Law and the Workplace
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Heylee Bernstein

Heylee Bernstein is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Heylee earned her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as the President of the Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law. In addition, she was a Senior Article Editor for the Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, and served as a Research Assistant in the Labor & Worklife Program.

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Massachusetts Enacts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Last week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation providing for COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave for Massachusetts employees. Governor Baker vetoed an earlier version of the bill in April. The revised bill, signed into law on May 28, 2021, takes effect on Monday, June 7, 2021. Employees are eligible for COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave … Continue Reading

OSHA Issues New Workplace Safety Guidance Regarding COVID-19

As we previously reported, last week President Biden directed the Secretary of Labor to issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to that directive, OSHA issued what the DOL described as “stronger” worker safety guidance to advise employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSHA’s newest guidance, titled “Protecting Workers: … Continue Reading

Biden Continues to Address Administration’s Top Labor Positions, Plans to Nominate Julie Su as Deputy Labor Secretary

***UPDATE: According to a Bloomberg Law Report, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Julie Su on March 16, 2021. We will continue to monitor updates to Su’s nomination as the Deputy Labor Secretary.*** According to a Bloomberg Law report, President Biden plans to nominate Julie Su as … Continue Reading

Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Become Available in Massachusetts on January 1st: Is Your Workplace Ready?

For Massachusetts employers, or employers with Massachusetts-based employees, Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) has been on the horizon for nearly two years. By now, you have notified your workforce about benefits and contributions, displayed a poster informing them of the same, determined the size of your workforce and who is a “covered individual,” begun … Continue Reading

New York Court Dismisses Amazon Workers’ COVID-19 Health and Safety Claims

*** UPDATE: On November 24, 2020, the Plaintiffs in Palmer, et al. v. Amazon.Com, Inc., et al. filed a notice of appeal. The Plaintiffs appealed Judge Cogan’s order dismissing the case to the Second Circuit. We will continue to monitor this case and provide updates. *** On November 2, 2020, the Eastern District of New … Continue Reading

SDNY Decision Strikes Down Portions of DOL’s FFCRA Regulations

On August 3, Judge Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York issued a decision invalidating various portions of the Department of Labor’s rules implementing the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is the federal law that provides emergency relief and support to employees who need to take leave from work … Continue Reading

DOL Releases Additional COVID-19 Guidance Related to FFCRA, FMLA and FLSA

As we have previously reported, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) continues to update its COVID-19 guidance. Most recently, on July 20, 2020, the DOL issued additional Q and A guidance related to COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Families First Coronavirus Response … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Releases New FMLA Forms and Requests Public Input on Existing Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released new and significantly revised versions of its model notice of rights, certification, and designation forms under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). According to a press release by the DOL, the new forms, which are now currently in effect and can be found on the … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Additional FAQs Regarding Returning to the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published additional frequently asked questions regarding returning to the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday. We reported on OSHA’s earlier posted FAQs here. Though the FAQs do not impose any new legal requirements, employers should be aware of OSHA’s recommendations as workplaces around the country continue to … Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Guidance on Reopening Workplaces

On June 18, OSHA issued non-binding guidance to help employers safely reopen non-essential businesses and facilitate their employees’ return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance focuses on employers implementing strategies for five main aspects of the workplace: basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee … Continue Reading

Federal Family First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law

*** UPDATE: The Department of Labor has issued guidance stating that the law will take effect on April 1, 2020.  More information on the guidance can be found on our blog post here.*** On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into the law the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Family First Act” or the … Continue Reading

New York State Enacts Coronavirus Response Bill Including Paid Sick Time and Other Statutory Benefits

*** New York State has issued additional guidance on the statewide Coronavirus leave law.  More information about this guidance can be found on our blog post here. *** On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a statewide Coronavirus response bill that immediately provides employees with sick leave and job protection in … Continue Reading

Family First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know

*** IMPORTANT NOTE: On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed an amended version of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act into law that modifies some of the provisions discussed below.  Read more on our updated blog post here. ***   On March 14, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed H.R. 6201, also known … Continue Reading

SJC Finds Commissions Lost Due to Retaliation Are Subject to Trebling

In a February 12, 2020 decision, Parker v. EnerNOC, Inc., SJC-12703, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the full commission which would have been due to an employee had she not been retaliated against and terminated is a “lost wage” eligible to be trebled under the Wage Act. While employed by EnerNOC, the plaintiff … Continue Reading
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