New York City Bans Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

On Sunday, May 10, 2020, a groundbreaking New York City law went into effect prohibiting most employers from requiring job applicants to submit to marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) tests during the hiring process.  The New York City Council passed the measure 40-to-4 in April 2019, establishing that requiring such testing as a condition of employment constituted an unlawful discriminatory practice, even as marijuana was (and remains) illegal in the state.… More

COVID-19: FAQs for Employers

As concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to mount in the United States (and world-wide), resulting in school and business closures and other disruptions across the country, employers are facing many difficult questions. Click here to read our answers to some frequently asked questions that employers have been raising in their efforts to respond this ongoing public health crisis.

Foley Hoag LLP has formed a firm-wide,… More

Counsel Chris Feudo Speaks to CBS Boston about Coronavirus and Work From Home Policies

Companies are expanding their work from home policies amid the spread of coronavirus. Counsel Chris Feudo discusses best practices for companies and employees.

“Make sure that you have medical documentation, be in touch with your medical providers to make sure you understand what your restrictions are,” he said.

Watch the video below or click here to read more.

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NLRB Issues Narrowed Joint Employer Rule

Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released the final version of its new joint employer rule, which limits the circumstances in which franchisors and businesses that use employees hired by third parties can be required to bargain with employees of those third parties and held jointly liable for violations of federal labor law. The new rule – the result of a larger effort by the Trump administration to limit joint employer liability under federal employment law – rolls back a more expansive Obama-era standard established by the NLRB in 2015.… More

Unpaid Future Commissions Can Be Trebled under Massachusetts Wage Act, SJC Rules

In Massachusetts, a commission is a wage subject to the Wage Act when the amount of the commission “has been definitely determined and has become due and payable.” Accordingly, an employer’s failure to pay a commission which had not yet become due and payable generally does not implicate the Wage Act, and employers cannot be held liable for treble damages stemming from the failure to pay such a future commission.… More

Department of Labor Releases New, Narrow “Joint Employer” Rule

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of its new “joint employer” rule. The rule limits the scenarios in which businesses will be treated as joint employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and, therefore, reduces their potential liability for FLSA violations committed by their business partners.

The final rule, which goes into effect on March 16, 2020, requires that a business exercise control over workers in order to be considered their joint employer.… More

FLSA Clarifies What Counts as the “Regular Rate” of Pay for Overtime Calculations

Last week, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a rule clarifying the types of compensation that should be included when determining an employee’s “regular rate” of pay for the purpose of calculating overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The new rule permits employers to exclude certain fringe benefits provided to employees when calculating the employee’s regular rate of pay. The rule is the first update to the relevant regulations in half a century,… More

NLRB Announces New Union Election Procedures

In 2014, the Obama-era National Labor Relations Board made over two dozen changes to the union election rules that effectively shortened the time period between the filing of the petition and the election and limited the types of issues that could be resolved in a pre-election hearing. On December 13, 2019, the Board, now controlled by a Republican majority, announced a new rule scaling back the 2014 changes. The new rule is anticipated to slow down the election process and give parties and the Board time to resolve key issues prior to an election.… More

Union Organizes First Cannabis Shop in Massachusetts

In November 2019, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) became the first union to organize employees at a Massachusetts cannabis company.  According to the Boston Globe, two-thirds of Sira Naturals, Inc.’s employees, who work at its cultivation and manufacturing facility and its dispensaries, voted to join UFCW.  Sira issued its own announcement indicating that in advance of the vote it entered a labor peace agreement with UFCW allowing union representatives to come onsite and talk with employees about unionizing. Now that Sira’s workforce is unionized, it will negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with UFCW that will cover the workers’ terms and conditions of employment.

UFCW says that is currently represents tens of thousands of cannabis workers across the country, and it has a dedicated campaign to build its presence wherever cannabis is legal.   Based on its recent win at Sira, other Massachusetts cannabis businesses can expect to hear from UFCW about similar access to their workers. They can also expect UFCW to reach out to their workers directly about joining its ranks. If you have questions about these developments or would like to speak with our labor team, please contact us.