Feb
28

“The times they are a-changing”

Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, I noticed an increase in activism. A day has not gone by in which I am not engaged in conversation about a Trump Policy. I realize that I was not concerned about the position I took or the position of the person I was talking with, but rather… Continue reading »

Oct
27

Voting

Years ago, my mother would proclaim that in Chelsea, her home town, they would declare: “Vote early, and vote often!” This year, on October 26th, I voted early. Massachusetts’ foray into early voting stems from a 2014 law, which stipulated that all municipalities must have at least one voting location open during business hours ahead… Continue reading »

Sep
27

Misclassifying Workers as Independent Contractors

Massachusetts has one of the most employee-friendly independent contractor laws in the United States. Under the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law, which is also stricter than federal law, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 149, Section 148B, a worker will be considered an employee unless the employer can show that all three prongs of the independent contractor test… Continue reading »

May
26

“Safe Harbor” Rule for Massachusetts Paid Sick Time Law

Massachusetts voters, on November 4, 2014, approved Ballot Question 4, “Earned Sick Time for Employees.” The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2015, requires all private employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of sick leave during each calendar year.  The law requires this paid sick leave for all employers… Continue reading »

Sep
21

Growing Use of “Independent Contractor” Label Creates Dangers for Businesses

As the economy continues to struggle, many businesses are relying more and more on independent contractors, and avoiding hiring new employees. Economically, the use of independent contractors offers a number of advantages over hiring traditional employees. Among other things, businesses can avoid paying overtime, payroll taxes, employment and worker’s compensation insurance and Social Security. While… Continue reading »

Feb
24

How to Know if You Have Been Constructively Terminated

Constructive Termination occurs when an employer renders an employee’s working conditions so difficult and intolerable that a reasonable person would feel forced to resign. An employee that has been constructively terminated may be entitled to recover lost wages and other damages suffered as a result of the termination. In determining whether an employee has been… Continue reading »

May
05

Civil Rights: Don’t Be Penny-wise and Pound Foolish

It is no secret that, in today’s economy, businesses of all sizes, and in all industries, are experiencing layoffs and cutting costs, particularly their discretionary expenses. The same is true for landlords, who are faced with more than the usual number of evictions. In taking these necessary actions, however, both employers and landlords should be… Continue reading »

Feb
05

Avoid Ambiguity in Compensation Agreements

Several recent cases involving the Massachusetts Wage Act highlight the importance to employers of using clear, written and consistently applied compensation plans. As the cases make clear, the failure to do so can have serious financial repercussions. In a 2007 decision, Okerman v. VA Software Corp., the Appeals Court held that the Wage Act applies… Continue reading »