Effective Friday, November 6, 2020, Massachusetts residents will be required to wear a mask or cloth face coverings at all times when in any public place, with limited exceptions.  This new directive expands upon a prior mask mandate issued by Governor Charlie Baker in May.  Under the earlier order, residents were instructed to wear face coverings in public when it was not possible to maintain six feet of social distancing.  The new order removes the distance qualification, and essentially requires people to keep their masks on at all times.  “We’re basically saying if you go out in public, wear a mask,” the Governor said during a press conference announcing the new order.  Governor Baker imposed the harsher rule in light of rising COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates in Massachusetts this fall.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Governor Issues Stronger Mask Mandate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated the definition of “Close Contact.” Among other things, the new definition effects the close contact and monitoring process recommended by the CDC.

The term “Close Contact” is now defined as:

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently issued guidance for Thanksgiving celebrations in light of the continuing risks associated with COVID-19 exposure. The CDC recommends that: “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.” The CDC believes that having a small dinner with just household members is the safest

Since the pandemic hit, Massachusetts has developed strict protocols for those wishing to physically enter the state. Presently, all those 18 years of age or older, as well as unaccompanied minors, must quarantine for 14 days, or otherwise provide written proof that they received a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to arriving in MA. The penalty for non-compliance is stiff: a fine of $500 per day.

Continue Reading To Come to Massachusetts or Not to Come? That is the Question.

On August 27, 2020, New Hampshire updated both the Universal Guidelines for All New Hampshire Employers and Employees and the New Hampshire COVID-19 General Travel and Quarantine Guidance, & Employer Screening and Exclusion Criteria.  These documents apply to “all businesses, organizations, and individual business operators for the operation of their business” and must be

Just in time for the start of the school year, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) added to its long list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) related to the reopening of schools.

This guidance explains eligibility for paid leave relative to the varied formats and schedules schools have announced as they plan to reopen, including hybrid models melding in-person with distance learning. The DOL addressed three different scenarios.


Continue Reading USDOL Issues Updated Guidance for Which Parents (and Employers) Have Been Waiting

This school year is going to be different – very different.  Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, school districts in the region are still developing their plans which include elements of both remote learning and some in-person learning with restrictions regarding mask-wearing, hygiene, and social distancing.  With parents making up about one-third of the workforce nationally, employers and employees are facing a lot of new challenges as students prepare to resume school.

Continue Reading How Can Employers Support Working Parents This School Year?