Recent News and Alerts

  • Jan 31, 2018

    SJC: Unused, Accrued Sick Leave not “Wages” under the Massachusetts Wage Act

    The SJC has recently ruled that payment for unused, accrued sick leave upon separation from employment not "wages" under the Massachusetts Wage Act.
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  • Jan 09, 2018

    Employee Protections under the National Labor Relations Act and the Infamous ‘Google Memo’

    The Google Memo and thoughts about the National Labor Relations Act
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  • Aug 01, 2017

    SJC: Employees can bring handicap discrimination claims in connection with use of medical marijuana

    The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that an employee terminated for failing a drug test due to use of medical marijuana can maintain handicap discrimination claims under 151B.
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  • Jan 19, 2017

    Labor and Employment Advisory: MA Courts Adopt Narrow Test for Unpaid Meal Breaks

    On December 23, 2016, the Massachusetts Superior Court reached a decision in DeVito et al. v. Longwood Security Services, Inc., et al. regarding how to determine whether employees should be compensated for the time they are on a meal break, choosing to apply the more narrow “relief from duties” test.

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  • Dec 22, 2016

    Do Employees Get Paid for Snow Days?

    It is officially winter here in Massachusetts, and with the cold of the coming months also comes the prospect of businesses being closed for snow days. As a result, employees and employers alike might be asking, do workers get paid for snow days?

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  • Nov 28, 2016

    Labor and Employment Advisory: Texas Judge Blocks DOL’s New Overtime Regulations

    On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide hold on implementation of the Department of Labor’s new regulations that would have expanded overtime laws to over 4 million workers in the United States.
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  • Aug 31, 2016

    Labor and Employment Advisory: Labor Board Rules Grad Students Can Unionize

    On August 23, the National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark 3-1 decision that Columbia University must recognize a labor union of graduate students, effectively allowing unionization of graduate students at private universities.

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  • Aug 03, 2016

    Labor and Employment Advisory: Massachusetts Passes Pay Equity Bill

    The Massachusetts Pay Equity Act, signed into law on August 1, creates new protections to close the gap in pay between men and women—including the first in the nation bar on asking for salary history in an interview.

    Also, the 1st Circuit issued its decision in Burns v. Johnson, finding that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to overcome a summary judgment motion in gender discrimination and harassment claims.

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  • Jun 16, 2016

    June 2016 Labor and Employment Advisory: Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Constructive Discharge

    The U.S. Supreme Court held that the clock starts on a "constructive discharge" claim when the employee provides notice of their intent to quit, not when the discriminatory action occurs.

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court also rules in Verdrager v. Mintz Levin that self-help discovery is protected activity for retaliation purposes.

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  • May 27, 2016

    Labor and Employment Advisory: DOL Issues New Overtime Regulations

    The U.S. Department of Labor issued new overtime regulations, expanding overtime protections for 4.2 million workers nationwide and 84,000 workers in Massachusetts.
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  • Feb 17, 2015

    New State Law Expands Right to Parental Leave

    Men now entitled to 8 weeks of unpaid paternity leave under Massachusetts law.
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  • Sep 18, 2013

    MA Legislature Considers the Fate of Non-Compete Agreements

    Labor and Employment Update

    A non-compete agreement typically seeks to restrict an employee’s ability to leave one company and join a competitor for a specified amount of time after leaving. They are common in the tech industry, and large tech firms typically oppose any legislative attempts to limit their use. Others suggest that these agreements unduly restrict the workforce and restrain startup companies.

    Last week, the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development hosted dozens to testify for and against limitations on non-compete agreements. Among those testifying was Governor Deval Patrick’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Gregory Bialecki. Governor Patrick has consistently indicated his support for increased regulation of these agreements, and Secretary Bialecki stated that the administration seeks outright elimination of the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.
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