Margaret Peg O'Brien

I serve as chair of Devine Millimet’s Labor & Employment practice group. I exclusively represent management in the resolution of employment related disputes before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. While I have experience performing all aspects of employment work, my daily practice primarily focuses on either providing clients with risk management advice or aiding them with a defense in the event of an employment claim.

In my counseling work, I respond to client questions regarding employee hiring, leaves of absence, accommodation concerns, discipline and discharge. I also help clients draft employment agreements, severance documents and handbook policies. When defending employment claims, I work with my clients to present their side of the story to the applicable court or agency, and strategize with them to achieve the desired result. In the past few years, my clients have prevailed in court and agencies, and have effectively and successfully mediated cases prior to incurring substantial litigation costs.
 
I am past chair of the New Hampshire Bar Association Labor and Employment Section. I frequently present at seminars on employment law issues and enjoy speaking with different HR and trade groups. I have practiced law for more than 20 years in New Hampshire, and have handled litigation in all ten counties in New Hampshire and federal court. I have extensive jury trial experience as well as extensive experience appearing before government agencies. I serve as the point person for two "employment law" hotline services we offer through the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association and NH Center for Nonprofits.  

I represent businesses of all sizes from start-ups and sole-proprietorships, to multi-national corporations and non-profits. Many of my clients work in heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare, auto dealerships, and banking, while others are family owned and operated manufacturing industries.      

My husband and I live in Bedford with our two daughters. I also stay active in my community, currently serving on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Manchester and the New Hampshire Public Defenders.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "2020 Annual Hot Topics in Employment & Benefits Law Seminar," Puritan Conference Center, Hooksett, NH, November 5, 2020
  • "2020 Annual Spring Conference," NH Health Care Association, Church Landing at Mill Falls at the Lake, Meredith, NH, May 6, 2020
  • "Federal Paid Leaves During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What NH Employers Need to Know," NHADA and the NH Center for Nonprofits Webinar Moderator, April 17, 2020
  • "Unemployment Benefits During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What NH Employers Need to Know," NHADA and the NH Center for Nonprofits Webinar Moderator, April 10, 2020
  • "Hiring Issues for Employers," w/ the New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, Puritan Conference Center, Hooksett, NH, April 1, 2020
  • "Fair Labor Standards Act Issues in the Healthcare Workplace," Webinar w/ Liz Bailey, Sheehan Phinney, February 19, 2020
  • "Understanding Mental Health in the Workplace," NHADA Headquarters, Bow, NH, February 12, 2020
  • Hot Topics in Employment Law," Devine Millimet, Fall Seminars, 2015 - 2020
  • "Preventing and Responding to Complaints of Harassment in the Workplace," NH Center for Nonprofits, League of NH Craftsmen, Concord NH, October, 9, 2019
  • "Complying with DOL Overtime Regulations," NH Center for Nonprofits, June 23, 2016
  • "Employee vs. Independent Contractor: Hiring Your First Employee," Plymouth Enterprise, May 17, 2016
  • “Your Client’s Business: Keep It or Sell It,” Devine Millimet, May 13, 2016
  • "Complying with New Hampshire Wage and Hour Laws," Lorman (Webinar), January 28, 2016
  • "Managing Difficult Employees: From Hiring to Firing and Everything in Between," Devine Millimet, January 27, 2016
  • "Complying with New Hampshire Wage and Hour Laws," NHADA, January 21, 2016
  • "Employee vs Independent Contractor, Hiring Your First Employee," Plymouth Enterprise, November 17, 2015
  • "Managing Difficult Employees, and Document and Discharge," NHADA, October 20, 2015
  • "Documentation, Discipline, and Discharge Best Practices," NHMTA, October 13, 2015 and October 14, 2015
  • “New Hiring – Best Practices / Requirements for Hiring Candidates,” New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, May 12, 2015 and May 13, 2015
  • "NLRB Decisions for the Non-Union Workplace," 14th Annual Labor & Employment Law Update of the NH Bar Association, April 10, 2015
  • "Drug and Alcohol Policies and Testing," New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, March 11, 2015
  • "Frequent Wage and Hour Questions," New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, January 21, 2015

Community Involvement

  • YMCA of Greater Manchester, Board of Directors, 2012 to present
  • New Hampshire Public Defender, Board of Directors, 2015
  • Bedford Education Foundation, Board of Directors, 2004 to 2008
  • Manchester Historic Association, Board of Directors, 2005 to 2007
  • CASA, Board of Directors, 1995 to 2000


We Can Help You

Contact us today to learn more about how the attorneys at Devine Millimet can help you with your legal needs.


