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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

STATE AND LOCAL MINIMUM WAGES INCREASING ON JANUARY 1, 2017

December 7th, 2016|

We do not expect the incoming Trump Administration to introduce much federal legislation or implement new regulations on employment issues. As a result, progressive states and cities will be driving changes in these areas as they enact their own employment laws that exceed the federal rules.  On a practical level, this means that multi-state (and multi-city) employers will need to comply with a honeycomb of different local and state rules and regulations depending on where

FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT ENJOINS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW FLSA OVERTIME REGULATIONS (November 2016)

November 23rd, 2016|

Last week, we reminded you that the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime regulations, which raised the minimum salary for exempt employees to $47,476 (more than double the current threshold) were still slated to take effect on December 1, 2016. At the same time, we warned you that the regulations could be enjoined by a federal district court judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by 22 states and several employer groups.

Late yesterday, the district

UPCOMING OVERTIME CHANGES TAKE EFFECT DECEMBER 1, 2016 (November 2016)

November 17th, 2016|

As a reminder, new federal overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are still slated to take effect on December 1, 2016.  Among other changes, the new regulations raise the minimum salary for exempt employees from $23,660 to $47,476.  For an overview of the new requirements, please see our newsletter from earlier this year:

http://law.marshallhalem.com/dol-announces-final-rule-raising-minimum-salary-exempt-employees-may-2016/

We are fielding many questions from clients about the ongoing battles – both in Congress and in court –

MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE APPROVES PAY EQUITY BILL (JULY 2016)

August 1st, 2016|

The Massachusetts state legislature recently approved a new pay equity bill aimed at reducing the gender gap in wages.  Governor Baker has indicated that he intends to sign the bill into law.  This newsletter provides an overview of what employers need to know about the law now to prepare for these changes.

Effective Date

Once signed, the law will take effect on July 1, 2018.

Equal Pay for Comparable Work

The goal of the bill is to reduce pay

DOL ANNOUNCES FINAL RULE RAISING MINIMUM SALARY FOR EXEMPT EMPLOYEES (MAY 2016)

May 20th, 2016|

On May 10, 2016, we sent out a newsletter regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL’s”) proposed changes to the overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  http://law.marshallhalem.com/preparing-new-federal-overtime-exemption-rules.  On May 18, the DOL published its Final Rule which will go into effect on December 1, 2016.

OVERVIEW

As an overview, the FLSA is the federal law that governs the payment of wages by most United States employers.  Among other things, the FLSA establishes the

FEDERAL DEFEND TRADE SECRETS ACT ENACTED (MAY 2016) – Recommended Updates to Employment Agreements

May 16th, 2016|

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law.  The new law brings trade secrets under the penumbra of federal intellectual property law, and provides employers with additional remedies against employees who misappropriate their trade secrets.  In this newsletter, we provide an overview of the new law and the steps that employers need to immediately take to update their employee agreements.

FEDERAL PROTECTION FOR TRADE SECRETS

For many employers, trade secrets

PREPARING FOR THE NEW FEDERAL OVERTIME EXEMPTION RULES (May 2016)

May 10th, 2016|

Overview of Anticipated Changes

In July 2015, the Department of Labor released proposed revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemption rules.  Among these changes is a proposed increase to the minimum salary that an employee must be paid to be exempt from overtime laws.  Currently, exempt employees must be paid at least $455 per week or $23,660 per year.  Under the proposed rules, the minimum salary for exempt employees would double with exempt

MA Sick Leave Law Final Regulations (June 2015)

December 6th, 2015|

Massachusetts Sick Leave Law Final Regulations (June 2015)

By now, most Massachusetts employers are aware that they must provide sick leave to all employees by July 1, 2015, unless they take advantage of the Safe Harbor to extend their compliance to January 1, 2016. In summary, the Sick Leave Law (the “Law”) requires all Massachusetts employers with at least 11 employees to give employees working in Massachusetts (even for part of their work time) at least

Attorney General Announces Safe Harbor For Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (May 2015)

December 6th, 2015|

Most Massachusetts employers are aware of the Earned Sick Time law (the “Law”) that is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2015.  For further information about that Law, please see our November, 2014 E-Mail Alerthttp://marshallhalem.blogspot.com/2015/01/massachusetts-new-paid-sick-time.html.  The Attorney General recently issued Proposed Regulations and is in the process of soliciting public comments about those Proposed Regulations.  When the Attorney General issues Final Regulations we will send you an E-Mail Alert describing them.

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