MA PFMLA Update: MA Passes Extension Law; Department Issues New Regulations

The past few days saw two major updates to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) of which employers should be aware: a three-month extension of various deadlines for employer compliance and the issuance of final regulations under the Act Department of Family and Medical Leave (the “Department”).

As we reported last week, the Governor and Legislature agreed to extend the start date for contributions from July 1,… More

New Employee Benefit Rules Expand Health Reimbursement Arrangement Options for Employers

On June 13, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new regulation that is intended to increase the use of tax-favored health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) as a means of expanding access to health insurance in the individual insurance market. One likely effect of the new regulation, which will take effect on January 1, 2020, is to make it more likely that small employers will be able to offer greater health insurance options to their employees.… More

Paid Family and Medical Leave Update: Contribution Start Date Delayed

On June 11, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karen Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced that they agreed to delay the required contributions to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program by three months. This agreement will not be official until the Legislature passes and the Governor signs an emergency bill putting it on the books. If passed, the bill will extend the date when employers need to begin collecting payroll deductions and contributions from July 1,… More

Employers Can Lose Failure-to-Exhaust Defense if Not Timely Raised, Supreme Court Rules

On June 3, 2019, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Fort Bend County, Texas vs. Davis that Title VII cases can proceed in federal court even if employees fail to first bring their claims before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or an equivalent state agency (e.g., Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination). The Court’s ruling, however, made clear that employers can continue to protect themselves against new claims,… More

Massachusetts SJC Rules Commission-Only Employees Are Entitled to Overtime, Sunday Pay

Massachusetts law requires that non-exempt employees be paid at least 1.5 times their hourly rate for hours worked beyond the first 40 hours per week, and that certain employees be paid at least 1.5 times their hourly rate for all hours worked on Sundays. However, there has been confusion as to how these laws apply to employees who are paid exclusively by commissions.

Late last week,… More

UPDATE: Employers Must Provide 2017 and 2018 Pay Data to EEOC by September 30, 2019

As mentioned in our most recent alert on the recently revived EEOC pay data rule (available here), the EEOC has been considering whether, in addition to collecting pay data for 2018 under its new pay data collection rule, to collect pay data for 2017 or for 2019. This week, the EEOC chose to collect 2017 data. That means that employers with 100 or more employees now must submit both 2017 and 2018 pay data to the EEOC by September 30,… More

Court Rules that Employers Must Report Pay Data by September 30, 2019

On April 25, 2019, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. set a September 30, 2019 deadline for employers to begin complying with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) recently revived pay data collection rule. Accordingly, employers with 100 or more employees – more than 60,000 employers – must submit 2018 pay data to the EEOC by September 30, 2019.

As reported in our past alerts (link here),… More

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Joint Employment Rule

On April 1, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that would clarify when two entities may be considered joint employers of an employee for purposes of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and therefore may be held jointly and severally liable for FLSA violations. The rule comes nearly two years after the DOL withdrew Obama-era guidance broadly interpreting the rules regarding joint employment (see … More

Department of Family and Medical Leave Issues Guidance on New Paid Family and Medical Leave Act

On March 26, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave issued a guide for employers on complying with the new Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA). (Our alert on the 2018 passage of PFMLA can be found here.) As the guide makes clear, employers will need to begin taking steps to comply with PFMLA as early as July 1, 2019, even though paid leave benefits will not be available until January 2021 at the earliest.… More

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed New Rule on Regular Rate of Pay for Overtime

Less than a month after proposing an increase to the salary threshold for certain overtime exemptions (see our previous client alert), the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has announced another possible rule change impacting the way employers pay employees overtime. This new proposed rule would update, for the first time in more than 50 years, rules regarding the types of employee compensation that must be included when calculating an employee’s “regular rate” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).… More