Jonathan A. Keselenko

Partner - Boston

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Jonathan Keselenko is an experienced litigator and counselor who handles all types of labor and employment matters. In the litigation arena, he has acted as lead counsel for employers in large class action cases, including wage-and-hour-related claims brought on behalf of putative classes and claims under federal employment statutes. He also successfully represents employers in jury and bench trials involving discrimination and harassment employment claims brought in federal and state court and before administrative agencies.

Jonathan also handles non-compete and non-solicit matters for clients. This work involves litigation (such as injunction hearings), and also advice and counseling to avoid such litigation.

Jonathan has an extensive traditional labor law practice, which includes representing employers before the National Labor Relations Board and the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission. He regularly acts as the lead management negotiator in collective bargaining with unions. He defends employers against unfair labor practice charges and with respect to “R” (representation) petitions in numerous NLRB regional offices throughout the United States and in face-to-face meetings with the NLRB General Counsel. Jonathan also represents employers in grievances challenging employment practices, and he has arbitrated labor law disputes under collective bargaining agreements.


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  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif, 1991
  • Oberlin College, B.A.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained reversal of class certification on appeal in multi-party class action
  • Served as lead counsel for major energy company in multiple union organizing attempts brought before the NLRB
  • Served as lead counsel for cannabis companies as to union organizing attempts and related labor issues before the NLRB and Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission 
  • Successfully represented employers in audits conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding alleged misclassification of workers based on exempt status
  • Represented many employers in litigation and governmental audits concerning independent contractor status
  • Lead management negotiations in collective bargaining with unions in industries such as health care, energy, retail, manufacturing and transportation
  • Served as lead New England labor and employment counsel for a major nursing home company, handling “R” petitions and unfair labor practice charges, and in addition, a successful litigation brought against a union for conduct arising out of a corporate campaign against employer
  • Lead counsel in multi-agency investigation and litigation arising out of an industrial accident
  • Successfully represented a software company with respect to multi-million dollar claims of defamation and under M.G.L. Ch. 93A in federal court
  • Successfully represented international retailer against a whistleblower claim brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act before the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Successfully represented manufacturer in whistleblower investigation under the OSHA law brought before the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Successfully represented a university with respect to a challenge brought by a professor over denial of tenure
  • Lead counsel in OSHA safety investigations and litigations
  • Successfully obtained injunctive relief from the NLRB during the pendency of an unfair labor practice hearing
  • Served as lead counsel for an international retailer in its first-ever set of union elections in the United States
  • Counseled manufacturing employer on compliance with wage/hour laws across all 50 U.S. states
  • Won significant award for biotech company with respect to claims brought by its former chief financial officer claiming damages for unvested stock options
  • Successfully prosecuted non-compete and non-solicit agreement on behalf of media company


  • Received High Honors and Order of the Coif from the George Washington University, National Law Center
  • Recipient of the Denis Maguire Award - recognizing excellence in the provision of pro bono services to the public


  • Wage & Hour Defense Institute, Chair
  • Management Co-Chair, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition, Boston Region
  • Boston Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Member of the Steering Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Labor and Employment and General Litigation Sections, Member
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment and General Litigation Sections, Member
  • Speaker, Tech GC Annual Conference, September 22, 2020
  • Speaker, "FLSA Hot Topics," ABA Federal Labor Standards Committee Meeting, February 21, 2019 
  • Speaker, "The New Massachusetts Noncompete Law: What You Need to Know," Foley Hoag Labor and Employment Webinar, August 23, 2018
  • Panelist, “Preventing Wage & Hour Cases 2018, Latest Court Decisions: Federal Cases,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, June 6, 2018
  • Speaker, "Structuring Independent Contractor Agreements to Avoid Misclassification Liability," Strafford Webinar, November 29, 2017
  • Speaker, "Wage and Hour Strategies for Compliance with the Nuances of the Federal and State Wage and Hour Laws," American Employment Law Council, October 20, 2017
  • Speaker, "FLSA Hot Topics," ABA Federal Labor Standards Committee Meeting, February 24, 2017
  • Speaker, "Independent Contractor Misclassification Litigation on the Rise," Strafford Webinar, December 7, 2016
  • Speaker, “Transform: The Future of Non-Compete Agreements in Massachusetts,” Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, November 18, 2016
  • Speaker, “U.S. DOL’s Changes to the Overtime Regulations: What They Mean for Assisting Living Facilities,” Mass-ALA Annual Conference, November 3, 2016
  • Featured Speaker, Annual Foley Hoag Labor Employment Seminar (2009 - present)
  • Panelist, “Your Employment Agreements Are Under Attack,” Foley Hoag Labor and Employment Webinar, January 20, 2016
  • Co-Presenter, “U.S. Department of Labor’s Proposed Changes to the Overtime Regulations,” Webinar, Foley Hoag, July 30, 2015
  • Speaker, “Structuring Independent Contractor Agreements to Avoid Costly Misclassification Liability,” Strafford CLE webinar, December 17, 2014
  • Speaker, “Dealing with Misclassified Employees Under the FLSA: What Employers Should Do,” Practical Law and the Wage & Hour Defense Institute Webinar, October 29, 2014
  • Speaker, “OSHA and Department of Labor Standards: Are You in Compliance?” Mass-ALFA, October 2, 2014
  • Speaker, "Labor Unions Update and Employee Relations Excellence," Mass-ALFA, June 26, 2014
  • Speaker, "Meet the U.S. Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith and Learn About Department of Labor and Other Perspectives on Independent Contractor Misclassification Issues," American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, December 18, 2013
  • Speaker, "New Dangers in Wage & Hour Law," Foley Hoag Labor & Employment Seminar, October 16, 2013
  • Moderator, “Wage and Hour Bootcamp,” American Bar Association, 6th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, November 1, 2012
  • Speaker, “Massachusetts Labor and Employment Law Update,” Foley Hoag Annual Conference, May 17, 2012
  • Speaker, “NLRB Final Rule on Union Election Procedures,” Law Seminars International, February 29, 2012
  • Panelist, "How to Avoid Mistakes in Hiring and Terminating Employees," MassBio, November 9, 2011 
  • Speaker, "The Shifting Landscape of Employment Laws," Mass-ALFA Annual Regulations Training, June 8, 2011  
  • Speaker, “Worker Misclassification: Recent Trends in Independent Contractor Lawsuits,” Strafford Webinars, April 27, 2010
  • Speaker, American Bar Association Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, "Hot Topics in Wage and Hour Law," February 17-19, 2010
  • Speaker, "Employment and Immigration Seminar: Enforcement Priorities of the Obama Administration," September 23, 2009
  • Speaker, "Important Wage Deferral Issues Facing Early Stage and Small Companies," June 24, 2009
  • Speaker, Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association (Mass-ALFA) Labor Training, March 26, 2009
  • Speaker, "Impact of the 2008 Election on Labor and Employment Laws," November 17, 2008
  • Speaker, Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Chapter Annual Program, "Labor and Employment Update," September 25, 2008
  • Speaker, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, "Non-Competes: Should You Have Them and What to Do When Faced With One," February 6, 2008
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Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts