A New Era of MA Noncompete Law Begins on Oct. 1

As previously reported, the new Massachusetts law governing non-competition agreements takes effect on Monday, October 1.  A comprehensive summary of the law is here.  The most significant takeaways are the following:

  • The law applies to post-employment noncompetes entered into on or after October 1, 2018 by Massachusetts workers and residents.
  • The law does not apply to other kinds of restrictions,…
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Watch – The New Massachusetts Noncompete Law: What You Need to Know

After years of debate, the Massachusetts Legislature recently passed a comprehensive noncompete reform law, and Governor Baker signed the bill on August 10, 2018. The new law overhauls existing law and imposes new prohibitions and requirements for noncompetes signed by Massachusetts workers as of October 1, 2018. Every Massachusetts employer that uses noncompetes will need to change its agreements and practices.

Partners Jonathan Keselenko and Michael Rosen present a webinar discussing what employers need to know about the new law to ensure compliance.… More

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Non-Compete Reform Bill

After many years of debate, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a comprehensive non-compete reform bill. If Governor Baker signs the bill into law (as is expected), the new law would prohibit employers from requiring that certain types of employees sign non-competition agreements and would establish minimum requirements – largely consistent with existing case law – that non-competition agreements must meet to be enforceable. If signed by the governor, the law will take effect on October 1,… More

Massachusetts Establishes Paid Family Leave and Raises Minimum Wage

Last week, Governor Charlie Baker signed a landmark bill establishing a paid family and medical leave program for Massachusetts workers and gradually increasing the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Described as a “grand bargain,” the bill reflects a compromise between legislators, labor and community groups, and business groups, and is intended to keep proposed ballot questions concerning paid leave, minimum wage, and a sales tax reduction off the November 2018 ballot.… More

Supreme Court Delivers Major Blow to Public Sector Unions

On June 27, 2018, in a 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the United States Supreme Court overruled longstanding precedent and held that public employees who are not members of a union elected to be their collective bargaining agent could not be required to pay so-called “agency fees” to that union.  The decision is expected to have significant impact on organized labor, which relies on such fees to fund their activities.… More

NLRB General Counsel Adopts Less Restrictive Policy on Employee Handbook Rules

On June 6, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel issued a guidance on the agency’s new position on employee handbook rules. Reflecting recent changes in Board law, the guidance issued by NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb indicates that his office has abandoned the broad prohibition on certain workplace rules adopted by his predecessor during the Obama administration and, more broadly, signals that the new General Counsel will take a more employer-friendly approach in interpreting federal labor law.… More

Worksite Enforcement Investigations on the Rise

Nearly Double as Compared to Previous Year

Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Derek N. Benner stated in a May 14, 2018 press release that “Employers need to understand that the integrity of their employment records is just as important to the federal government as the integrity of their tax files and banking records. All industries, regardless of size, location and type are expected to comply with the law.”

U.S.… More

Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Arbitration Waivers

On May 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision addressing whether employers can include class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements that employers often require their employees to sign as a condition of employment. Such waivers require employees to arbitrate employment claims against the employer individually, rather than as a class action or other joint arbitration. Such waivers had been challenged as violating employees’ right to engage in concerted activities under federal labor law.… More

Massachusetts Places Further Restrictions on Criminal Background Checks

In 2010, Massachusetts became one of the first states to pass so-called “ban the box” legislation, which barred employers from asking prospective employees about their criminal histories on their initial employment applications. Now, eight years later, Governor Charlie Baker has signed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill into law that places new restrictions on employer inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history. The new restrictions go into effect on October 13,… More

What Do F-1 Students Need to Know As They Await The Fate of Their H-1B Cap Petition?

As reported on April 6, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received more H-1B cap petitions than the statutory available visas for both the general cap of 65,000 available H-1B visas and the additional 20,000 for U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the “master’s cap.” We understand how stressful it is for both the H-1B employers and the foreign national candidate as they await the results of the H-1B lottery (“work by lottery” program).… More