Massachusetts Law Gives Private Right of Action Against Employers Who Fail to Pay Workers’ Compensation Premiums

The second half of 2010 brought a number of changes in Massachusetts laws affecting employers. On August 5, the Massachusetts Personnel Records Statute was amended to, among other things, require employers to notify employees when placing information in personnel records that may or does “negatively affect” the employee’s employment. Then, on November 4, the first change to Massachusetts’ Criminal Offender Record Information law went into effect, which, among other things, prohibits employers from asking about criminal background information in employment applications.

Now, as of November 7, private citizens may bring civil actions against employers who fail to pay workers’ compensation premiums as required by the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Statute, and may recover damages and attorneys’ fees. The highlights of the new statute, codifi ed at Mass. Gen. Laws. ch. 152, § 25C(11), are as follows...

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