On December 23, 2016, the Massachusetts Superior Court reached a decision in DeVito et al. v. Longwood Security Services, Inc., et al. regarding how to determine whether employees should be compensated for the time they are on a meal break, choosing to apply the more narrow “relief from duties” test.
It is officially winter here in Massachusetts, and with the cold of the coming months also comes the prospect of businesses being closed for snow days. As a result, employees and employers alike might be asking, do workers get paid for snow days?
On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide hold on implementation of the Department of Labor’s new regulations that would have expanded overtime laws to over 4 million workers in the United States.
On August 23, the National Labor Relations Board issued a landmark 3-1 decision that Columbia University must recognize a labor union of graduate students, effectively allowing unionization of graduate students at private universities.
The Massachusetts Pay Equity Act, signed into law on August 1, creates new protections to close the gap in pay between men and women—including the first in the nation bar on asking for salary history in an interview.
Also, the 1st Circuit issued its decision in Burns v. Johnson, finding that circumstantial evidence is sufficient to overcome a summary judgment motion in gender discrimination and harassment claims.
The U.S. Supreme Court held that the clock starts on a "constructive discharge" claim when the employee provides notice of their intent to quit, not when the discriminatory action occurs.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court also rules in Verdrager v. Mintz Levin that self-help discovery is protected activity for retaliation purposes.
Labor and Employment Update
A non-compete agreement typically seeks to restrict an employee’s ability to leave one company and join a competitor for a specified amount of time after leaving. They are common in the tech industry, and large tech firms typically oppose any legislative attempts to limit their use. Others suggest that these agreements unduly restrict the workforce and restrain startup companies.
Last week, the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development hosted dozens to testify for and against limitations on non-compete agreements. Among those testifying was Governor Deval Patrick’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Gregory Bialecki. Governor Patrick has consistently indicated his support for increased regulation of these agreements, and Secretary Bialecki stated that the administration seeks outright elimination of the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Massachusetts.