of defense-oriented knowledge and experience to work on behalf of individuals. Mark assists individuals who may have been subjected to an adverse employment action and prosecutes claims based on unlawful discrimination and other employment-related claims. Also, as explained in the practice section, Mark provides individuals with an affordable, fixed price approach to restrictive covenant issues. This unique approach is designed to give individuals a fighting chance to challenge overbroad or unfair post-employment non-compete agreements and other restrictions.
Mark regularly presents seminars to a variety of industry groups, human resources organizations, companies, and bar associations on a wide variety of employment law, restrictive covenant, and other business law topics. Those topics have included:
- Panelist presenting on the topic of "Legal Issues to Consider When Designing Corporate Wellness Programs," at the Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resources Association (March 2, 2017)
- Presented the "IP Protection Update for Massachusetts Employers" at the MetroWest Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management, the MetroWest HRMA. (November 2016)
Presented at the National Business Institute seminar “Employment Law: 2016 Comprehensive Guide” on the subjects “Avoiding Wage and Hour Violations” and “Monitoring Employees: Privacy Issues and Employer Risks.” (November 2016)
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In the News
- Appointed to the Board of Directors of Pier Park Sailing Center, a 501(c)(3) community sailing center dedicated to providing affordable recreational, educational, and personal growth opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in Boston.
- Recognized as a 2016 Massachusetts SuperLawyer® by Thomson Reuters’ SuperLawyer Magazine (10/1/16)
- Published an opinion piece in the Boston Business Journal entitled, "ViewPoint: Non-compete reform’s potential impact on Massachusetts’ employers." (7/22/16) Click here to see the article (subscription required).
- Quoted in a Boston Business Journal article entitled, “Noncompetes EMC-Dell deal a wild card in renewed debate over noncompetes.” (3/2/16) The full article can be found here.
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- Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system (highest ranking).
- Mark has been recognized as either a Rising Star® or SuperLawyer® by Thomson Reuters’ SuperLawyer Magazine since 2005.
- University of Rochester (B.A. 1987 - Economics/Political Science)
- Brooklyn Law School (J.D. 1993)
Bar and Court Admissions
State Bar Admissions:
Federal Court Admissions:
- US District Court, District of Massachusetts
- US District Court, District of New Hampshire
- US District Court, for the Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of New York
- US Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, and Third Circuits
- US Court of Federal Claims.
Mark is active in the community. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Piers Park Sailing Center, a 501(c)(3) community sailing center dedicated to providing affordable recreational, educational, and personal growth opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in Boston.
Mark is a USSF "E" Licensed soccer coach and coaches for the Marblehead Youth Soccer Association.
He previously served on the Personnel Board of the Town of Winchester, Massachusetts and is the past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ALS Association - Massachusetts Chapter.