Employment Law Business Guide

Practical Insights for Human Resources, Managers & Business Owners

The Supreme Judicial Court has just recently made it abundantly clear that for liability to hold under the Massachusetts Wage Act, G.L. c. 149, §148, “[t]he work must have been actually performed and wage payments must be presently due to trigger the precise requirements and severe penalties” available under the Act.  The case is Calixto v. Coughlin, 481 Mass. 157 (2018).…
As published in NEHRA News (3/21/2019) The Massachusetts Wage Act provides that an employee who “prevails” in an action to recover unpaid wages “shall … be awarded the costs of the litigation and reasonable attorneys’ fees.”  This “fee-shifting” provision is an exception to well-established “American Rule” under which each party bears his or her own attorney’s fees, win or lose.  In cases where the employee wins at trial, the application of the Wage Act’s fee-shifting…
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division issued an Opinion Letter in which it stated that an employer may not delay the designation of leave qualifying under the Family and Medical Leave Act, even if the affected employee would prefer not to take FMLA leave, and employers may not designate more than 12 weeks of leave as FMLA leave.…
Yesterday, President Trump unveiled his new budget plan.  Along with controversial plans to fund construction of a wall on the southern border and to cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid, the budget also includes a proposal for paid parental leave. President Trump’s daughter Ivanka has been advocating for federal paid parental leave since the beginning of the administration in 2017.  And the president touted the idea during his State of the Union address
On March 7, 2019 the NH Supreme Court ruled that an employee’s worker’s compensation carrier was wrong to deny reimbursement for the cost of medical marijuana to an employee recovering from a work related injury.  The employee, Andrew Panaggio, suffered a lower back injury in 1991.  He received a lump sum settlement for permanent impairment in 1997 and continued to experience pain as a result of the injury.  He experienced negative side effects from prescribed…
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor released its long-awaited updated overtime rule proposal.  Under the proposed rule, the minimum salary level at which an employee can be exempted from federal overtime and minimum wage requirements (assuming other criteria are met) would increase from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $679 per week ($35,308 annually).  If enacted, more than a million more workers would become eligible for overtime under the proposed rule.…
A bill recently filed in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, if passed, would prohibit discrimination on the basis of height and weight.  The proposed legislation would add height and weight to the list of protected classes covered by the Commonwealth’s antidiscrimination law (G.L. Chapter 151B) and public accommodation laws (G.L. Chapter 272, Sections 92A and 98).…
On February 1, 2019 the Keene Sentinel reported that a Massachusetts construction company had been hit with more than $64,000 in fines after an audit conducted by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. Although the bulk of the fines were related to the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, there were also a number of recordkeeping violations found. The Keene Sentinel article devotes significant attention to the problems of trying to classify individuals as independent…
In the United States, certain religious schools are legally permitted to limit or discontinue student enrollment if: the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual…