Massachusetts ruling opens door to discrimination suits over medical marijuana

July 18, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Hero Line marijuanaby Erica E. Flores

A new ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court should be a warning to employers in the state that refuse to tolerate medical marijuana use by employees with a disability.

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‘Safe harbor’ available for Massachusetts paid sick time law

May 22, 2015 0 COMMENTS

The Massachusetts attorney general has announced a “safe harbor” provision that may provide relief to at least some employers covered by the state’s new earned sick time law.

The law, which voters approved in the November 4, 2014, election, takes effect on July 1, but the safe harbor gives some employers until January 1, 2016, to come into full compliance.

Under the new law, employers with at least 11 employees must allow their workers to accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, for a maximum of 40 hours a year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must allow them to accrue and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per year.

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Massachusetts employers need to be ready for new sick leave law before July 1

April 28, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Kimberly A. Klimczuk

Employers with operations in Massachusetts can finally get a look at proposed regulations concerning the earned sick time law that goes into effect July 1.

The new law requires employers with at least 11 employees to provide paid sick leave. Employees will accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, for a maximum of 40 hours a year. Employers with fewer than 11 employees must allow them to accrue and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per year.

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New Massachusetts law requires paid sick leave

November 06, 2014 0 COMMENTS

Voters in Massachusetts approved a law in the November 4 election that requires certain employers to provide paid sick leave. The law takes effect July 1, 2015.

Under the law, Massachusetts employers with at least 11 employees must provide paid sick leave. Employees will accrue paid sick leave beginning July 1, 2015, at the rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked for a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. Employees won’t be eligible to take paid leave unless and until they have worked for the employer for 90 days.

In addition to paid leave, the new law means employers with fewer than 11 employees must allow employees to accrue and use up to 40 hours of unpaid sick time per calendar year.

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New Massachusetts law provides leave for domestic violence victims

September 10, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Susan Fentin

Employers in Massachusetts with at least 50 employees are now required to allow employees who are victims of domestic violence to take up to 15 days of unpaid leave within a 12-month period to deal with the violence.

The law, which went into effect August 8, also allows leave for covered family members of domestic violence victims. Covered family members include husbands; wives; those in a “substantive” dating or engagement relationship and who live together; persons having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever married or lived together; a parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild; and guardians.

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Employers Warned of New Misclassification Dangers (video)

November 07, 2011 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is focusing “an enormous amount of attention” on misclassifying workers as exempt, non-exempt, and independent contractors and is throwing significant resources at the problem, according to attorney Susan G. Fentin, who spoke at the recent Advanced Employment Issues Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Plus, the DOL and the IRS are teaming up to share data in an effort to find classification errors, says Fentin. But a new IRS program allows qualifying employers a break on the tax liability for past mistakes. Another issue to watch, though: being on the hook for health insurance benefits for workers misclassified as contractors.

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New Massachusetts Law Changes Employer Obligations for Personnel Records

August 30, 2010 0 COMMENTS

by Susan G. Fentin

Governor Deval Patrick recently signed the Massachusetts Economic Development Bill into law. The law, which is retroactively effective to August 1, includes some well-known provisions that authorize a new state sales tax holiday and grant tax breaks for certain businesses.

The bill, however, also contains several lesser-known provisions, including one that heavily affects employers. Buried more than 100 pages into the Economic Development Bill is a modification of the state Personnel Records Statute that now requires employers to notify an employee when negative information is entered into his or her personnel record.

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Despite Massachusetts Vote, Health Care Reform Still Coming (More Unpredictably)

January 20, 2010 4 COMMENTS

By Michael Leahy

With news of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in a special election held to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s term, many employers are wondering what the future holds for health care reform. The answer is, it’s still coming.

Last year, the Senate and House each passed their own health care reform bills with significant differences. Typically, the next step would be for the House and Senate to reconcile their two bills. Although Brown supports the 2006 Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, he opposes both the House and Senate health care reform bills and is expected to become the crucial 41st Republican vote, enabling the minority party to filibuster any reconciled bill that comes before the Senate. Earlier Wednesday, the President announced that the Senate won’t rush to pass a reconciled bill before Brown is seated. However, despite reports to the contrary, health care reform clearly isn’t dead. Democrats are still weighing a number of options.

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Wal-Mart Settles Another Wage and Hour Class Action

December 04, 2009 3 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has kicked off the holiday shopping season with a costly expense. The company has agreed to pay $40 million in the most recent of a string of wage and hour class-action settlements that have challenged the retailer over the past 12 months.

Last December, the company agreed to pay up to $640 million to settle 63 outstanding federal and state class-action wage and hour suits. This most recent settlement, which will benefit more than 87,000 current and former employees in Massachusetts, was based on allegations similar to those of that landmark December 2009 settlement, but it is not a part of that group of cases.

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