Jillian Folger-Hartwell’s practice focuses exclusively on representing management, litigating and advising on labor and employment law matters. Jillian devotes a substantial portion of her practice to compliance, especially as it relates to managing leaves of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act, disability issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and compliance with other similar state laws. She has deep knowledge of the Rhode Island Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act, the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time law, and other paid sick leave laws, nationally, in addition to defending employers on a myriad of employment-related issues, including:

  • Wage and hour compliance
  • Hiring and firing policies
  • Employee terminations
  • Noncompetition agreements
  • Executive and other employment agreements
  • Employment handbooks and manuals

Jillian has extensive experience representing employers in the healthcare, higher education and hospitality industry settings. She also defends employers, in court and agency settings, against discrimination claims based on race, sex, age, religion, national origin and disability and other protected classes, and handles matters related to:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act
  • Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151(b)
  • The National Labor Relations Act

Jillian’s litigation experience extends to claims for violations of noncompetition and confidentiality agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair competition claims. She also represents unionized employers in grievance arbitrations and related matters.

Jillian serves on the faculty of the National Business Institute and regularly speaks at seminars and conferences on labor and employment topics. She routinely conducts in-house training on employment-related topics, including anti-harassment and #metoo training seminars. 

Previously, Jillian worked for the American Arbitration Association, managing arbitration proceedings for a variety of labor clients. After law school, she was a law clerk to Justice Robert G. Flanders, Jr. of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. 

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member, Board of Directors

Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence

News, Analysis & Press

Supreme Court Adopts 'Arm’s-Length' Standard for Assessing Adviser Compensation Claims under the Investment Company Act of 1940

Bender’s Labor & Employment Bulletin

p. 242, Vol. 10, Issue No. 6

June 2010

Veto Override Puts Employers at Risk

Providence Business News

March 1, 2010

The Rhode Island General Assembly Amends the Rhode Island Civil Rights Act

Employment Law Alert

January 7, 2010

The Second Circuit Clarifies and Sanctions the Application of the Fractional Rule for Minimum Benefit Accrual to Cash Balance Pension Plans

Bender's Labor & Employment Bulletin

p. 581, Vol. 9, Issue No. 12

December 2009

The United States Supreme Court Makes it Harder to Prove Age Discrimination

Employment Law Alert

June 23, 2009

Rhode Island Military Family Relief Act Imposes New Leave Requirements on Large and Small Businesses

Providence Business News

August 25, 2008

Plan Participant Can Sue Under ERISA for Losses to Assets in a 401k Account

Employment Law Alert

March 6, 2008

Speaking Engagements

2019 Rhode Island Employment Update

Providence, RI

May 21, 2019
2018 Rhode Island Employment Law

Providence, RI

May 15, 2018
Rhode Island Employment Law Update

Providence, RI

May 2, 2017

Employment Law: 2015 Comprehensive Guide

National Business Institute, Providence, RI

October 21, 2015
DOL’s Proposed Changes to the White Collar Regulations: What Should Employers Do Now??

Providence, RI

September 15, 2015

Hiring and Terminating Employees in the Current Economy

Sterling Education Services, Providence, RI

June 3, 2015

ADA and FMLA Updates and Interplay

Sterling Education Services, Providence, RI

June 3, 2015

Workplace Injuries: HR Strategies to Avoid the Top Mistake

National Business Institute (NBI) Webinar

June 4, 2014
Rhode Island Employment Law Update

Providence, RI

May 22, 2014

Legislative Update

Association for Healthcare Human Resources Administration of RI (AHHRARI), Providence, RI

November 21, 2013
Employee Documentation, Discipline & Discharge

February 13, 2013

Human Resource Law: What You Need to Know

National Business Institute Seminar, Providence, RI

December 7, 2011

New Rules Implementing the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

CLE Presentation

February 2011

Whistleblower Claims

Labor and Employment Law Conference - University of Rhode Island

May 7, 2010

Workplace Investigations in the Age of Technology

CLE Presentation

April 2010

Employment and Labor Update: Recent State and Federal Legislative and Judicial Developments

CLE Presentation

April 2010

Litigating ERISA Claims

National Business Institute Symposium

June 2009

COBRA Changes Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

CLE Presentation

March 2009

Advising Your Client on Lawful Termination Procedures

National Business Institute Symposium

January 2008


  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 2003cum laude
  • B.A., Stonehill College, 1994magna cum laude

Bar Admission

Rhode Island


  • U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
  • Rhode Island State Court
  • Massachusetts State Court