Massachusetts Labor & Employment Law

Foley Hoag’s Labor & Employment Law practice offers decades of experience helping companies manage their workplace legal issues. We understand that today’s employers must grapple with an ever-expanding array of federal and state laws and regulations governing the employment relationship. Our attorneys bring deep knowledge of labor and employment law and a practical and creative problem-solving approach to every matter. We pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly to changing business conditions with effective, strategic advice, while always keeping our client’s business goals in mind.

On August 25, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Osborne-Trussell v. Children’s Hospital Corporation that a nurse whose employment was terminated prior to her start date after disclosing to her employer that her abuser had violated the terms of a harassment prevention order could pursue a claim against her employer for violation of the Massachusetts Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act’s (“DVLA”) anti-retaliation and non-interference provisions. The SJC ruled that the plaintiff asserted…
On August 23, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Hovagimian v. Concert Blue Hill, LLC, that the Massachusetts Tips Act requires that an employer pay service employees any “service charge” listed on an invoice to customers, even if the employer and customer intended the charge to be an administrative fee employers are permitted to retain under the Tips Act. The ruling serves as an important reminder to employers in the hospitality industry to…
Early in the summer, many employers felt that the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, rapidly declining numbers of COVID-19 infections, and less restrictive CDC guidance, permitted them to relax their COVID-19 protocols and begin the process of returning employees to physical workspace. With the rise of the Delta variant and changing CDC guidance for vaccinated individuals, however, many employers have begun to reevaluate and amend their plans. Please join Foley Hoag partners Christopher Feudo and…
Since COVID-19 vaccinations first became available at the beginning of 2021, colleges and universities have been struggling with whether to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, facility, and staff. Although colleges and universities have routinely required certain vaccinations in the past, some legal commentators have argued that the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are subject to Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) rather than approved through a full FDA process prevented colleges…
On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its guidance concerning COVID-19 vaccinations in the employment context.  Most significantly, the EEOC offered long-awaited guidance on the permissibility of employer programs that offer incentives to employees who receive COVID-19 vaccinations, providing that such programs are permissible if the incentives offered are “non-coercive.” As employers prepare to return employees to the physical workplace, many have shied away from mandating employee vaccinations. Instead, employers…
On May 5, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act into law, which will require New York State employers to implement workplace health and safety standards to protect their workers from airborne infectious diseases. The so-called HERO Act, adopted in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed to protect workers from contracting future viruses in the workplace by reducing transmission and community spread. The new…
In an unsurprising move, the Department of Labor announced at the end of February that it would delay implementation of a rule relating to tip pools and tip credit that had been promulgated during the waning days of the Trump Administration.  That rule, which we wrote about here, would have allowed employers to include more employees in tip pools and to apply tip credits to a wider range of non-tipped time worked.  Originally scheduled…
Trade secrets are essential to compete and grow most businesses. But employee mobility and ease of communication create enormous challenges for protecting valuable trade secrets and other proprietary information. How can businesses protect innovations, product and IP plans, client information and cutting edge technologies that are key to their future? Join as Foley Hoag lawyers break down practical steps, legal strategies and litigation options to prevent and respond to employee theft of trade secrets. Download…
On January 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued detailed health and safety guidance to inform employers and employees of recommended strategies to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. The guidance comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety, which called for the Labor Department to coordinate with other appropriate agencies and issue updated health and safety guidance for…
Click here to watch the webinar. Our panelists discuss their thoughts and analysis on expected changes to significant areas of labor and employment law, including: The new administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and workplace safety Anti-discrimination laws and the EEOC The National Labor Relations Board and labor law Wage and hour laws and the Department of Labor Paid Leave Speakers: Jonathan Keselenko, Partner Erin Olesen, Associate Andrew Smith, Senior Policy Advisor…