Supreme Judicial Court Holds that Certain Commission Salespersons Must be Paid Overtime and Sunday Premiums Regardless of Their Commission

On May 8, 2019, in the case of Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court injected some much needed clarity into whether commission-based employees must be paid overtime and premium pay regardless of the amount of their commission.

Read More
Supreme Judicial Court Splits the Baby in Class Action Wage Claim -- Ruling in Part for Employees and in Part for Employers

On April 12, 2019, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in Gamella v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., resolved lingering doubt as to whether state and federal courts would use the same analysis when determining whether to allow wage claims to proceed on a class action basis.

Read More
Massachusetts Federal Court Issues Decision that Heavily Protects Massachusetts Disabled Employees

The Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as its Massachusetts state law equivalent, prohibit employers from discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Those laws, unlike other anti-discrimination laws, also require employers to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodations so that they may perform their job duties.

Read More
Massachusetts Gives Another Nod to All Massachusetts Employees in Wage-and-Hour Context (But Especially Agricultural Employees)

For as long as I’ve practiced law, courts across the country, both state and federal, have uniformly held that wage-and-hour laws should be construed broadly to protect employees and that exemptions from those laws should be construed narrowly to protect employees.

Read More
First Circuit Sides with Employer in Reasonable Accommodation Case

The First Circuit, in the case of Miceli v. JetBlue Airways Corp. et al. recently provided helpful guidance to employers and employees when it comes to one of the most difficult areas of employment law: leaves of absence resulting from mental impairments.

Read More
Grand Bargain: Why is it Grand and What does it Mean?

By now, most of you have probably read about the bill signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker, colloquially referred to as the Grand Bargain. By any measure, this bill is surely “grand” in that it dramatically changes three important areas of employment law.

Read More
Flu Shot the Sheriff? But Can I Flu Shot Employees?

The workplace can be a breeding ground for flu-related illnesses. A 2018 survey estimated the cost to employers of the 2017-2018 flu season to be around $9.42 billion. Employees who come to work sick, get others sick. Sick employees are less productive employees. To address this, can an employer require employees to get flu shots? Not surprisingly, the answer is not simple.

Read More
The Supreme Judicial Court Gives Employers A Gift In The Ongoing Independent Contractor Saga

Under Massachusetts law, it’s quite difficult to properly treat an individual as an independent contractor.  Thankfully (if you are an employer) the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has carved a pro-employer exception into the law that makes it much easier to treat someone as an independent contractor, at least for workers’ compensation purposes.

Read More