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Showing 8 posts in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Employers, It Is Time to Review Your Non-Competes

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a comprehensive non-compete law that will take effect on October 1, 2018 (“the Act”). It applies to all non-competes entered after the effective date. The Act follows several attempts by the Massachusetts Legislature to agree on a reform that spanned several years. Here are the highlights: More ›

Massachusetts Employees Need Not Wait 90 Days to File Wage Act Claim Says 1st Circuit

In Lawless v. Steward Health Care System, LLC, the First Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered a novel question: whether an employee suing for violation of, M.G.L. c. 149, §§ 148, 150 (the “Wage Act”), could recover under the statute despite filing her lawsuit before receiving permission from the Attorney General or waiting 90 days after notifying the Attorney General of her claims. It answered the question yes, rejecting the employer’s position that the Wage Act provided for a grace period of up to 90 days. More ›

Massachusetts Attorney General Provides Guidance On Equal Pay Law

Recently, the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, issued guidance to assist employers in complying with the state’s Equal Pay Act (“MEPA”), which goes into effect on July 1, 2018. The 30-page guidance is comprehensive, offering an overview of the law, responses to frequently asked questions, a self-evaluation for employers, and a sample checklist of policies and practices. Due to its length and breadth, the guidance should be reviewed by employers in full. However, we note the following important aspects: More ›

Baby Bump to Pregnant Employee Rights: Massachusetts Enacts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

In another effort to take aim at disparate treatment of women in the workforce, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on July 27, 2017. The new law takes effect on April 1, 2018.

The Act requires Massachusetts employers to provide pregnant women and new mothers with "reasonable accommodations" for their pregnancies and any conditions related to their pregnancies. The new Massachusetts law expands existing protections and provides express instructions on the types of accommodations employers are required to provide.  More ›

UPDATE: Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Patient Can Sue Employer for Discrimination

On Monday, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ("SJC") issued a decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, holding that an employee may sue her employer for handicap discrimination based on her status as a medical marijuana patient. More ›

Massachusetts Passes Radical Equal Pay Law

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed An Act to Establish Pay Equity, which as the name aptly suggests, seeks to ensure equal pay for comparable work for all Massachusetts workers and equal opportunity to earn competitive salaries. The Act will take effect on January 1, 2018.

The new law prohibits any wage disparity between genders for "comparable work." The statute defines "comparable work" as "work that is substantially similar in that it requires substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility, and is performed under similar working conditions; provided, however, that a job title or job description alone shall not determine comparability." More ›

Massachusetts’ Anti-Discrimination Laws Prohibit Associational Discrimination

In a recent employment discrimination decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the Massachusetts discrimination statute, M. G. L. c. 151B, encompasses a claim for "associational discrimination."

"The term 'associational discrimination' refers to a claim that a plaintiff, although not a member of a protected class himself or herself, is the victim of discriminatory animus directed toward a third person who is a member of the protected class and with whom the plaintiff associates."  More ›

Isolated Age Comment Insufficient to Overcome Employer’s Legitimate Reason for Layoff

The technology company, which manufactured components for large-scale computer networks and data storage systems, employed a team of sales account managers. This particular account manager was successful in generating significant revenue for the company over the course of several years. The Company began to make changes to procedures and started to cut costs due to the downturn in the economy and the industry changes in terms of how data is stored, which ultimately led to the reduction in force of the sales team from five employees to two. The account manager, however, felt that this rationale was a pretext for age discrimination, and that he was selected for lay off because of his age. To back this up, he pointed to comments made by the vice president of sales about needing to “re-energize” the team, which he considered disparaging remarks regarding the ages of the sales team. He accordingly filed a charge with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, who dismissed the complaint for a lack of probable cause. He then filed suit in state court, claiming, among other things, age discrimination under Massachusetts law. The employer removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts based on diversity jurisdiction, and then moved for summary judgment on all counts. The district court granted this motion, and Woodward appealed. More ›

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