Kathleen Parker is a partner in the firm's Boston office, where she is a member of the labor, employment & workplace safety practice group and co-chair of the office’s Hiring Committee. Kathleen focuses her practice on counseling international and domestic businesses on various employment issues, including preparing and revising internal policies, navigating pre- and post-employment relationships, and properly classifying employees and contractors. She also regularly conducts discrimination and harassment prevention training for corporate clients, represents businesses in civil and administrative employment litigation matters, and conducts internal employment investigations on behalf of her clients. Kathleen is dedicated to working with her clients to achieve their business goals while also ensuring compliance with constantly evolving employment laws.
Kathleen's employment-related work is complemented by her significant experience representing clients in complex commercial disputes in both state and federal court, responding to inquiries from the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission, and conducting internal investigations in connection with government enforcement actions.
Kathleen is also passionate about providing pro bono clients with legal representation and frequently advises non-profit organizations in various ways, including drafting employee handbooks and policies and advising on hiring and termination-related matters. In 2018, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly recognized Kathleen with an Excellence in the Law-Pro Bono Award for her pro bono work helping to secure the release of Fred Weichel, who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than 36 years for a crime he did not commit.
In addition to serving as co-chair of the Boston office’s Hiring Committee, Kathleen is chair of the Boston office's chapter of the firm's Women in the Profession (WIP) Committee and a member of the Firmwide WIP Committee, US Local WIP Leadership Committee, and Professional Development Committee.
While in law school, Kathleen was a student lawyer in the Commercial Litigation Clinic where she represented a client at a Department of Unemployment Assistance hearing and obtained a favorable ruling. Prior to joining K&L Gates, Kathleen interned at Preservation of Affordable Housing and was a paralegal at a midsized law firm in Boston. She was a summer associate at K&L Gates in 2010.
In 2019, Kathleen successfully completed two Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) courses − Conducting Internal Discrimination Complaint Investigation and Train-the-Trainer: Preventing Workplace Discrimination & Harassment.
- Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2022 and 2023
- Massachusetts Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2021
- Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Excellence in the Law - Pro Bono, 2018
- Council Member, Boston Chamber of Commerce Talent Development and Retention Leadership Council (current)
- Steering Committee Member, Boston Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section (2019-2022)
- Committee Member, Women's Bar Association Law Firm Advancement Committee (2019-2020)
- Mentor, Boston Bar Association Women's Leadership & Advancement Forum (2021)
- Career Transition Mentor, Boston Bar Association (2021)
In addition to the above, Kathleen is a longtime member of the Boston Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association, and National Association of Women Lawyers.
- “Eliminating Glass Ceilings: Employer Best Practices for Achieving Equity in Promotions,” Lawline webcast, 8 September 2022
- Speaker, "U.S. Regulatory Agenda: The Latest Labor Updates," K&L Gates CLE Webinar, 15 March 2022
- Boston Bar Association, “Substance Abuse, Alcoholism, and Mental Health Issues in the Workplace: Considerations with Respect to Accommodations and Employee Well-Being,” 15 June 2021
- Endeavor, “Doing Business in the United States,” 1 December 2020
- Boston Bar Association, “Understanding the Unsettled Joint Employment Landscape," 6 November 2020
- Boston Bar Association, “How Startups and Emerging Growth Companies Are Navigating Employment and Business Law Challenges in 2020,” 9 March 2020
- National Business Institute, “Is Your Employee Handbook Up to Date?: Essential Components and Sample Policies for Today’s Workplace,” 13 November 2019
- National Business Institute, “Workplace Behavior and Privacy Issues,” 13 November 2019
- “An Invisible Epidemic: Navigating Mental Health Issues in the Employment Relationship,” American Health Law Association, 2022
- “Choosing to Discriminate: When Patient Preference and Employee Rights Collide,” American Health Law Association, 15 November 2021