Jennifer Fay

Jennifer Merrigan Fay

Partner
Jennifer Merrigan Fay
Boston
+1 617 570 1943

Jennifer Fay is a partner in Goodwin’s Employment practice and a former member of the firm’s Executive Committee. She is also a founding member of the firm’s Trade Secrets & Restrictive Covenants practice. Ms. Fay focuses her employment law practice on servicing the firm’s technology, life sciences, private equity/venture capitalist and financial services clients, as counselor, a litigator and an employment law compliance expert. She has developed a particular expertise in connection with CEO and other executive transitions, complex workplace investigations and the development and implementation of proactive human resources strategies, including interactive workplace training. Ms. Fay dedicates much of her practice to investigations related to alleged discrimination/harassment, ethics and policy violations, founders’ disputes and whistleblower claims.

Ms. Fay is also the firm’s primary specialist on employment-related issues that arise in connection with transactional matters, including mergers and acquisitions, asset deals and financing events. She regularly advises clients regarding complex topic areas, including IRS Code Section 409A compliance with respect to employment arrangements, sophisticated employment arrangements (including for public company executives), bonus plans and equity compensation matters.

She has special expertise in the areas of restrictive covenants including noncompetition, nondisclosure and nonsolicitation agreements. Trade secret issues often come into sharpest focus when an employee leaves one company to start another or work for a competitor. Such cases raise trade secret issues for all parties involved. Ms. Fay regularly provides strategic counseling and litigation services to clients who find themselves in these circumstances.

Ms. Fay also has in-depth knowledge of worker classification, discrimination, harassment and anti-retaliation laws, pay equity legislation and other high priority areas of interest for employers. She applies her subject matter expertise while counseling clients, negotiating with opposing counsel, handling disputes including through mediation and litigation, and collaborating with the firm’s business law attorneys and clients.

Experience

Ms. Fay works with publicly traded organizations as well as small businesses and across industry lines. She has ongoing relationships with many of the firm’s life sciences and technology clients, as well as numerous private equity and venture capital firms and their portfolio companies.

Her notable work in the past year includes handling sensitive and high stakes executive-level investigations and transitions, collaborating with respected economists to conduct gender pay equity audits, and presenting in venues across the country as a subject matter expert with respect to workplace harassment and assault.

Over the years, Ms. Fay has developed special expertise in the areas of executive employment agreements, worker classification matters, sexual and other types of discriminatory harassment, reductions-in-force and restrictive covenants.

Professional Activities

Ms. Fay is a graduate of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination's Train the Trainer Certification Program and is on the MCAD's list of recommended trainers. She is a member of the Boston, Massachusetts and American Bar Associations.

Credentials

Education

JD1993

Suffolk University School of Law

(magna cum laude)

Ms. Fay was the recipient of the Law Faculty’s Outstanding Student Award, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Suffolk University Law Review and was class Salutatorian.

BA1989

Boston College

(cum laude)

Admissions

Bars

  • Massachusetts

Recognition & Awards

Ms. Fay has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers for her work in Litigation - Labor and Employment 2022-2023.

Ms. Fay is listed in the Labor and Employment category in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where clients praise her for being “commercial, savvy and an excellent lawyer,” "very good in a crisis," and “understanding how businesses work, really knowing the law, and understanding people issues.” Additionally, Chambers sources stated that Ms. Fay “has a great reputation for handling complex matters” and “is very well rounded and well versed in many areas of employment law.” She has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in the field of labor and employment litigation.

Publications

Ms. Fay’s recent publications have included:

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Fay is a regular speaker at internal and external seminars and webinars, board of director and executive committee meetings. Her recent presentations include:

  • Workplace Re-Entry: Legal and Practical Considerations for U.S. Employers,” Goodwin Webinar, May 1, 2020
  • “COVID-19 Recovery & Return to the Workplace: Legal Considerations: The New Workplace and Workforce,” Massachusetts High Tech Council
  • “Workplace Re-Entry:Legal and Practical Considerations for Massachusetts Employers,” MassBio
  • “Policy Forum on Legal Issues Related to Re-Opening,” Massachusetts Association of Health Plans
  • “Workplace Re-entry: Legal and Practical Considerations,” Boston Biotech CEO Forum
  • “Q&A with Goodwin on Employment and Privacy Issues Associated with COVID-19,” Boston Biotech GC Forum
  • “Key Legal and HR Considerations for Business Leaders in the Face of COVID-19,” Goodwin Webinar
  • “Putting the U.S. Cares Act into Context for Multi-National Companies,” Goodwin Webinar
  • “U.S. Cares Act,” Goodwin Webinar
  • “Sexual Harassment Investigations: Do the Securities Laws Require Disclosure? Can Directors Be Sued? Practical Considerations, Legal Standards, and Recent Cases," Law360
  • “Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Workplace,” The Directors Letter, Three Part Video Series
  • “Ask the Expert,” The CFO Leadership Council
  • “Harassment and Sexual Assault,” Board Leaders Seminar at Babson College, Daly & Company
  • “Sexual Harassment and Other Topics,” Law School for the CFO, NYC CFO Leadership Council
  • “Sexual Harassment and Gender Pay Equity Issues,” Tapestry Networks, Northeast Audit Committee Network and the Compensation Committee Leadership Network
  • “Trailblazers,” Women@Work Network, Loomis Sayles & Company
  • “Sexual Harassment: What is the Difference,” Massachusetts Bankers Association Executive Retreat
  • “Women in Banking: Taking it to the Next Level for Success,” Massachusetts Bankers Association
  • “Enforcement of Non-Competition Agreements: Developments in Massachusetts,” Employee Relations Law Journal
  • “The Securities Law Questions Raised by #MeToo,” Mutual Fund Directors Forum Webinar, May 2, 2018
  • “Board Oversight of Workforce Risk,” Northeast Audit Committee Network, February 15, 2018
  • “Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Workplace,” The Directors Letter, Three Part Video Series, 2016
  • “Ask the Expert,” The CFO Leadership Council
  • “Harassment and Sexual Assault,” Board Leaders Seminar at Babson College, Daly & Company
  • “Sexual Harassment and Other Topics,” Law School for the CFO, NYC CFO Leadership Council
  • “Sexual Harassment and Gender Pay Equity Issues,” Tapestry Networks, Northeast Audit Committee Network and the Compensation Committee Leadership Network
  • “Trailblazers,” Women@Work Network, Loomis Sayles & Company
  • “Sexual Harassment: What is the Difference,” Massachusetts Bankers Association Executive Retreat
  • “Women in Banking: Taking it to the Next Level for Success,” Massachusetts Bankers Association