Melissa L. McDonagh has extensive experience litigating on behalf of employers in single plaintiff and class and collective actions involving:

  • Business competition
  • Wage and hour law
  • Whistleblower retaliation
  • Failure to accommodate
  • Wrongful termination

Early on in litigation, Melissa implements a plan of action based on a big picture strategy driven to achieve a company’s business goals.

In her counseling practice, she partners with employers to provide practical, forward-thinking advice on policies, contracts and other measures to avoid litigation. This includes conducting high-level harassment or whistleblower retaliation investigations, counseling regarding complex protected leave, discipline and termination issues and advising on best policy practices. To protect valuable company assets, Melissa also works with employers to draft multi-state compliant restrictive covenant agreements to fit a company’s unique needs. Melissa’s counseling and litigation experience enables her to formulate effective strategies for addressing the broad array of complex issues involved with mergers, acquisitions, reductions in force, business re-organization and shut downs.

Prior to joining Littler, Melissa practiced at a Chicago-based litigation firm where she represented a number of businesses, hospitals, and healthcare corporations involved in complex litigation.

Affiliazioni professionali e istituzionali

Member, Board of Directors

Casa Myrna



Community Outreach Committee

Women’s Bar Association of Illinois



Young Lawyers Committee

Women’s Bar Association of Illinois


Member, Associate Board of Directors

Gilda’s Club



Named, Emerging Lawyer

Illinois Leading Lawyers


Named, Rising Star


Super Lawyers

2013 and 2014

Recipient, White Inker & Aronson Award

Boston College Law School


News, Analysis & Press

The Littler Annual Employer Survey 2024

Littler Report

May 8, 2024

FTC Noncompete Ban: Employers’ Next Steps

SHRM Online

April 29, 2024

How employers should respond after the FTC's noncompete ban

The Business Journals

January 10, 2023

FTC Proposes Rule Banning Non-Competes


January 5, 2023

Speaking Engagements

COVID Vaccine Considerations for Massachusetts Employers

February 24, 2021

Return to Work in Massachusetts – Managing the Next Phase of the Pandemic

May 13, 2020

Coveting Covenants: A Deep Dive into Noncompetes – Their Risks and Rewards

2019 New England Employer Conference, Newton, MA

September 27, 2019

Paid Family and Medical Leave, Marijuana, and Other Hot Topics For Massachusetts Employers

Boston, MA

April 11, 2019

Legal Update

New England Employer Conference

November 8, 2018

Navigating Uncharted Waters: The New Massachusetts Noncompetition Law

September 17, 2018

Navigating Non-Competes: Risks, Rewards and Innovation

December 2017

Illinois Employment Law Update

October 22, 2014


  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 2004
  • B.A., Boston College, 2001cum laude

Foro di appartenenza



  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois