Robert A. Fisher

Robert A. Fisher

Foley Hoag LLP

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Massachusetts Attorney General Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Earned Sick Time Law

On April 24, 2015, the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General issued proposed regulations regarding the Earned Sick Time law. The law, which was passed by voters on November 4, 2014 and takes effect on July 1, 2015,...more

4/28/2015 - Earned Sick Time Paid Sick Leave Act Sick Leave

Massachusetts SJC Rules that Taxicab Drivers Are Independent Contractors Under the Wage Act

On April 21, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Sebago, et al. v. Boston Cab Dispatch, Inc., et al., that taxicab companies may classify taxicab drivers as independent contractors. The plaintiffs in...more

4/24/2015 - Employee Definition Independent Contractors Taxi Cabs Wage and Hour

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Clarifies the Lawfulness of No Tipping Policies

On April 10, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held in Meshna v. Scrivanos that an employer may implement a no tipping policy for workers otherwise covered by the Massachusetts Tips Act (M.G.L. c.149, § 152A )....more

4/13/2015 - Employer Mandates Employment Policies Hospitality Industry MA Supreme Court Restaurant Industry Tipped Employees

Employing Workers in Massachusetts: A Guide for Emerging Companies

At some point, every emerging company must identify and retain people to work for the business. The founders or owners of the business recognize that they cannot do it alone, and they need to bring on talented individuals to...more

4/7/2015 - Best Management Practices Emerging Growth Companies Employer Liability Issues Entrepreneurs Hiring & Firing Human Resources Professionals Startups Wage and Hour

Supreme Court Sets New Standard Governing Employer’s Obligation to Accommodate Pregnant Workers

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed an employer’s obligation to accommodate employees’ pregnancy-related job restrictions. In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the Court recognized that employers who fail...more

3/27/2015 - PDA Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation SCOTUS Young v United Parcel Service

Supreme Court Authorizes the DOL to Change its Interpretative Guidance without Public Input

On March 9, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, that the Department of Labor (DOL) may issue its interpretations of wage and hour regulations without seeking input from the...more

3/13/2015 - Administrative Procedure Act DOL FLSA Notice and Comment Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine Perez v Mortage Bankers Assoc SCOTUS Statutory Interpretation Wage and Hour

New Parental Leave Law Expands the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act

On January 7, 2015, one day prior to leaving office, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Parental Leave bill, which expands the scope of the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MLA”). The MLA provides female employees...more

1/12/2015 - Amended Legislation Deval Patrick Employer Liability Issues Maternity Leave Parental Leave Popular

National Labor Relations Board Issues Final Rule on So-Called “Quickie Elections”

On December 15, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) published a final rule regarding its handling of union representation petitions and the timing of elections. The new procedures, dubbed the “quickie election”...more

12/19/2014 - Ambush Election Rules Final Rules NLRB Union Elections Unions

NLRB Rules that Employees Have a Right to Use Employers’ Email Systems for Non-Business Purposes

In a 3-2 decision issued on December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held in Purple Communications Inc. that, in most circumstances, employees have a right to use employer email systems for non-business...more

12/14/2014

NLRB Rules that Employees Have a Right to Use Employers’ Email Systems for Non-Business Purposes

In a 3-2 decision issued on December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held in Purple Communications Inc. that, in most circumstances, employees have a right to use employer email systems for non-business...more

12/14/2014

Supreme Court Decides No Pay Owed for Amazon Warehouse Security Checks

On December 9, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, that Amazon warehouse employees were not entitled to pay for the time spent waiting to go through security checks at...more

12/12/2014 - Amazon FLSA Security Checks Wage and Hour Wages

Massachusetts Voters Approve Earned Sick Time Law

Yesterday, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative that will mandate sick time for employees. Under the new law, which will take effect on July 1, 2015, employers must allow employees to accrue and use up to 40...more

11/6/2014 - Employee Rights Paid Leave Sick Leave

Massachusetts Enacts Domestic Violence Leave for Employees

On August 8, 2014, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a bill relating to domestic violence. Among other provisions, the law creates a new category of job-protected leave for employees. Massachusetts employers with 50 or...more

