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MASSACHUSETTS ENACTS PAID FAMILY LEAVE AND $15 MINIMUM WAGE (July 2018)

July 3rd, 2018|

PAID FAMILY LEAVE AND MEDICAL LEAVE
Massachusetts just became the sixth state to enact paid family leave, adopting the most generous benefits of any state yet.  Starting on January 1, 2021, employees will be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected paid family leave to care for a new child or an ill family member.  Employees will also be eligible for up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave due to their own medical needs. 

SIGNIFICANT NEW LAWS IN CALIFORNIA, NEW JERSEY, AND NEW YORK (May 2018)

May 14th, 2018|

California, New Jersey, and New York have recently issued new rules that may affect our clients.  This newsletter provides a summary of the new rules.  Please feel free to contact us with questions if your business is impacted.

CALIFORNIA: STRICTER RULES FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

The California Supreme Court recently changed the requirements for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, adopting a much narrower test from Massachusetts.  Under the new test, workers must meet all three criteria

MASSACHUSETTS PREGNANT WORKER FAIRNESS ACT TAKES EFFECT APRIL 1 (March 2018)

March 23rd, 2018|

The Massachusetts Pregnant Worker Fairness Act takes effect on April 1.  The new law expressly prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, pregnancy-related conditions, and breastfeeding.  Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and employers must provide employees with written notice of their rights under the new law.

1.  Pregnancy-Based Discrimination Prohibited

Employers may not discriminate against employees due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, including breastfeeding.  Unlawful discrimination in this context includes refusing

GETTING READY FOR MASSACHUSETTS EQUAL PAY ACT (March 2018)

March 14th, 2018|

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (“MEPA”) takes effect on July 1st.  Under the new law, employers may be liable for unpaid wages, double damages, and attorneys’ fees for unlawful gender-based pay disparities.

To prepare for the new law, we recommend that our clients conduct an internal analysis of their pay practices and take steps to eliminate pay disparities.  This internal analysis will both enable employers to remedy any problems before the law takes effect and can

DOL RELAXES RULES FOR UNPAID INTERNSHIPS (January 2018)

January 24th, 2018|

As summer hiring season approaches, many of our clients struggle with whether they can hire unpaid interns.  Generally, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires for-profit companies to pay all employees for their work.  However, for-profit companies can hire unpaid interns as long as the internship meets certain criteria.

Until this year, the test for unpaid internships was strict.  Employers needed to satisfy all elements of a six-factor test, which looked at whether the internship was educational

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR OUR CLIENTS

January 9th, 2018|

The new year is a perfect time to do some housekeeping and make sure your employment policies and procedures are up-to-date.  For our clients, we recommend the following New Year’s resolutions for 2018:

1.  Respect in the Workplace Training

The end of 2017 saw a sea change in the world of sexual harassment.  While companies have always been responsible for setting the right tone and avoiding discriminatory and hostile environments, there has never been more attention on

AUDITING PAY PRACTICES IN PREPARATION FOR THE MASSACHUSETTS PAY EQUITY LAW AND THE REVISED EEO-1 FORM (July 2017)

July 19th, 2017|

Massachusetts Pay Equity

The Massachusetts Act to Establish Pay Equity takes effect on July 1, 2018. The goal of the new law is to reduce pay differentials among men and women doing comparable work. The penalties for violating the new law include back wages, benefits and other compensation, and attorney’s fees.

Before the law takes effect, we are encouraging our clients to conduct internal audits of their pay practices. The goal of these self-audits is two-fold. First,

UPDATING NON-COMPETES IN ANTICIPATION OF NON-COMPETE REFORM (February 2017)

February 27th, 2017|

Non-compete reform remains a high priority for the Massachusetts Legislature. At the end of the 2016 session, the Massachusetts House and Senate each passed their own versions of non-compete reform bills, but the houses could not agree on a final compromise bill before the legislative session closed.  We expect to see the Legislature focus attention on non-competes again in 2017, and we are recommending that our clients update their existing non-competes in anticipation of potential

WHEN WEATHER FORCES YOU TO CLOSE YOUR BUSINESS (February 2017)

February 17th, 2017|

With snow season in full swing, we have been fielding many questions from employers on whether employees need to be paid for snow day closures. The key questions to ask in deciding whether you must pay employees on a day you close your business are: (1) is the employee exempt or non-exempt; and (2) is the employer open all or part of the day?

EXEMPT EMPLOYEES

Employers must pay all exempt employees for the day if the

POT IS LEGAL IN MASSACHUSETTS NOW. CAN EMPLOYEES STILL BE FIRED FOR USING IT? (December 2016)

December 20th, 2016|

Marijuana became officially legal in Massachusetts starting on December 15th. We have been fielding a number of questions from our clients about the new marijuana legalization law.  In this newsletter, we provide guidelines for employers on how they can address marijuana use in the workplace.

Employees Can be Fired for Being High at Work

As with alcohol use, employees can be terminated for being intoxicated at work. If you suspect that an employee’s substance use – of