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Massachusetts Outlook: The Remainder of 2016 and Beyond

After closing the book on the formal sessions in July, Massachusetts lawmakers have turned their attention to the November election. The Senate and House of Representatives convene in informal sessions for the remainder of...more

Where do the DOL’s New FLSA White-Collar Overtime Regulations Leave Non-Profits and Educational Institutions?

Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the final overtime rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of its December 1st implementation date. Today we focus...more

“On Call” Shifts Still In the Hot Seat in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Fair Labor Division has joined a multistate effort questioning retail stores’ use of “on call” shifts. Last week, the Massachusetts AG’s Office teamed up with its counterparts from...more

DOL Issues Guidance on Joint Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division weighed in last week on the hot topic of joint employment, issuing an Administrative Interpretation entitled “Joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Migrant...more

The Times They Are A-Changing: EEOC Task Force Focuses on Evolving Harassment in the Workplace and New Ways to Combat It

The EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace recently held the third in a series of public meetings, a two-part panel aimed at understanding the different and evolving nature of harassment in the...more

NLRB to Reconsider Whether Graduate Teaching Assistants at Private Universities Can Unionize

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) voted 3-1 to reconsider its decision in Brown University, 342 NLRB 483 (2004) that graduate teaching and research assistants are not employees under the National...more

Congress Considers Amending NLRA to Require Direct Control for Joint Employer Findings

On September 29, the House subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions held a legislative hearing to consider the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, H.R. 3459. This bill, which is mirrored in the Senate,...more

NLRB Adopts New Joint Employer Test: Companies That Kind of, Sort of, Maybe Someday Could Exercise Control Over Employees Can Be...

The NLRB dropped a major bomb on businesses in subcontracting, franchising, and temporary staffing relationships yesterday, adopting a new—very, very broad—definition of joint employment. In Browning-Ferris Industries of...more

More Paid Sick Leave on the Horizon? Draft Executive Order Calls for Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors.

The New York Times reported yesterday that it received a draft executive order marked “pre-decisional and deliberative,” which contemplates granting a minimum of 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to employees of federal...more

NLRB Removes Blanket Exemption on Mandatory Disclosure for Witness Statements. What’s an Employer To Do?

The NLRB recently reversed 37 years of precedent in deciding to adopt a new standard for a union’s access to witness statements taken in pre-grievance arbitration employer investigations. For years, under the blanket...more

NLRB Shows Some Restraint in its Protection of Employee Social Media Communications: Employee Termination Arising From “Egregious”...

In the wake of the NLRB’s aggressive crackdown on social media policies, many employers have asked: “Is there any limit to what employees can post on social media about their employers?” It appears that there is. Just last...more

National Labor Relations Board Majority Holds That Seeking Co-Worker Assistance with an Individual Harassment Complaint is...

Last week, the NLRB took an exceptionally broad view of what constitutes “concerted activity” and what kind of efforts are aimed at “mutual aid or protection” under the National Labor Relations Act. For employers, this could...more

Back to the Basics: Non-Compete Lost to a Superseding-Agreement Clause

With so much focus on the reasonableness of restrictive covenants, it’s easy to forget that non-competes are plain old contracts—nothing more. And when it comes to enforcing non-competes, basic contract law still applies....more

Supreme Court Finally Decides Noel Canning and Says President Obama’s Recess Appointments to the NLRB are a No Go.

Today, the Supreme Court issued its long-anticipated decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning, unanimously affirming an appellate court decision striking down three of President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor...more

Connecticut Employer Alert: Changes to Paid Sick Leave Requirements Effective January 1, 2015

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed a new law that amends Connecticut’s Paid Sick Leave Statute. Connecticut was the first state to mandate paid sick leave policies for service workers back in January 2012. The...more

EEOC Invites Public to Comment on Regulations Aimed at Clarifying what it Means to be a “Model Employer” of Individuals with...

The EEOC recently invited public input on potential revisions to the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, which governs the federal government’s employment of individuals with disabilities....more

Second EEOC Right-To-Sue Letter on Same Disability Discrimination Charge Cannot Save Late-Filed ADA Claim; First Circuit Rejects...

Judge Selya’s recent First Circuit opinion in Rivera-Diaz v. Humana Insurance of Puerto Rico, Inc., hammers home the importance of strictly abiding by Title VII’s procedural requirements for filing discrimination claims in...more

Supreme Court Rules that Severance Payments Are Taxable Under FICA

I have to admit, when I read the news that the Supreme Court had ruled earlier this week that severance payments are “wages” subject to payroll taxes, I thought I was on crazy pills: Didn’t we already know that? But,...more

NLRB Still Looking for Answers On Whether University Faculty Are “Managerial Employees”

The National Labor Relations Board is seeking amicus briefs to help it decide whether full-time, non-tenure-eligible contingent faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) are excluded from the National Labor...more

2/25/2014  /  Classification , Managers , NLRA , NLRB , Universities

Are Unions Targeting Adjunct Faculty?

Adjunct faculty members are taking collective action in record numbers. Over the past year, higher education has seen unionization campaigns at universities in major metropolitan areas, including at Tufts University, Bentley...more

Massachusetts Federal District Court Decision Reminds Employers Yet Again That They Should Not Trifle With the Independent...

Not gonna happen. That’s what the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts basically concluded about independent contractor arrangements in Massachusetts....more

Covenant, Shmovenant? Ten-Year Nationwide Non-Compete in Asset Purchase Agreement Forms the Basis for Tortious Interference With...

Once again we are reminded that covenants not to compete given in connection with the sale of a business are an entirely different species from the employment kind. Last week, in Oros & Busch Application Technologies, Inc. v....more

EEOC Priorities May Place Staffing Firms Under Greater Scrutiny

The EEOC identifies “eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring” among its top six priorities for fiscal years 2013 through 2016, which likely portends an increase in investigations and litigation directed at staffing...more

10/24/2013  /  EEOC , Investigations , Staffing Agencies

No More Playing Cute With Non-Solicitation Obligations: First Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects "Customer Called Me First" Argument

Non-solicitation agreements now may have more teeth in Massachusetts. This week, in Corporate Technologies, Inc. v. Harnett, the First Circuit Court of Appeals allowed to stand an earlier injunction prohibiting Brian Harnett,...more

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