In a recent decision, the Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled that the narrow public policy exception to the general principle that an “at will” employee can be terminated without cause does not apply to an employee fired for submitting a rebuttal to information in the employee’s personnel file.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Appeals Court Addresses Application of Public Policy Exception to At-Will Employment

On New Year’s Day, eligible Massachusetts workers will be able to begin receiving paid family and medical leave from the Department of Family and Medical Leave.  Here’s what employers need to know now…

Who is eligible for benefits?

  • W-2 employees
  • Contractors who receive a 1099-MISC form from a business that issues 1099-MISC forms to more than 50% of its workforce
  • Former employees who have been unemployed for 26 weeks or fewer


Continue Reading Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Become Available January 1, 2021 – Here’s What Employers Need to Know

Effective December 26, 2020, Massachusetts businesses will see additional restrictions on occupancy capacity and gathering sizes.  These new measures, which were announced by Governor Charlie Baker, are intended to prevent a post-Christmas surge of COVID-19 infections.  Massachusetts saw significant increases in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the pandemic following the Thanksgiving holiday, when many people failed to heed recommendations to avoid large gatherings.  The Governor hopes that these new restrictions will avoid a further spike in COVID-19 numbers following Christmas.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Governor Imposes Additional Restrictions, Seeking To Avoid Post-Christmas Surge

As Thanksgiving and what is traditionally the busiest holiday travel period approaches, COVID-19 numbers are rising, and state governments are doubling down on travel and quarantine restrictions.

The State of NH revised its travel guidance on November 12, 2020 changing the quarantine period for those NH residents who travel internationally (including to/from Canada); on a cruise ship; or domestically outside of the New England states for non-essential purposes.  Essential travel includes travel for work, school, personal safety, medical care, care of others, parental shared custody, for medication, and brief trips for take-out food and groceries.  Of course, the guidance continues to discourage business from allowing business-related travel for non-essential purposes.


Continue Reading States Issue New Travel and Quarantine Restrictions in Advance of Thanksgiving Holiday

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

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.

Last week, Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Baker announced a four-phase reopening strategy for the Commonwealth. Each of the four phases (called “Start,” “Cautious,” “Vigilant,” and “New Normal”) will see gradual reopening of additional industries with lessening restrictions as warranted by data on testing, new cases, and deaths attributable to COVID-19.

Continue Reading Massachusetts Announces Plans for First Phase of Reopening

The Massachusetts-based Pioneer Institute – a well-respected public policy research body – has issued a “Checklist for Employers” preparing to re-open their facilities. The comprehensive checklist states that:

“While it is impossible to fully eliminate all risks associated with reopening in the COVID-19 setting, an employer may be able to significantly mitigate and reduce risks, such as workplace hazards and employment issues, by following some or all of the recommendations” set forth in the Checklist.


Continue Reading Checklist for Employers Wanting to Re-Open Their Businesses in the Coming Weeks