Can a Massachusetts employer fire an employee who is on authorized medical leave but uses some of the time off to go on vacation? Not without risk. A recent case from the Supreme Judicial Court warns that employers must be cautious when dealing with employees whom they suspect to be abusing their medical leave benefits.
All Massachusetts employers, regardless of the employer’s size, must begin putting into place mechanisms to implement the newly-passed Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, M.G.L. c. 175M (PFML).
The law provides paid leave benefits for W-2 employees of Massachusetts employers. It also provides benefits for 1099 contractors if they make up more than 50% of the employer’s total workforce (W-2 employees plus 1099 contractors) and unemployed persons so long as they have been unemployed for less than twenty-six (26) weeks and have met the earnings requirements. Much like unemployment benefits, the weekly paid leave benefit is calculated as a percentage of the worker’s earnings, up to $850 per week.
Read more in this month’s newsletter.
Effective October 1, 2018, employers must comply with a new Massachusetts non-compete law geared at protecting both employees and independent contractors from undue restrictions on their ability to work, on one hand, while providing employers some leeway to protect their business interests through compliant, reasonably-tailored non-competition agreements. Non-compete agreements are contracts between employers and workers (both employees and independent contractors) that restrict workers from engaging in certain competitive activities for a defined period of time after termination of their relationships with the business. Read more in this month’s newsletter.
It is not uncommon in a business deal for individuals—owners, for instance— to personally guarantee the business’s obligations to a third party (such as a lender or landlord). These types of arrangements are beneficial in situations where, for example, a lender is unwilling to do business with a startup or similar company that has a few or no assets, but will agree to enter into the deal so long as the business owner personally guarantees that the lender will be repaid on the debt or investment even if the business fails. Read more in this month’s newsletter.
The Massachusetts Wage Act (Ch. 149, §§ 148-150) permits lawsuits for unpaid wages to be brought against a company’s president, treasurer, or officers or agents having the management of the company. While the terms “president,” “treasurer,” and “officer” are relatively well-defined, until recently there was significant uncertainty about who qualified as an “agent having the management” of a company to be held personally liable under the Wage Act.
Read about the scope of personal liability for two groups of non-officers: investors and board members.
Beginning on April 1, 2018, employers must comply with the newly-enacted Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“MPWFA”), which prohibits employers from discriminating against, ring, or refusing to hire a person due to pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.
While the purchase of a franchise affords a business owner many crucial advantages in the marketplace over a traditional, non-franchise business, a prospective franchisee’s failure to properly conduct its due diligence, both independently and with the assistance of experienced advisors, can prove fatal to the business’s success. There are four important areas of due diligence. Read more in this month’s newsletter.
Franchising is a popular avenue to entrepreneurship where the business owner is able to take advantage of the brand, systems and experience of a larger, more established enterprise. What makes franchising attractive to entrepreneurs is the ability to go into business for themselves but not by themselves. At its essence, franchising is a way to sell goods and services that involves a relationship between an entity that has an established brand and system (the franchisor) and an independent business owner (the franchisee).
Massachusetts businesses and their owners are by now familiar with the rule that General Laws chapter 93A, a statute that bars unfair competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices and provides for the possibility of double or triple damages plus attorneys’ fees, is inapplicable to intra-corporate and employment disputes. But could a claim under chapter 93A be brought against an outsider who aids and abets an insider’s breach of fiduciary duties? Read our newsletter for more information.
As of October 1, 2016, transgender individuals will have the right to use the bathroom or locker room of their choice in Massachusetts. This summer, the Governor signed into law An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination (the “Act”), adding gender identity in the list of protected classes covered by Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) have separately issued guidance to assist businesses in understanding and complying with their obligations.
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- Employers Must Be Cautious When Taking Action Against Employees Who Vacation While on Medical LeaveOctober 11, 2019 - 12:27 pm
- State-Administered Paid Family And Medical Leave Is On Its WayJune 18, 2019 - 12:19 pm
- Employer Alert: Non-Compete Reform Law Passes in MassachusettsNovember 8, 2018 - 1:39 pm
- Guarantors Beware: Guaranty May Survive Underlying SettlementMay 23, 2018 - 10:06 am
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