Supreme Court Rules Employer Delay Can Waive Right to Enforce Arbitration Agreement

Key Takeaways:

  • The Supreme Court has issued a rare ruling limiting the circumstances under which arbitration agreements may be enforced by federal courts.
  • Under the ruling, a party who engages in court litigation and only belatedly seeks to move that dispute to arbitration may be found to have waived the right to arbitrate, even absent any prejudice to the opposing party.
  • Employers who wish to enforce arbitration agreements should do so at the first opportunity.…
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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules that Employees with Federal Overtime Claims Cannot Obtain Remedies Under the Massachusetts Wage Act

Key Takeaways:

  • The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) ruled that employees whose claims for untimely payment of overtime arise solely under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) are not entitled to the more generous damages allowed by the Massachusetts Wage Act—including treble damages.
  • Per the SJC, the FLSA’s comprehensive remedial scheme for recovery of damages for federal overtime violations precludes an employee from alternatively pursuing remedies under the Wage Act for the untimely payment of overtime wages due solely under the FLSA.…
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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules Employer Must Pay Treble Damages on Late Wage Payments

Key Takeaways:

  • The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) has held that employers failing to make payment of earned wages within the time required by the Massachusetts Wage Act are liable for damages equal to three times the amount of the late payment.
  • Massachusetts employers are subject to treble damages immediately, even before the employee makes a demand or files a complaint.
  • Massachusetts employers should implement measures to ensure that earned wages are paid in a timely manner consistent with the Wage Act to avoid treble damages.…
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New York City Provides Guidance on Impending Pay Transparency Law

Key Takeaways:

  • On January 15, 2022, New York City passed a law requiring employers with 4 or more employees to post the minimum and maximum salary for advertisements for a job, promotion or transfer opportunity.
  • The requirement applies to all advertisements for a job, promotion or transfer that could be performed in New York City, even if the employer opts to have the work performed remotely outside of the City.…
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Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules that Independent Contractor Test Applies to Franchisees

Key Takeaways:

  • The three-pronged “ABC test” for independent contractor status set forth in the Massachusetts independent contractor statute may apply to franchisors-franchisee relationships in Massachusetts.
  • Where a franchisee is an “individual performing any service” for a franchisor, the franchisee is presumptively an employee, unless the franchisor can rebut the presumption by establishing each prong of the ABC test.
  • Businesses that engage individuals as independent contractor franchisees must be able to satisfy the ABC test to avoid potential liability for employee misclassification.…
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Supreme Court Blocks OSHA’s “Vax or Test” Rule

On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (“OSHA”) enforcement of its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”). Among other things, the ETS would have required most employers with 100 or more employees to either mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all covered employees or require unvaccinated employees to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. (A full summary of the ETS can be found in our alert here).… More

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Recognizes Wrongful Discharge Claim for Employees Exercising Rebuttal Rights under Personnel Record Statute

On December 17, 2021, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) held that an employee has a cause of action against an employer for wrongful discharge where the employer terminates the employee for exercising the right to file a rebuttal to a document in the employee’s personnel record under the Massachusetts Personnel Record Statute. The SJC concluded in Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc. that the employer’s conduct under these circumstances would violate the public policy exception to at-will employment.… More

New York City Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers

On December 6, 2021, New York City announced a vaccine mandate for all private-sector employers that will take effect on December 27, 2021. The mandate, which will require all in-person employees who are in a workplace with other co-workers to be vaccinated, will affect roughly 184,000 private-sector businesses.

The City will release additional guidance, including information on enforcement and reasonable accommodations, on December 15, 2021. While more information is forthcoming,… More

New York Passes Law Requiring Employers to Provide Notice to Employees of Electronic Monitoring

On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a bill requiring employers to provide written notice to and obtain employee acknowledgments from new hires before they may engage in electronic monitoring of their employees. New York joins Connecticut and Delaware as the only states with such a requirement.

The law, which amends the New York Civil Rights Law and becomes effective May 7, 2022,… More

Minimum Wage Increased to $15 Per Hour for Federal Contractors

On November 22, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Final Rule that will increase the minimum wage for employees who work on federal contracts. The Final Rule implements Executive Order 14026, which President Biden executed on April 27, 2021.

The Final Rule, which applies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and specified U.S. territories, does the following:

  • Increases the hourly minimum wage for employees performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $15 per hour beginning on January 30,…
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