            Publications

            • "Overtime Calculation When Employees Work at Two Different Jobs and Two Different Rates of Pay," Devine Millimet E-Alert, July 13, 2012
            • "New Hampshire Governor Signs New Law Affecting Non-Compete and Non-Piracy Agreements in the Workplace," Devine Millimet E-Alert, May 25, 2012
            • "Can a New Hampshire Employer Suspend a Salaried Exempt Employee without Pay for Disciplinary Problems in the Workplace?," Devine Millimet E-Alert, March 2, 2012
            • "United States Department of Labor Issues Fact Sheets on Retaliation," Devine Millimet E-Alert, January 20, 2012
            • "Employee's Poor Attendance Precludes Finding of Disability Discrimination," Devine Millimet E-Alert, November 18, 2011
            • "Federal Fair Employment Opportunity Act of 2011 Seeks to Prohibit Discrimination Based on 'Unemployed Status'," Devine Millimet E-Alert, September 30, 2011
            • "'Association Discrimination' Under the Americans with Disabilities Act," Devine Millimet E-Alert, July 15, 2011
            • "CIGNA Corp. V. Amara:  Supreme Court Gives Mixed Signals to Plan Sponsors," Devine Millimet E-Alert, July 1, 2011
            • "Partial Day Deductions Permissible for Salaried Employees - As Long as the Deduction is from an Employee's Leave Bank and Does Not Result in a Reduction in the Employee's Take-Home Pay," Devine Millimet E-Alert, May 27, 2011
            • "EEOC Issues Final ADA Amendments Act Regulations," Devine Millimet E-Alert, April 8, 2011
            • "A Frequent NH Department of Labor Violation - Failure to Have a Written Safety Plan, Joint Loss Management Committees and Summary Safety Form Filed Biennially," Devine Millimet E-Alert, January 14, 2011
            • "Employee Breaks," Devine Millimet E-Alert, December 17, 2010 
            • "Employment Law Guidance: When You Hire an Employee for the First Time," Union Leader, December 1, 2010
            • "Holiday leave and pay practices", New Hampshire Business Review, November 5 - November 18, 2010
            • "End of Year Questions Regarding Bonuses and Related Wage and Hour Concerns," Devine Millimet E-Alert, October 22, 2010
            • "Are There Any Risks with this Termination?  Recent First Circuit Decision Clarifies Broad Scope of 'Protected Activity' Under Title VII's Anti-Retaliation Clause," Devine Millimet E-Alert, September 3, 2010
            • "Paying Your Employees - A Review of New Hampshire's Wage and Hour Laws on Notice Requirements, Pay Periods, and Paydays," Devine Millimet E-Alert, June 11, 2010
            • "COBRA Subsidy Extended Once Again," Devine Millimet E-Alert, April 23, 2010
            • "Substantial Verdict Awarded Against Massachusetts Employer for Failing to Comply with Employee's Right to Reemployment Following Military Service," Devine Millimet E-Alert, March 5, 2010
            • "EEOC Report on Charge Statistics Shows Continued Rise in Retaliation Claims," Devine Millimet E-Alert, January 15, 2010
            • "EEOC Revises Its 'EEO Is the Law' Poster," Devine Millimet E-Alert, November 20, 2009
            • "Beware, The Independent Contractor Trap," Devine Millimet E-Alert, October 16, 2009
            • "Tips for Tackling Revisions to Your Employee Handbook," Devine Millimet E-Alert, August 7, 2009
            • "School's Out for Summer...", Dateline; NH, June 2009
            • "The Importance of Performance Evaluations in a Time of Lay Offs," Devine Millimet E-Alert, May 22, 2009
            • "Reduced Work Week May Alter Employee’s Exempt Status," Devine Millimet E-Alert, March 27, 2009
            • "An Employer’s Guide To The New FMLA Regulations- Part II, Beyond the Basics," Devine Millimet E-Alert, February 13, 2009
            • "An Employer’s Guide to the New FMLA Regulations – Part I, Notice Requirements and Certification Procedures,"  Devine Millimet E-Alert, January 2009
            • "Massachusetts Businesses With Fewer Than 6 Employees Are Now Subject to State Anti-Discrimination Law," Devine Millimet E-Alert, November 2008
            • "Check-Cashing Fees Imposed by Banks for Non-Account Holders May Create Legal Liability for Employers," Devine Millimet E-Alert, October 2008
            • "EEOC Issues Guidance on Performance and Conduct Standards Under the ADA," Devine Millimet E-Alert,  October 2008
            • "President Bush Signs Amendments To ADA," NHADA Dateline: NH, October 2008
            • "President Bush Signs Law Expanding Protections Afforded Under the Americans with Disability Act," Devine Millimet E-Alert, September 2008
            • "Significant Changes To The ADA Are Likely By 2008 Year’s End," Devine Millimet E-Alert, July 2008
            • "Treble Damages Now Mandated in Massachusetts For Wage and Hour Violations," Devine Millimet E-Alert, April 2008
            • Warn Act – Powerpoint Presentation

