The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has released draft regulations for the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (G.L. c. 175M). The proposed regulations, released on January 23, 2019, track many of the statute’s requirements. In addition to the draft regulations, the Department provided information on the amounts employers must contribute into the Trust Fund that will finance these paid leaves.
Articles About Massachusetts Labor and Employment Law.
On January 23, 2019, the newly-created Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department) released proposed regulations clarifying the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under the new Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Law (MFMLL). The MFMLL will require all private employers in Massachusetts to provide covered individuals with paid family and medical leave funded through a payroll tax.1 Under the proposed regulations, it appears that the Department will be responsible for, among other things, making decisions about whether to approve employees for paid leave under the MFMLL once the law goes into effect on January 1, 2021.
The newly-created Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has stated that it plans to publish draft regulations for the recently enacted Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law no later than January 23, 2019. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave has scheduled a number of public listening sessions on the draft regulations throughout the state, beginning with a session in Boston on January 30, 2019. A complete list of these public listening sessions can be found at this link.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office recently published guidance regarding how a new tipped-employee law is to be applied. Employers must now compare the tips earned by an employee, plus the service rate, to the full minimum wage at the end of each shift and pay any shortfall to the employee. This change went into effect January 1, 2019.
Beginning on January 1, 2019, the Massachusetts minimum wage will be raised from $11.00 to $12.00, part of a tiered effort that will raise the Commonwealth’s minimum wage to $15.00 by 2023. Similarly, the tipped minimum wage increases from $3.75 to $4.35 on January 1 and will likewise continue to increase yearly until it reaches $6.75 in 2023. Under the new law, retail employees’ Sunday time rate will decrease from time-and-a-half to one and four-tenths the employee’s regular rate. The rate will decrease yearly until it is gradually eliminated in 2023.
A summary of the Department of Family and Medical Leave’s new website and FAQ, including highlights from the employer FAQ page.
New guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue requires Massachusetts employers with six or more employees to file an annual health insurance responsibility disclosure (HIRD) form. The form became available on November 1, and must be submitted by November 30 of this year and each year subsequent.
A summary about the Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (“HIRD”) form and what it means for employers in Massachusetts.
A summary about the Brave Act taking effect on November 7, including information about the new changes to the law, what these changes mean for employers, and how to address leave for veterans on Veterans Day.
A summary about the new Criminal Justice Reform Act taking effect on October 13th, including information about existing law, changes to existing law, and what these changes mean for employers.
The recently-enacted Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (“Act”) provides a roadmap for employers to follow to ensure enforcement of noncompetition agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018. Although the Act sets forth several new requirements for noncompetition agreements, it also codifies what Massachusetts courts have held for years: if the restrictions in a noncompetition agreement are reasonable in activity, time and geographic scope, and are narrowly drafted to protect a legitimate business interest, the agreement should be enforced (provided the agreement complies with the Act).
Just before midnight on July 31, 2018, the last day of its legislative session, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a significant bill regulating the use of non-compete agreements in the Commonwealth. Today, August 10, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed that bill into law.
A Suffolk County jury recently awarded a Haitian–American nurse an unprecedented $28.2 million in total damages on her claim of retaliation against Brigham & Women’s Hospital, her former employer. At the same time, the jury rejected the nurse’s claim of race discrimination.
After years of negotiation, on July 31, 2018, the Massachusetts legislature finally was able to pass legislation that, if signed by Governor Charlie Baker, would significantly limit the enforceability of noncompetition agreements in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (“the Act”) would apply to all noncompetition agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018. If signed into law, the Act generally would limit all post-employment noncompetes to a maximum duration of 12 months, and, absent agreement to the contrary, require employers to pay 50% of the former employee’s base salary – termed “garden leave” pay – during the restricted period, among other constraints. This significant change to employment relationships in Massachusetts was included in a broader economic development bill, and is now on Governor Baker’s desk for signature.
On the final day of the legislative session, Massachusetts lawmakers passed a significant reform bill addressing non-compete agreements and trade secret protection. Passage was years in the making, as the specifics of reform and the need for reform itself have been hotly debated for almost ten years in prior legislative sessions. This update, written by Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP, outlines the significant changes that would occur to current MA law and what it means for employers.