The Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) law now permits employees to “top off” benefits received through the state Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) with employer-provided accrued paid time off (e.g., vacation, PTO, or sick time). This new change allows employees to elect whether to supplement their PFML benefits with paid time off. Employers still cannot require employees to use their accrued paid leave either before or while on PFML; it is up to employees to elect whether or not to supplement their PFML benefits with paid time off. This change was part of the recently passed fiscal year 2024 budget and is in effect for all new applications for PFML benefits as of November 1, 2023.Continue Reading Massachusetts Employees May Now Top Off Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits with Vacation, PTO, and Sick Time
McLane Middleton will be hosting two upcoming employment conferences this fall. Both conferences are designed for our employment attorneys to discuss the latest trends in employment law in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts and assist you in preparing to manage your workforce in the coming year.Continue Reading McLane Middleton to Host Two Employment Conferences This Fall 2023
On June 29, 2023, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, striking down decades of precedent that had previously permitted affirmative action programs in connection with admission practices at colleges and universities. While the Harvard decision does not directly impact employers, the rationale supporting it has the potential to impact employment practices moving forward, as discussed below.Continue Reading FORECASTING THE IMPACT OF THE SUPREME COURT’S LATEST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION DECISION ON EMPLOYERS
While employers in industries like construction and manufacturing are likely well-versed in specific Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations, an often overlooked regulation called the General Duty Clause applies to every employer.
Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the “General Duty Clause”) requires an employer to provide a place of employment free from recognized hazards that may result in death or serious physical harm to its employees. Violations include fines, legal liability, and reputational damage. Continue Reading Understanding the OSHA General Duty Clause
In a recent decision, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) ruled that overly broad confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements are unlawful. In fact, even the mere offering of a severance agreement with these clauses is unlawful. Employers typically include these clauses in severance agreements either to restrict an employee from discussing the severance terms with coworkers or to restrict the employee from publishing false or defamatory comments about the employer following the employee’s departure from the company. The Board reasoned that these two clauses, if drafted too broadly, might cast too wide a net and have a “chilling effect” on an employee’s exercise of their protected rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). This ruling applies to severance agreements offered in union and non-union private-sector workplaces.
Continue Reading NLRB Rules Overly Broad Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Clauses are Unlawful
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer’s guaranteed daily rate pay plan for an employee earning more than $200,000 per year did not meet the “salary basis” requirement of the federal Fair Labor Standard Act’s (“FLSA”) executive exemption test, and therefore, the employee was entitled to overtime pay for all hours he worked over 40 in a given 7-day workweek. This decision highlights the importance for employers of correctly classifying employees under the FLSA’s exemptions from overtime pay. Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. v. Hewitt, __ U.S. __ (Feb. 22, 2023)(“Helix”). Simply paying an employee a substantial amount of money each year may not satisfy the technical requirements of the FLSA.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules Employee Earning $200,000 Per Year On A Daily Rate Is Entitled To Overtime
On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to prohibit employers from entering into post-employment non-compete agreements with workers. The proposed rule, if adopted, would essentially ban non-compete agreements nationwide, with very limited exceptions. The FTC will soon publish the NPRM in the Federal Register, triggering a 60-day public comment period. Here are answers to some of the key questions employers may have about the proposed rule.
Continue Reading FTC Proposes Rule that Would Ban Almost All Non-Compete Agreements Across the United States
The employee interview process is a critical component of building and shaping school culture. Not only is it a chance to learn more about candidates to your school and to determine their fit for a particular role, but it is also an opportunity to introduce your school, including its mission and vision, to the candidate. …
To kick off the New Year, employers with 11 or more employees working in Maine will need to review their policy related to the handling of accrued yet unused paid vacation at the end of employment.
Maine passed an amendment to Labor Law §626 requiring unused vacation time accrued on and after January 1, 2023, to be paid to employee at the end of employment. Final wages, now including unused, accrued vacation, must be paid to terminated employees no later than the next established payday.
Continue Reading New Maine Vacation Payout Law Effective on January 1, 2023
Happy Holidays from Our Employment Group!