Neal J. McNamara

Neal McNamara is a member of the Labor and Employment group. He represents companies and organizations of all sizes, counseling them regarding employment issues and defending them when they are sued on employment-related issues.

What do you focus on?

I focus on two main areas—both connected to the workforce.

I counsel clients on issues with their employees and defend them if disputes arise. I advise my clients on the full range of employee issues, from handling the very tricky interplay of FMLA leaves, workers compensation and the ADA, to drafting employment policies, to investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, and to crafting agreements to protect the client’s trade secrets and confidential information. I do this with an eye to preventing litigation.

When that is not possible, I defend clients in suits alleging discrimination, harassment and breach of employment agreements. I recently obtained a jury verdict for a client in a case alleging discrimination on the basis of race, national origin and religion. I also obtained summary judgment in a case involving similar allegations. In addition, I represent clients in lawsuits where they seek to enforce employment agreements and protect their trade secrets and confidential information.

What do you see on the horizon?

I expect to see an increase in the number of age discrimination complaints as well as complaints claiming national origin and religious discrimination. In addition, I believe that employers will face increasing challenges related to protection of trade secrets and confidential information, including enforcement of non-compete and non-solicit agreements.

Southwest worker says reporting affair brought retaliation

Bloomberg Daily Labor Report | December 28, 2016

Providence labor and employment partner Neal McNamara is noted as representing Southwest in this article about recent developments in a lawsuit filed by a Southwest employee claiming that she was subjected to retaliation and a hostile work environment after she complained about her husband’s affair with her supervisor.

FOIA Decision Analyzes Public v. Privacy Interests

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly | October 04, 2016

This story notes a federal judge’s order in the Freedom of Information Act case requiring the government to release redacted medical records entered as evidence at a doctor’s trial—a win for Rhode Island journalist Philip Eil. Providence Labor & Employment partner Neal McNamara and associate Jessica Jewell are quoted in the piece as Eil’s pro bono counsel on behalf of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

ACLU prepared to defend Warwick media outlets threatened with lawsuit over posting public report

Providence Business News | March 30, 2016

This piece notes that the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island will represent two local media outlets if they are sued for writing about how local school administrators handled accusations of sexual misconduct by a teacher. Providence office managing partner Neal McNamara and associate William Wynne are mentioned as ACLU volunteers who will represent the media if the lawsuit moves forward.

Q&A: Phil Eil on His Battle to Get Evidence from a 2011 Drug Trial

Rhode Island Public Radio | March 14, 2016

Providence office managing partner Neal McNamara and Providence Labor & Employment associate Jessica Jewell are mentioned in this radio show Q&A for their pro bono work in filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island on behalf of a local journalist.

Why Is the DEA Not Cooperating with This FOIA Request?

Esquire | December 02, 2015

A journalist looking to write a book on the former Chicago physician dubbed the “Pill Mill Doctor” is seeking thousands of pages of evidence about the trial from the DEA. Providence office managing partner Neal McNamara and the ACLU are advising the journalist.


Neal J. McNamara



Phone: 401-454-1019

Fax: 866-880-5544

New York University School of Law, J.D.

Columbia University, M.A., History

University of Pennsylvania, B.A., magna cum laude

Rhode Island


New York

U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island

U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

Neal was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the fields of Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Labor & Employment and Labor Law - Management. He was designated as the Labor Law - Management “Lawyer of the Year” for Providence, RI. Neal has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2007.

Neal is recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2018 for Labor & Employment (Rhode Island). Neal has been recognized by Chambers USA in previous years.

Neal has also been recognized in multiple years as a “Rhode Island Super Lawyer” in labor and employment (based on a peer-review survey by Thomson Reuters), and as Lawyer of the Year by Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly.

Neal has also received an AV® Preeminent Rating in labor and employment law, the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell.

Neal was awarded the 2011 Dorothy Lohmann Community Service Award by the Rhode Island Bar Association for his charitable work with the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Neal has been a member of the board of directors of the Rhode Island Disability Law Foundation since 1998 and has served as the chair since 2008. He has been a member of the Board of the Federal Bar Association of Rhode Island since 2003. Neal is also a member of the Board of The Scandinavian Home, McAuley House, and The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. He is also a member of the Rhode Island and American Bar Associations.

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