8/13/2014 - Corporate Counsel Crime Victims Domestic Violence Employee Rights Unpaid Leave

U. S. Supreme Court Clarifies Fiduciaries’ Duty of Prudence Under ERISA In Connection with Employee Stock Ownership Plans

On June 24, 2014, a unanimous Supreme Court held in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer that fiduciaries to an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) were not entitled to a presumption under the Employee Retirement Income...more

6/30/2014 - ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Fifth Third Mortgage Company SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation US Bancorp

Supreme Court Rules Recess Appointments of NLRB Members Unconstitutional

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning that President Obama’s use of recess appointments to fill three vacancies on the National Labor Relations Board in January 2012...more

6/30/2014 - Barack Obama Canning v NLRB NLRB Recess Appointments SCOTUS

Massachusetts Increases the Minimum Wage and Reforms Unemployment Insurance

On Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law an increase in the state minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, the highest state minimum wage in the country. Specifically, Massachusetts’ current $8.00 per hour minimum...more

6/30/2014 - Employer Liability Issues Minimum Wage Unemployment Reform Wage and Hour Wages

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes to Change Rule Regarding Who Is a Same-Sex Spouse under the FMLA

On Friday, June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its intention to change the regulatory definition of who is a “spouse” for purposes of the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). The impetus for the...more

6/27/2014 - DOL DOMA Employer Liability Issues FMLA OMB Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

Employer Can Be Liable for Negligently Terminating an Employee Based on Co-Worker’s Discriminatory Conduct

On May 23, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Velazquez-Perez v. Developers Diversified Realty Corp. that an employer may be liable under Title VII for negligently terminating an employee. Although...more

6/4/2014 - Discrimination Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Negligence Termination Title VII

First Circuit Holds that Variable “Per Diem” Payments May be Part of an Employee’s Regular Rate of Pay for Calculating Overtime

On April 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Newman v. Advanced Technology Innovation Corp., that a per diem payment that is based on the number of hours worked by an employee must be considered...more

4/30/2014 - Employment Policies FLSA Per Diem Wage and Hour

Supreme Court Finds that Severance Pay is Wages for Purposes of Payroll Taxes

On March 25, 2014, the Supreme Court held in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. that severance payments are taxable wages for FICA purposes. This decision confirms employers’ responsibility to treat severance pay as...more

3/27/2014 - FICA Taxes Payroll Taxes Quality Stores SCOTUS Severance Pay

Employer Shared Responsibility Under the Affordable Care Act

Introduction - A key component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), the federal health care reform law, is the “employer shared responsibility.” Essentially, it is a “pay or play” program...more

2/14/2014 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule

Recent Decision on Temporary Disability Under the ADA Should Give Employers Pause

On January 23, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (based in Virginia) held in Summers v. Altarum Inst., Corp. that a temporary injury, if sufficiently severe, may qualify as a “disability” under the...more

2/4/2014 - ADA ADAAA Disability Disability Leave Temporary Disability Insurance

Supreme Court Decision Clarifies Approach to Donning-and-Doffing Cases Under the FLSA

On January 27, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp. that the Fair Labor Standards Act did not require an employer to pay workers for time spent donning and doffing protective gear. The...more

2/3/2014 - Collective Bargaining FLSA Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp SCOTUS Unions Wage and Hour Workplace Attire

Important Changes Relating to Section 125 Plans May Require Immediate Action

Last week, there were two important developments relating to Section 125 cafeteria plans. First, Massachusetts announced that employers will no longer be required to maintain a Section 125 plan. Second, the IRS has modified...more

11/7/2013 - Affordable Care Act Cafeteria Plans Flexible Spending Accounts Healthcare IRS Premiums Use or Lose Rule

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds That Chapter 151B Prohibits Associational Discrimination

On July 19, 2013, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) held in Flagg v. AliMed, Inc. that a non-disabled employee can sue his employer for disability discrimination under Chapter 151B, the state anti-discrimination...more

7/23/2013 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Associational Retaliation Disability Disability Discrimination Employer Liability Issues

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