Category Archives: Uncategorized

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Broadly Interprets Anti-Retaliation Provision of Domestic Violence Leave Statute

On August 25, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Osborne-Trussell v. Children’s Hospital Corporation that a nurse whose employment was terminated prior to her start date after disclosing to her employer that her abuser had violated the terms of a harassment prevention order could pursue a claim against her employer for violation of the Massachusetts Domestic Violence and Abuse Leave Act’s (“DVLA”) anti-retaliation and non-interference provisions.… More

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules Mislabeled Administrative Fee Must Be Paid to Service Employees Under Tips Act

On August 23, 2021, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Hovagimian v. Concert Blue Hill, LLC, that the Massachusetts Tips Act requires that an employer pay service employees any “service charge” listed on an invoice to customers, even if the employer and customer intended the charge to be an administrative fee employers are permitted to retain under the Tips Act. The ruling serves as an important reminder to employers in the hospitality industry to be diligent and accurate in invoicing customers to avoid violating the Tips Act.… More

Watch Now: Adjusting COVID-19 Protocols Amid the Rise of the Delta Variant

Early in the summer, many employers felt that the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccinations, rapidly declining numbers of COVID-19 infections, and less restrictive CDC guidance, permitted them to relax their COVID-19 protocols and begin the process of returning employees to physical workspace. With the rise of the Delta variant and changing CDC guidance for vaccinated individuals, however, many employers have begun to reevaluate and amend their plans.

Please join Foley Hoag partners Christopher Feudo and Colin Zick for a discussion of the shifting COVID-19 landscape in the United States,… More

COVID Vaccine Mandates Are Surviving Legal Scrutiny

Since COVID-19 vaccinations first became available at the beginning of 2021, colleges and universities have been struggling with whether to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, facility, and staff. Although colleges and universities have routinely required certain vaccinations in the past, some legal commentators have argued that the fact that COVID-19 vaccines are subject to Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) rather than approved through a full FDA process prevented colleges and universities from mandating that students,… More

President Biden Takes First Step to Limit Non-Compete Agreements Nationally

President Biden promised during his campaign that if elected he would take federal action against non-competition agreements. On July 9, 2021, Biden issued a broad executive order aimed at making good on that promise. He asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue a rule either banning or limiting non-competition agreements. Such a rule, he said, will promote competition and raise wages, by removing barriers to job mobility.

Non-competition agreements are widely used in private industry,… More

EEOC Updates COVID-19 Guidance, Authorizes Employer Vaccine Incentives

On May 28, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its guidance concerning COVID-19 vaccinations in the employment context.  Most significantly, the EEOC offered long-awaited guidance on the permissibility of employer programs that offer incentives to employees who receive COVID-19 vaccinations, providing that such programs are permissible if the incentives offered are “non-coercive.”

As employers prepare to return employees to the physical workplace, many have shied away from mandating employee vaccinations.… More

New York State Enacts Workplace Safety Requirements

On May 5, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act into law, which will require New York State employers to implement workplace health and safety standards to protect their workers from airborne infectious diseases. The so-called HERO Act, adopted in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed to protect workers from contracting future viruses in the workplace by reducing transmission and community spread.… More

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Regarding FLSA Tip Regulations

In an unsurprising move, the Department of Labor announced at the end of February that it would delay implementation of a rule relating to tip pools and tip credit that had been promulgated during the waning days of the Trump Administration.  That rule, which we wrote about here, would have allowed employers to include more employees in tip pools and to apply tip credits to a wider range of non-tipped time worked. … More

Watch Now: Employee Theft of Trade Secrets: How Businesses Can Protect These Critical Assets

Trade secrets are essential to compete and grow most businesses. But employee mobility and ease of communication create enormous challenges for protecting valuable trade secrets and other proprietary information. How can businesses protect innovations, product and IP plans, client information and cutting edge technologies that are key to their future? Join as Foley Hoag lawyers break down practical steps, legal strategies and litigation options to prevent and respond to employee theft of trade secrets.… More

OSHA Releases COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Guidance

On January 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued detailed health and safety guidance to inform employers and employees of recommended strategies to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. The guidance comes on the heels of President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety, which called for the Labor Department to coordinate with other appropriate agencies and issue updated health and safety guidance for employers.… More

Watch Now: What to Expect from the Biden Administration Regarding Labor and Employment Issues

Click here to watch the webinar.

Our panelists discuss their thoughts and analysis on expected changes to significant areas of labor and employment law, including:

  • The new administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and workplace safety
  • Anti-discrimination laws and the EEOC
  • The National Labor Relations Board and labor law
  • Wage and hour laws and the Department of Labor
  • Paid Leave

Speakers:

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

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

Massachusetts Adopts New Workplace Protections for Pregnant Workers

Yesterday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”) into law. The PWFA, which will go into effect on April 1, 2018, requires that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees upon their request. The final version of the law combines the bill passed in May 2017 by the Massachusetts House of Representatives with a similar bill approved by the Massachusetts Senate in June 2017.… More