Alicia M. Ward skillfully balances legal compliance with her client’s practical business considerations. She counsels employers on an array of issues concerning pre-employment, hiring and onboarding, training, termination, reasonable accommodations, performance evaluations and improvement plans, and policies governing the employment relationship and workplace conduct. Alicia’s background in human resources allows her to collaborate seamlessly with employers to help them remain knowledgeable and in compliance with the ever-changing and rapidly developing local, state, and federal employment laws.
Alicia advises clients on employment and labor issues, including wage and hour concerns, discrimination and harassment matters, employment contract disputes, employee discipline, executive severance, non-compete and confidentiality obligations, and union organization and collective bargaining. Alicia appears frequently before government enforcement agencies, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Massachusetts Office of Attorney General.
Alicia also advises colleges and universities regarding Title IX and Clery Act compliance requirements and strategies, campus safety and security operations, student conduct matters, and disability accommodations. Alicia regularly represents federally funded colleges and universities under investigation and audit by the United States Department of Education, including Clery Act compliance reviews and Title IX compliance investigations by the Office for Civil Rights. Alicia additionally serves as an independent investigator in cases involving allegations of misconduct and harassment involving students and institutional employees.
Prior to joining the HRW Team, Alicia worked as in-house counsel for an audit and consulting firm where she worked directly with human resources in handling all aspects of employment law-related matters. As in-house counsel, Alicia drafted and reviewed employee handbooks along with important policies and procedures, developed and delivered sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity trainings, and counseled her client on how best to comply with state, federal, and local laws.
Before assuming her role as in-house counsel, Alicia worked in human resources where she acquired an understanding of the ins and outs of the employee-employer relationship and the importance balancing legal compliance with her client’s business needs.