Renee Inomata

Partner | Chair, Employment

Boston, MA
D: 617.345.3340
Overview
Bar Admissions

Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Education

J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1993

B.S., Neural Science, Brown University, 1987

Renee Inomata has worked side-by-side with companies and executives to navigate complex employment laws to successfully achieve their employment goals. She draws on her experience as a litigator to manage and mitigate risk associated with employment issues.

Clients turn to Renee to strategize and provide advice on high-level, complex employment-related matters, whether addressing issues impacting large groups of employees or an individual executive. She solves sensitive employment situations with an understanding of the client’s culture, risk adversity and business goals. Many regional, national and multinational companies look to Renee as their “outside in-house” employment counsel, addressing a variety of day-to-day workplace issues, including disciplinary, discrimination, leave, and wage and hour issues. Renee also helps companies formulate best strategies for transitioning employees from competitor entities, minimizing risk in re-classifying workers, rolling out updated restrictive covenant agreements, revising and implementing bonus and commission plans.

Renee has advised companies on developing appropriate workplace policies, drafting, implementing and enforcing noncompetition, nonsolicitation and confidentiality agreements; advising and negotiating executive retention agreements; and managing and conducting due diligence related to employment matters in corporate transactions.

Renee has also helped executives in their transitions into and out of companies. She has been a trusted advisor to executives in evaluating employment options and compensation arrangements.

Renee is co-publisher of The In-House Advisor blog (www.in-houseadvisor.com), directed in to in-house counsel and C-level executives.  She is also a member of the firm's Executive Committee. 

Experience

Experience

  • Successfully guided client through acquisition of national commercial real estate group from competitor.
  • Navigated multiple rounds of large-scale U.S. layoffs for multinational energy research company.
  • Negotiated employment arrangements for management team of podcasting company in connection with acquisition.
  • Managed sensitive investigations of company and employee improper conduct.
  • Successfully guided Europe-based client through closure of U.S. operations.
  • Represents serial entrepreneur CEO client for over ten years, in transitions into and out of start-up entities.
  • Evaluates and advises employment opportunities for high level executive of publicly held pharmaceutical company.
  • Negotiates complex employment and separation arrangements for high-level executive for retail company.
  • Successfully resolved employee misappropriation of company property and trade secrets.
Honors & Awards

Honors & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America© - Employment Law- Management (2015-2018)

Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2004, 2008-2017)

Selected to "Top Women of Law" list by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (2017)

Selected to "Women to Watch" list by Profiles in Diversity Journal (2017)

Community Involvement

Community Involvement

Brown University President's Diversity Advisory Council

  • Chair

Brown University Alumni Association

  • Past Member of Board of Governors Member

Brown Club of Boston

  • Past Co-President

Harvard Square Business Association

  • Past Board Member

Massachusetts Asian American Commission

  • Past Chair

Asian American Commission Economic Development Committee 

  • Past Member

WGBH Board of Overseers

Babson College Center for Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership WINLab Program

  • Advisory Board Member

Memberships

American Bar Association

  • Labor & Employment Section

Boston Bar Association

Women's Bar Association 

  • Law Firm Advancement Committee

Asian American Lawyers Association

Law Firm Alliance

  • Board of Directors
  • Labor & Employment and Intellectual Property Communities

Society of Human Resources

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

"Employment Law Update 2016," Speaker, The Maids New England, September 2016

"Sick Time, Jury Duty, and Other Paid Time Off," Speaker, Cambridge Licensee Advisory Board Meeting, March 2016

"The Future of Asians in the Legal Profession," Moderator, National Asian Pacific Bar Association Northeast Regional Conference, October 2015

"Partners and GCs in the Spotlight," Panelist, National Asian Pacific Bar Association Northeast Regional Conference, October 2015

"Closing the Deal: Balancing Risk with Opportunity in Today's Contracts," Moderator, Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Chapter, October 2015

"Securing the Workplace: Practical Approaches to Protecting Confidential Information, Trade Secrets, and Intellectual Property," Moderator, The In-House Advisor Seminar, June 2014

"Making Partner at Large and Mid-Size Law Firms," Panelist, Sherin and Lodgen LLP Event, March 2014

"Manufacturing Improvement Strategies - 90 Day Plan," Panelist, TMA Northeast/ACG Boston Event - Challenges and Opportunities for U.S. Manufacturing, January 2014

"Drafting Today's Contracts to Address Tomorrow's Problems," Moderator, The In-House Advisor Seminar, October 2013

"Brand That Fish! How to Distinguish Your Seafood Products and Services in a Crowded Marketplace," Speaker, International Boston Seafood Show, March 2013

Articles & Publications

Articles & Publications

"No Individual Liability for Board Members and Investors Under MA Wage Act," The In-House Advisor, January 2018

"Biotech Investors, Board Aren't Liable for Ex-CEO's Pay," Quoted, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Jauary 2018

"MA Employers Beware: Employees Have a Right to Use Medical Marijuana," The In-House Advisor, July 2017

"3 Practical Challenges for Employers Created by Legalized Marijuana," The In-House Advisor, February 2017

"December 1 Overtime Final Rule on Hold," The In-House Advisor, November 2016

"Veterans Day: New Law Requires Time Off," Burns & Levinson Employment Law Update, November 2016

"Whistleblower Immunity Required Under Defend Trade Secrets Act," Burns & Levinson Employment Law Update, May 2016

"Trademarks: Law, Practice, and Current Issues," MCLE Intellectual Property Practice, January 2016

