Richard M. Peirce joined the firm in 1973 after serving for two years as law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. During his career, he has gained a broad range of experience handling both litigation and transactional matters in the areas of labor and employment, commercial and corporate transactions and real estate law. He served for several years as legal counsel to the Capitol Center Commission, which regulates development in the Downtown Providence Capitol Center Special Development District, which includes the State’s most significant retail, office and residential development.

In the area of labor and employment law, Rick has advised a broad range of clients with respect to federal and state statutory and regulatory requirements, employment contracts, severance agreements, and employee handbooks. He has litigated numerous cases in the state and federal courts regarding employment disputes and discrimination claims. He has also represented parties in litigation involving ERISA benefit claims.  He has extensive experience in labor arbitration matters.

Representative Matters

  • Co-authored amicus curiae brief to the Rhode Island Supreme Court on behalf American Arbitration Association concerning unauthorized practice of law in context of labor arbitration.
  • Prevailed in labor arbitration challenging municipality’s subcontracting of custodial services.
  • Prevailed before Rhode Island State Labor Relations Board in unfair labor practice complaint arising out of municipality’s use of non-bargaining unit workers at animal shelter.
  • Obtained summary judgment on breach of duty of fair representation claim, which was affirmed by the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Secured award in labor interest arbitration worth $60,000 more than opposing party’s final proposal.

Speaking Engagements Or Publications

  • Social Networking and Its Impact on Labor Management Relations, Presentation to John H. Fanning Conference on Labor-Management Relations, Providence College, Quirk Institute, June 2011
  • Rights & Responsibilities of Employees and Employers:  Social Media in the Workplace, Presentation to Rhode Island Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2011
  • Employment Discrimination Update 2010 – Religious Discrimination in the Workplace – Accommodating Employees’ Religious Views, Presentation to RI Bar Association Annual Meeting, June 2010
  • Recent Rhode Island State Court Decisions related to Labor and Employment Issues with John Breguet, St. Peter & Kasle, URI Labor and Employment Conference, May 2010
  • New FMLA regulations necessitate review of FMLA policies and procedures, RCFP Employment Law Bulletin, July 2009