The Massachusetts Attorney General recently issued a supplemental regulation to the state’s new sick leave law that aims to provide a “safe harbor” to Massachusetts employers that had qualifying paid time off (“PTO”) policies (including sick, personal, vacation, and/or combined PTO policies) in place as of May 1, 2015. The new regulation is welcome news to employers who are struggling to adopt policies that comply with the new law.
Articles About Massachusetts Labor and Employment Law.
The Massachusetts Attorney General has issued proposed regulations (“regulations”) regarding the new Sick Leave Law. The regulations do not yet have the force of law. There will be a notice and comment period that lasts until June 10, 2015, and public hearings will be held throughout the Commonwealth. For a summary of key provisions of these regulations check out the full copy of our alert by clicking on this link.
Proposed regulations to the voter-approved Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law, which takes effect July 1, 2015, were released by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office on April 24th. The proposed regulations can be found at: http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/regulations/proposed/940-cmr-33-00-proposed.pdf. The proposal covers accrual rates, carry-over, and the relationship between sick and other types of leave, among other things.
Massachusetts courts recently clarified two issues of great interest to employers in the hospitality and restaurant industries. On the one hand, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that Massachusetts law does not prohibit employers from adopting a no-tipping policy. On the other hand, the federal district court in Massachusetts held that the “restaurant employee” exemption to the state overtime law does not apply to maintenance technicians who travel between restaurants.
Effective April 7, 2015, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act will be replaced by the Parental Leave Act (“PLA”). The new law expands the scope of the Maternity Leave Act by extending parental leave rights to men.
In one of his last acts as Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick signed into law an amendment to the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”), extending coverage of the Act to male employees. The new parental leave law, signed January 7, 2015, will be effective on April 7, 2015 (90 days after its enactment).
Effective April 1, 2015, Massachusetts will become the fourth state (after New York, California and Hawaii) to extend employment protections specifically to domestic workers. The “Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights”1 creates new legal obligations for any individual or family in Massachusetts who employs a domestic worker, and is expected to affect approximately 67,000 nannies, housekeepers, caregivers and other domestic workers. Although portions of the law clarify that domestic workers are covered by existing state employment laws, the statute creates a number of new rights for domestic workers—and obligations for their employers—such as recordkeeping and notice requirements, a statutory right to privacy, and limitations on when and how a live-in domestic worker may be terminated. Almost all of these rights apply regardless of how many hours the person works for an individual or family.
Executive Summary: On election day, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative requiring employers to provide sick time to their employees. Absent legislative repeal, the mandatory sick time law will become effective on July 1, 2015.
On November 4, 2014, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question that requires all private sector employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of sick leave per calendar year. Under the new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, employers with 11 or more employees must provide employees with paid sick leave. Those employers under the threshold must provide unpaid sick leave. In enacting this law, Massachusetts joins California and Connecticut to become just the third state to require statewide paid sick leave.
Voters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have approved a ballot measure requiring Massachusetts employers to provide up to 40 hours of sick time each calendar year to all employees.
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.
The (somewhat confusingly titled) Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) broadly prohibits states from enacting or enforcing laws that affect the prices, routes or services that motor carriers offer for the transportation of property. On September 30, 2014, in Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Coakley,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the FAAAA may preempt one prong of the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, which requires that workers perform a service “outside the usual course of the business of the employer” to be classified as independent contractors.
A new Massachusetts law gives employees who are victims of domestic violence a right to job-protected leave from work.
Under new law, Massachusetts hospitals must limit the number of patients assigned to a nurse working in an intensive care unit (“ICU”) to no more than two. “An Act relative to patient limits in all hospital intensive care units,” signed by Governor Deval Patrick on June 30, 2014, applies to ICUs in all Massachusetts hospitals. The staffing-ratio legislation was backed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (“MNA”), a labor union representing nurses and other health care workers.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed new law mandating increases in the state’s minimum wage to $11.00 an hour by January 1, 2017.