            Speaking Engagements

            • "Employment Hotline Favorites!" and "An Employee Has Made a Complaint - Now What?," New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, November 19, 2014
            • "Paying Your Workforce," NH Health Care Association, November 14, 2014
            • Annual "Employment Law Seminar,"  Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A., November 5, 2014
            • "Top Ten Violations from the New Hampshire DOL," NH Small Business Development Center - General Industry Roundtable, October 14, 2014
            • “New Hiring – Best Practices,” New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, October 8, 2014
            • “Application of the FLSA to Domestic Service,” Community Support Network, Inc., September 25, 2014
            • “Federal and State Leave Laws,” NH Health Care Association, June 3, 2014
            • “Employee Handbooks: What you Must Have!,” Associated General Contractors of New Hampshire, May 21, 2014
            • “Top Ten Employment Law 'Red Flag' Issues,” Hippo Business Boot Camp,  May 7, 2014
            • “Employee vs. Independent Contractor,” The Enterprise Center at Plymouth, April 17, 2014
            • “Fair and Effective Approaches to Employee Discipline,” New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association, March 11, 2014
            • "Hot Topics in Employment Law," Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A., October 23, 2013
            • "Drug and Alcohol Policies and Testing in the Workplace," New Hampshire Insurance Seminar, October 11, 2013
            • "Handbooks," Associated General Contractors of New England, September 18, 2013
            • "New Medical Marijuana Law and the NH Workplace," River Valley Human Resource Association, September 12, 2013
            • "Top Ten Wage and Hour Concerns for New Employers," Lakes Region Business Resource Fair, Sponsored by the Laconia Chamber of Commerce, September 11, 2013
            • "The Affordable Care Act and Legislative Update," Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A., May 22, 2013
            • Manchester Small Business Week 2013 "How to Pay Your Employees When Your Startup is Getting off the Ground," May 21, 2013
            • Top Ten Violations in Employment Law, Hippo Business Boot Camp, April 30, 2013 and March 7, 2012
            • "ADA in the Workplace:  Practical Considerations from Hiring to Termination," Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A., October 24, 2012
            • Managing Leaves of Absence in the Workplace, GMSHRM, Keene, N.H. October 10, 2012
            • Managing a Difficult Employment Relations - Day One Through Discharge, May 23, 2012 (Employee Handbooks)
            • Considerations for Workforce Reductions, RVSHRM, February 9, 2012
            • "Social Media in the Workplace: Managing the Risks and the Reward," VT Mortgage Bankers Association & Mortgage Bankers/Brokers Association of NH Mortgage Compliance Conference, April 18, 2012
            • "Social Media and Mortgage Banking: Traps for the Unwary," Mortgage Bankers and Brokers Association of New Hampshire, October 13, 2011

            Services & Industries

            Charitable & Nonprofit Organizations

            Dispute Resolution & Litigation

            Employment & Employee Benefits Litigation

            Healthcare - Devine Health

            Hospitals

            Physician Practices

            Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits

            Medical Professional Liability

            Mergers & Acquisitions

            Municipal Liability

            Municipalities

            Regulatory Compliance

            Regulatory Compliance for Businesses

            Startup Team

            Bar Admissions

            Massachusetts

            New Hampshire

            Education

            George Washington University Law Center, JD

            Colgate University, BA Computer Science

            Awards & Affiliations

            New England Super Lawyers - Top Rated Employment & Labor Attorney, 2015 - 2018, 2020

            Included in The Best Lawyers in America© for her work in Employment Law - Management since 2019

            AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

            Recognized and ranked Band 3 in Chambers USA since 2019 as one of America's leading attorneys in the Labor & Employment category

             


            Board of Directors, New Hampshire Public Defender program, 2015 - present

            Chair of the Labor and Employment Section, New Hampshire Bar Association, 2013 - 2015

            Member, Society for Human Resources

            Vice Chair of the Labor and Employment Section, New Hampshire Bar Association, 2012 - 2013

            Vice Chair, Granite YMCA Board of Directors

             

             
            Best Lawyers Award Badge