Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2003
Duke University Fuqua School of Business, M.B.A., 2003
Georgetown University, B.A., 1996
Sonia Macias Steele advises public and private companies on all matters relating to executive compensation and the full spectrum of employee benefit programs, including individual employment agreements, severance plans, equity compensation, qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, health and welfare programs, and other fringe benefit programs.
Sonia is a go-to resource for mission-driven organizations, where she counsels senior leadership through the development of compensation and benefit plans for their employees. She understands the unique optics of non-profit organizations, allowing them to maintain transparency to all constituents. Sonia’s clients rely upon her particular talent for translating complex tax code provisions into digestible segments.
Sonia’s practical, innovative solutions for employee benefits and executive compensation have led her to work at leading law firms and corporations throughout the nation. Prior to joining Goulston & Storrs, Sonia served as Assistant Vice President and Counsel for a Fortune 500-ranked financial services group. Before law school, Sonia was a Human Resources generalist at a national power company, where she provided benefits and employment support for the company’s unionized and non-unionized workforce.
- Represents clients in all areas of employee benefit plan design and compliance.
- Provides legal guidance for benefit plan strategy and implementation.
- Provides guidance to clients on compliance under federal laws such as ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, FMLA and the tax code (including Section 409A).
- Advises non-profit organizations in connection with the full range of employment negotiations and plans.
- Reviews and revises employee communications materials.
- Designs and drafts executive compensation and equity award plans and tax qualified employee benefit plans.
- Performs due diligence review and analysis for mergers and acquisitions.
- Conducts employee benefits training for legal and non-legal audiences.
- Handles examinations and audits by the IRS, Department of Labor, and Department of Health & Human Services, as well as state agencies.
Professional and Community Involvement
- American Bar Association
- The Latina Circle
- USA 500 Clubs
- Panelist, “What Employers Need to Know About the New 409A and 457 Regulations”, Boston Bar Association (November 10, 2016).
- Guest speaker, “Ethical Issues in Payroll Administration,” American Payroll Association, Boston Chapter (October 2013).
- Keynote speaker, “Living to Work or Working to Live: Taking Control of Competing Priorities,” 4th Annual Women of ALPFA Summit (March 25, 2011).
- Panelist, “Forums Online: Dual-Degree Programs Panel,” Forte Foundation (October 20, 2010).
- Presenter, “Redefining Employment Relations in a Recovering Recessionary Market – Executive
- Compensation,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (October 1, 2009).
- Presenter, “Professional Development Employment Law Update – Employee Benefits Update,” Northeast Human Resources Association (March 26, 2009).
Publications & Mentions
- Co-author, “Benefits Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Labor and Employment Issues in Transactions, Business Restructuring, and Workforce Reductions (2008 Ed.).
- “ERISA Update: 2006 Litigation Review,” Human Resources 2007: Answers to the Top 25 HR Questions in 2007 (Winter Ed. 2006).
- Co-author, Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Arrangements Supplement (2006).
- Co-author, Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans – Forms Supplement (2005).
- Co-author, “Benefits Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Labor and Employment Issues in Transactions, Business Restructuring, and Workforce Reductions (5th Ed. 2005).
- Co-author, “New COBRA Guidance Requires Employers to Overhaul Notices and COBRA Procedures,” Littler Mendelson Benefits A.S.A.P. Newsletter, (June 2004).
- Co-author, “Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Massachusetts – What Does This Mean for Employers in and Out of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?” Littler Mendelson A.S.A.P. Newsletter, April 2004.