On July 8, 2015, a federal district court judge held that a section of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor law, as applied to same-day delivery services, is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA). This is a significant development because Massachusetts has one of the most stringent tests for satisfying independent contractor status in the country.
Articles Discussing Human Resources In Massachusetts.
On June 3, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the Commonwealth’s independent contractor law does not apply to real estate salespersons licensed under, and affiliated with and working for, a licensed brokerage firm. The court’s ruling in Monell v. Boston Pads, LLC, SJC-11661, although limited in scope, represents a significant victory for the real estate brokerage industry.
Massachusetts’s new domestic violence leave law – which became effective on August 8, 2014 – created new obligations for Massachusetts employers of 50 or more employees.
Massachusetts has repealed both the Fair Share Contribution (FSC) provisions and the employee Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form collection requirement that were part of the Commonwealth’s 2006 health care reform efforts. The repeal was included in the state’s 2014 fiscal year budget bill, and is effective as of July 1, 2013, despite the delayed implementation of the employer mandate provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) until January 2015.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently held that the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law may apply to individuals who perform services outside of Massachusetts for a Massachusetts company. The decision, Taylor v. Eastern Connection Operating, Inc., significantly expands the potential reach of Massachusetts wage and hour laws.
Massachusetts has one of the most employee-friendly independent contractor laws in the country. The Massachusetts law creates a heavy presumption of employee status and makes it very difficult to establish independent contractor status. Many Massachusetts employers have struggled with its application, a task made more difficult by the state’s aggressive enforcement. Recently, the Massachusetts Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification announced “the commissioning of a research study to show the current depth and scope of employee misclassification and the underground economy in Massachusetts.” The study is expected to be completed in 2013 and may be a harbinger of more onerous enforcement yet to come.
Massachusetts employers will be faced with a host of new obligations affecting their ability to obtain and use criminal background information from applicants and current employees beginning May 4, 2012. The stateâ€™s 2010 criminal offender record information (“CORI”) law created a new method and database for employers to access criminal records, allowing many employers access to the database for the first time.
Effective May 4, 2012, the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) Reform Act (the Act), which was enacted in August 2010 with the controversial “ban the box” legislation, will significantly change the way employers access, use, and maintain information obtained through the Commonwealth’s CORI system. The Act will allow all employers access to a new online records system, but also imposes obligations on employers that acquire criminal history information from private sources, such as consumer reporting agencies (background report vendors). Employers should review their hiring and background check policies now to determine whether any updates are necessary.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has updated its earlier position communicated to Jackson Lewis and has informed Jackson Lewis that it will “probably” issue a guidance document about the amendment to the Massachusetts Personnel Records Statute. According to an official in the Attorney General’s Office familiar with the matter, “all options are on the table,” including a “clarification [or] advisory.” The Attorney General’s Office has no timeline for issuing its explanatory document, we were told.
Despite requests by several law firms, the Massachusetts Attorney General has decided not to issue an interpretive guidance or other interpretive aid for a broadly worded amendment to the Massachusetts Personnel Records statute that places an affirmative duty on employers to notify employees when adding new information to a “personnel record” that could negatively affect the employee’s employment or lead to disciplinary action.