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Massachusetts Veterans May Be Entitled to Paid Leave on Veterans Day

Massachusetts employers are reminded that, per legislation signed by Governor Charlie Baker in July 2016, qualifying veterans scheduled to work on Veterans Day who wish to participate in Veterans Day activities in their communities may be entitled to paid leave from their employers to do so. The legislation, officially titled An Act Relative to Housing, Operations, Military Service, and Enrichment or the HOME Act, amends a prior law that only required employers to grant veterans unpaid leave to participate in Veterans Day and Memorial Day activities provided they gave their employers “reasonable notice.”

Preparing for the New Massachusetts Equal Pay Law, Part II: Which Policies to Revise in Light of the Upcoming Effective Date

As we get closer to the July 1, 2018 implementation date for the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), it is time to focus in earnest on practical workplace considerations for affected employers. Although the MEPA does not dictate what specific language employment policies must include, employers should align their internal policies and practices with the law’s detailed requirements. Employment policies that may require revision or amendment in order to comply with the provisions of MEPA cover not only compensation, but also hiring practices, interview procedures, commissions, merit-based bonuses, and confidentiality. Employers also should reviewing and updating their written employment applications, offer letters, onboarding materials, and job descriptions to ensure compliance with MEPA. These documents may include questions about salary history, explain company practices with regard to making compensation decisions, or otherwise touch on areas covered by MEPA.

Updates to Massachusetts Cybersecurity Laws

Coming on the heels of several high profile data breaches, lawmakers in the Bay State have turned their attention to evaluating and improving cybersecurity across the Commonwealth. The State Legislature has created a special committee on cybersecurity readiness and is working its way through several bills on data privacy and security (see below). In addition, Governor Baker has established a new department devoted to information technology, titled the “Executive Office of Technology Services and Security.”

Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

Executive Summary: A new Massachusetts law, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, will expand existing legal protections for pregnant employees beginning April 1, 2018. Most notably, employers will be required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related conditions, including lactation and the need to express breast milk.

Preparing for the New Massachusetts Equal Pay Law, Part I: Whether, When, and How to Conduct a Pay Equity Audit

The July 1, 2018, implementation date for the amendments to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) is less than a year away. The amendments approved in 2016 will bring about substantial changes to the definition of “comparable work,” employer defenses, statutes of limitations, and prohibited employer practices, such as salary history inquiries.

Massachusetts Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Next spring, Massachusetts employers will have additional compliance requirements under the state Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which prohibits employers from denying pregnant employees reasonable accommodations for pregnancy- and childbirth-related conditions, absent due hardship.

Do Employers Have to Accommodate Pregnant Employees?

An amendment to the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act requires employers to accommodate pregnant workers.

Massachusetts Strengthens Protections for Pregnant Workers

An amendment to the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act, G.L. c. 151B, expressly includes pregnancy as a protected characteristic and expands accommodation requirements for pregnant employees. The amended law goes into effect April 1, 2018.

Massachusetts Enacts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

On July 27, 2017, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requiring Massachusetts employers to provide pregnant women and new mothers with “reasonable accommodations” for their pregnancies and any conditions related to their pregnancies. As a result, Massachusetts joins an increasing number of states across the country providing these rights. The Act, which takes effect on April 1, 2018, also provides pregnant women and new mothers with increased legal protection against discrimination in the workplace.

Massachusetts Expands Employers' Obligation to Accommodate Pregnant Employees

On July 27, 2017, Governor Baker signed the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “Act”). Once the Act takes effect on April 1, 2018, most employers with employees in Massachusetts will be required to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for pregnancy and related conditions.