Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: massachusetts

Final Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Regulations Published and Other PFML Updates

Leave of absence formThe Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) has posted the much-anticipated final regulations regarding Massachusetts’ Paid Family and Medical Leave law (“PFML”). The final regulations come on the heels of Massachusetts lawmakers’ recent extension of key PFML compliance dates. While the final regulations are materially unchanged from the previous draft issued March 29th, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Deadlines Extended

With the original July 1, 2019 deadline for numerous provisions of the Commonwealth’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) legislation approaching in mere weeks, Massachusetts lawmakers have now issued a much-welcomed enforcement extension. The extensions comes as employers in the Commonwealth worked to comply with the new law.  The amended legislation, announced earlier this week … Continue Reading

Retail Salespeople Paid on Commission Are Entitled to Overtime and Sunday Pay, Massachusetts SJC Says

On May 8, 2019, Massachusetts’ highest court held that retail salespersons who are paid entirely on a commission or draw basis, may nevertheless be entitled to additional overtime or pay for work on Sundays. The Supreme Judicial Court considered these questions in Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, SJC-12542. The narrow questions the Court considered were whether … Continue Reading

Massachusetts SJC Weighs in on Wage Act Class Actions and Offers of Judgment

On Friday April 12, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court confirmed that plaintiffs seeking to bring class actions asserting Massachusetts Wage Act (“Wage Act”) violations must meet the certification standards set by Massachusetts Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (“Rule 23”), and cannot avail themselves of a lower bar to class certification. In Gammella v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court OK’s Attorneys’ Fees for Wage Act Settlements

As has been long anticipated, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently gave a green light to plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking a fee award under the Commonwealth’s Payment of Wages Act, even where an action ends in settlement.  The Wage Act (Mass. General Laws ch. 149 §§ 148, 150) awards costs and fees when an employee “prevails” … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Signs Minimum Wage, Family and Medical Leave Bill

Paying WagesOn June 28, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave, and the Sales Tax Holiday” (HB 4640) into law. Last week, we covered three major changes the Act makes to Massachusetts law that employers should be aware of (available here). In short, the Act incrementally increases minimum … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Attorney General Issues Guidance on Updated Pay Equity Law

The Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General recently issued guidance on the new amendments to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (“MEPA”), effective July 1, 2018. Although the guidance is extremely detailed and should be reviewed in full, employers should take note of the following details: Coverage The MEPA and amendments are substantial in scope, covering … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Legislature Considers Prohibiting Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Claims

A bill prohibiting mandatory arbitration of employment-related claims, introduced in late 2017 before the Massachusetts House of Representatives, continues to gain traction in early 2018.  The bill (House Bill 4058), which proposes legislation that would prohibit enforcement of mandatory arbitration agreements “relating to a claim of discrimination, non-payment of wages or benefits, retaliation, harassment or … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Becomes Law

On July 27, 2017 Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“MPWFA”), a bill which had unanimously passed in both the House and Senate. As discussed previously, the MPWFA (formerly H. 3816) ensures that pregnant workers or workers with pregnancy-related conditions (such as nursing) receive reasonable accommodations and protection … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Senate Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously voted to pass “An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” (“MPWFA”) in an effort to make sure that pregnant and nursing employees receive the same protections under Mass. Gen. Laws Chapter 151B as do other protected classes of employees. The bill, which had previously unanimously passed in the … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Passes Pay Equity Bill Restricting Employers From Inquiring Into Applicants’ Wage History

Massachusetts has passed an amendment to the state’s equal pay law aimed at strengthening prohibitions on gender discrimination in the payment of wages for comparable work. The new bill, signed by Governor Charlie Baker (R) this week and effective starting in July 2018, provides a definition of “comparable work” for purposes of analyzing pay equity … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Paid Sick Leave: New Regulations

The Massachusetts Attorney General recently released final regulations clarifying the Earned Sick Time law, a ballot initiative that passed in November 2014 guaranteeing employees paid sick leave. As discussed in our previous post on the new law, beginning July 1, 2015, employers with more than 11 employees must allow their employees to accrue 1 hour … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Signs Parental Leave Bill

On January 7, 2015, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a Parental Leave bill, which significantly amends Mass. Gen. L. ch. 149, section 105D.  Before the amendment, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”) provided eight weeks of job-protected leave to female employees for the birth or adoption of a child. Now, however, among other expansive … Continue Reading

Massachusetts AG Advises on Domestic Violence Leave Act

Leave of absence formThe Massachusetts Attorney General recently issued an Advisory regarding the new Domestic Violence Leave Act, which was passed on August 8, 2014. The Advisory helped to clarify some of the requirements of the Act: Because the Act broadly states that it applies to employers with 50 or more employees, it was previously unclear whether the … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Passes Paid Sick Leave Law

On November 4, 2014, Massachusetts joined the growing list of states to guarantee paid sick leave for employees. According to the new law (a ballot question passed by voters), employees may use earned sick leave to care for a physical or mental illness, to care for sick family members, to attend medical appointments, or to … Continue Reading

Voters in Four Jurisdictions Pass Sick Leave Ballot Initiatives

The national sick leave trend continues to gain momentum as voters in Massachusetts, Trenton and Montclair, New Jersey, and Oakland, California approved ballot initiatives requiring employers within each jurisdiction to provide sick leave to their employees.  Similar laws already have taken effect in several jurisdictions across the country, including the States of Connecticut and California, … Continue Reading

New Massachusetts Law Entitles Employees to Domestic Violence Leave

Leave of absence formOn August 8, 2014, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a far-reaching Act designed to combat the problems of domestic violence. Notably, the Act became effective immediately upon the Governor signing it into law. Though the Act is tailored largely toward law enforcement programs and training, as well as increased penalties for criminal acts … Continue Reading

Nine More States, One City, and a Territory Increase Minimum Wage

Continuing a growing national trend, Minnesota, West Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, Vermont, Michigan, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Guam, and the city of Seattle recentlyenacted laws raising the minimum wage in their respective jurisdictions. This client alert highlights key provisions of these new laws and examines the implications for covered employers. Minnesota Minnesota’s minimum wage will gradually … Continue Reading

Paid Sick Time on the Horizon in New England

Rhode Island has recently followed Connecticut in mandating paid sick time, and now bills pending in Massachusetts and Vermont may spread the requirement through New England.  New York and the District of Columbia, as well as a number of cities, have also recently adopted similar requirements, and paid sick leave bills are pending, or campaigns … Continue Reading

Massachusetts and Vermont Paid Sick Time

  Bills pending in Massachusetts and Vermont mandating paid sick time follow the precedent set by Rhode Island and Connecticut, potentially spreading the requirement through New England. New York and the District of Columbia recently also adopted similar requirements, and paid sick leave bills are pending, or campaigns to require them are under way, in 18 … Continue Reading

Unemployment Laws Have New Teeth Under the Integrity Act: Are You Ready?

 In 2011, President Obama signed the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act (the “Act”), which largely shifts the responsibility for unemployment insurance integrity to employers. The Act required states to adopt legislation implementing the provisions of the Act by October 21, 2013 and, in many states, employers are just starting to see the impact of the new … Continue Reading
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