U.S. Department of Labor Proposes New Overtime Rule

On March 7, 2019, after more than two years of speculation, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) finally proposed its new overtime rule. Under the proposed rule, the minimum salary a worker would have to be paid to qualify for the executive, administrative and professional exemptions would increase from $26,660 (or $455 per week) to $35,308 (or $679 per week). The DOL estimates that 1.1 million more employees will be eligible for overtime under the proposed rule.… More

SJC: Employees Who Settled Wage Act Claims Were Entitled to Award of Attorneys’ Fees

On February 19, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) adopted an employee-friendly standard for determining whether a plaintiff is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees under the Massachusetts Wage Act where his or her claims are resolved by settlement. In Ferman v. Sturgis Cleaners, Inc., the SJC held that a plaintiff is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees when his or her suit acted as a necessary or important factor in causing the defendant employer to provide a material portion of the relief in the form of a settlement.… More

SJC Rules Denial of Lateral Transfer May Be “Adverse Employment Action” Under Mass. Anti-Discrimination Law

On January 29, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled in Yee v. Mass. State Police that an employer’s denial of an employee’s request for a lateral transfer that would have no impact on the employee’s base pay or benefits may constitute an adverse employment action under Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute, G.L. c. 151B (“Chapter 151B”). The SJC’s decision expands the scope of employment actions that may be actionable under Chapter 151B.… More

NLRB Overturns Obama-Era Independent Contractor Test

On January 25, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision revising the test for independent contractor status under federal labor law. In SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., the Board ruled that the test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”) should focus on the degree of “entrepreneurial opportunity” available to the worker, rather than the worker’s economic dependency on those they serve or the degree of control exercised over the work.… More

MA Employers Subject to New HIRD Reporting Requirement Starting Nov. 30, 2018

In 2017, Massachusetts enacted a supplemental appropriations bill providing for the creation of an employer healthcare coverage form that Massachusetts employers with six or more employees would be required to submit annually. Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) released guidance on this new requirement, providing that covered employees will be required to submit a new Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form annually starting November 30 of this year.… More

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