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In June 2018, Massachusetts took the step of passing legislation aimed at providing paid family and medical leave for employees. Becoming effective in 2021, the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (“PFML”) will provide for up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and 20 weeks of paid medical leave per year. This benefit is provided directly by the State, funded by contributions from covered employers. With the collection of these contributions set to…
Parting with any employee comes with a host of dangers and pitfalls for an employer. These liabilities are increased when the exiting employee holds ownership in or options to own the employer’s company. Especially for smaller businesses, restricting its ownership from departing with employees is essential to continuing to operate smoothly and effectively. But in cases where an employee has unexercised stock options in his or her employer’s company, how can the company ensure that…
Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court has expanded premises liability to include a broader definition “mode of operation” which relieves plaintiffs from having to prove actual or constructive notice of conditions. In BOWERS vs. P. WILE’S, INC the court found that “where the manner of operation of a business creates a reasonably foreseeable risk of a hazardous condition, the approach permits a plaintiff to recover for injuries resulting from such conditions if the plaintiff establishes that the business did not…
Earlier this week, we posted an update on House Bill H4434, which had passed unanimously in the House and was being reviewed by the Senate Rules Committee. The bill, now S.2418, which would adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) and enact the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act, has been placed on the Senate’s calendar for Thursday, July 14, 2016. The Rules Committee recommended that the bill ought to pass in the Senate after adding…
Changes may soon be coming to Massachusetts noncompetition laws. Bill H4434, which passed unanimously in the House and was referred to the Senate Rules Committee last week, would adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and enact the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act. The bill has yet to be approved by the Senate or the Governor, so its enactment is not guaranteed. Given its strong support in the House, however, a preview of the bill is…
In Massachusetts, wearable technologies, such as smartwatches, smart glasses, and location-tracking badges, are raising concerns from security experts as they become increasingly ubiquitous in business settings. While these devices may bring about gains in productivity, efficiency, and information-gathering, they also carry cybersecurity risks that may make sensitive data more susceptible to attack. There are other worries, too. UPS, for example, has substantially increased its profitability through the use of wearable tech that tracks its employees…
  A recent unpublished decision by the Massachusetts Appeals Court found that an employee could not establish a case for age discrimination under Massachusetts law when his entire job class was eliminated as part of a reduction in force. See Richard A. Porio v. Department of Revenue, 13-P-1621, (memorandum and order pursuant to Rule 1:28, August 27, 2015). Plaintiff is an employee who was laid off when his job class was eliminated, while other, younger…
A Massachusetts superior court has recently ruled that an insurance company choosing to appeal a jury’s decision to a higher court rather than extend a formal settlement offer after a verdict has been entered against them is NOT a commission of unfair settlement practices. The decision, Graf v. Hospitality Mutual Ins. Co., held that the “functional equivalent” of a settlement offer from the insurer was not a failure to “effectuate a prompt, fair and equitable…
On November 7, 2014, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Proteciton gave notice of a data breach that morning affecting the leaders of the G20.  As described: The personal information which has been breached is the name, date of birth, title, position nationality, passport number, visa grant number and visa subclass held relating to 31 international leaders (ie prime ministers, presidents and their equivalents) attending the G20 leaders summit. Affected by this data…