"4 Things You Need to Know About the Earned Sick Time Law," The In-House Advisor, July 2015

"Rare Decision Finds Workers Were Properly Classified as Independent Contractors, The In-House Advisor, April 2015

"Employers Beware: New Standard Issued for Accommodating Pregnancy," The In-House Advisor, April 2015

"Hey Guys, You Get "Maternity" Leave, Too!" The In-House Advisor, February 2015

"Mandatory Paid Sick Leave — What In-House Counsel and Employers Need to Know," The In-House Advisor, January 2015

Contributing author, The In-House Advisor's Quick Reference Guide for In-House Counsel Volume 3, 2015

"Can Giving an Employee Praise Get You Into Trouble?" The In-House Advisor, December 2014

"NFL Could Learn From New MA Domestic Violence Law," The In-House Advisor, September 2014

"10 Most Overlooked Executive Separation Agreement Clauses," The In-House Advisor, September 2014

"Beware: Individual Liability for Equityholders Under MA Wage Act," The In-House Advisor, July 2014

"Until They Are Banned, Non-Competition Agreements Are Still Valuable," The In-House Advisor, May 2014

"Reliance on MA Case Finding That Compensation Contingent on Funding is Not Owed is Risky," The In-House Advisor, March 2014

"Don't Let a "Bonus" Become a "Wage" (Under the MA Wage Act), The In-House Advisor, February 2014

"Three Ways in Which Enforcement of Non-Competition Agreements is Like Dating," The In-House Advisor, February 2014

"Four Workplace Issues In-House Counsel Should Consider in a Business Improvement Plan," The In-House Advisor, January 2014

Contributing author, The In-House Advisor's Quick Reference Guide for In-House Counsel Volume 2, 2014

"Hiring/On-boarding Checklist," The In-House Advisor, December 2013

"Holiday Tips for Employers," The In-House Advisor, December 2013

"Managers of LLCs Can Be Personally Liable Under the Masschusetts Wage Act," The In-House Advisor, June 2013

"Using Unpaid Interns May Be Illegal," The In-House Advisor, June 2013

"New Connecticut Non-Competition Requirements for Employees of Surviving Entity of Mergers and Acquisitions," Burns & Levinson Client Update, June 2013

"Beware of Choice of Law When Drafting Independent Contractor Agreements," The In-House Advisor, May 2013

"Gratuitous Payments Cannot Be Re-Case as Accrued Vacation Pay Required by Massachusetts Wage Act," The In-House Advisor, April 2013

"3 Keys to Drafting Commission Plans to Avoid Wage Act Violations," The In-House Advisor, March 2013

"Be Aware of More Aggressive Enforcement of Equal Pay," The In-House Advisor, February 2013

"6 Tips for Drafting Offer Letters," The In-House Advisor, February 2013

Contributing author, The In-House Advisor's Quick Reference Guide for In-House Counsel Volume 1, 2013

"Perils of Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors," Inside the Minds: Complying with Employment Regulations, 2012

"Avoiding Misclassification of Independent Contractors in the New Year," The In-House Advisor, December 2012

"Be Wary of State-Specific Requirements for Noncompetition Agreements," The In-House Advisor, October 2012

"Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors Pose Significant Risks, The In-House Advisor, October 2012

"Caution! Employees Not at Work," The In-House Advisor, September 2012

"Requiring Employee Confidentiality of Investigation is Unlawful, Says NLRB," The In-House Advisor, August 2012

"Prevent Employer Liability By Properly Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims," The In-House Advisor, July 2012

"New Fee Disclosure Requirements Affecting Participant-Investment Retirement Plans," The In-House Advisor, July 2012

"Hiring: Getting it Right from the Start," The In-House Advisor, June 2012

"5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 3," The In-House Advisor, June 2012

"Providing Temporary Accommodations for Employee Disability," The In-House Advisor, May 2012

"Selection of Fourm Other Than Massachusetts May Not Avoid Wage Act Enforcement," The In-House Advisor, May 2012

"Social Media Induced Labor Pains, The In-House Advisor, May 2012

"Employment Termination Best Practices, The In-House Advisor, May 2012

"United States of America," The European Lawyer Reference Series: Protecting Brands Online, May 2012

"April 30 Union Rights Notice Posting Deadline on Hold," The In-House Advisor, April 2012

"Unpaid Interns: When Are They Permitted?" The In-House Advisor, April 2012

"Three Myths About Who is "Exempt" and Who is "Non-Exempt," The In-House Advisor, April 2012

"Important April 30 Changes in National Labor Relations Act Regulations," The In-House Advisor, April 2012

"How to Deal With the New Massachusetts Transgender Law," The In-House Advisor, March 2012

"Three Employment Claims to Avoid in 2012," The In-House Advisor, March 2012

Contributing author, MCLE Introduction to Trademark Law, October 2011

Resources
Renee Inomata
Practices
  • Employment
  • Executive Compensation & Counseling
  • IP Transactions
  • Intellectual Property & IP Litigation
Education

J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1993

B.S., Neural Science, Brown University, 1987

Admissions

Massachusetts

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Connect
vCardLinkedIn

Email Confirmation

Thank you for your interest in Burns & Levinson LLP. Please be aware that unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Burns & Levinson though our web site will not be considered confidential, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Burns & Levinson. If you are not already a client of Burns & Levinson, do not include anything confidential or secret in this e-mail. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not authorized to do so.

By clicking "OK" you acknowledge that, unless you are a current client, Burns & Levinson does not have any obligation to maintain the confidentiality of any information you send us.