As we previously reported, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (“DFML”) recently extended the deadline for employers to provide notice to employees of their rights and obligations under the State’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (“PFML”) law. Subsequently, on June 11, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, state Senate President Karen Spilka, and state House Speaker Robert DeLeo released a joint statement announcing that implementation of certain aspects of the PFML program are being pushed back, and that “technical changes” will be adopted to clarify the program. Thereafter, on June 14, 2019, the DFML released a notice on its website confirming one substantive revision along with several procedural revisions to the PFML program, including the following:
Massachusetts Sets New Deadlines and Contribution Rates for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, and Anticipates Further Changes
U.S. Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That California Wage-And-Hour Laws Do Not Apply to Drilling Workers off California Coast
On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and unanimously held that California state wage-and-hour laws do not apply to drilling workers off the coast of California.
In its new podcast series, Employment Law This Week has released an extended Monthly Rundown, discussing some of the most important developments for employers in June 2019.
New Jersey Appellate Division Panels Reach Different Conclusions on the Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements that are Exempt from Coverage under the FAA
Earlier this year, in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, 586 U.S. __, 139 S. Ct 532 (2019), the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) does not apply to arbitration agreements with independent contractors who are engaged in interstate commerce. The Supreme Court did not address whether such agreements could be enforced through other laws.
June 11, 2019 — Television production requires numerous workers, in different trades, whose services can be required for a few hours or several weeks. In all this diversity, what criteria will help decide which workers are insurable under paragraph 5(1)(a) of the Employment Insurance Act?
Increasingly companies are using third-party digital hiring platforms to recruit and select job applicants. These products, explicitly or implicitly, promise to reduce or eliminate the bias of hiring managers in making selection decisions. Instead, the platforms grade applicants based on a variety of purportedly objective factors. For example, a platform may scan thousands of resumes and select applicants based on education level, work experience, or interests, or rank applicants based on their performance on an aptitude test – whatever data point(s) the platform has been trained to evaluate based on the job opening.
The International Lawyers Network announced the release of the latest edition of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know, a compilation of brief descriptions of the rules on sexual harassment at work in some 20 jurisdictions. Theodore Goloff wrote the paper on Quebec legislation.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same: Court Holds That All Those New Non-Compete Rules under Massachusetts Act Do Not Supplant Old Public Policies Applicable To Pre-Existing Agreements
When Massachusetts enacted the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (“MNCA”) in mid-2018, many suggested then and thereafter that such statutes reflected an anti-employer tilt in public policy. But we advised at that time that the MNCA in fact appeared to present manageable options for sophisticated employers advised by knowledgeable counsel. A recent federal court decision from the District of Massachusetts in Nuvasive Inc. v. Day and Richard, 19-cv-10800 (D. Mass. May 29, 2019), supports our earlier read, and belies the notion that Massachusetts courts see the Commonwealth’s policy requiring application of its own law to pre-existing non-competes. So despite the fear that the statute would eliminate multi-state employers’ ability to rely on more favorable non-Massachusetts law when enforcing restrictive covenants, the Nuvasive court’s result and analysis gives employers hope that such fears were overblown.
Important Deadlines Fast Approaching For Employers to Comply With the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act
In June 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML). As previously reported, PFML creates a paid leave system which is funded by payroll contributions from employers and covered individuals and administered by the newly created Department of Family and Medical Leave (Department). Beginning in January 2021, all Massachusetts employees and some independent contractors will be eligible to take up to 26 weeks per year of partially paid leave for qualifying medical or family events. The Department has issued draft regulations for implementing PFML, and final regulations are expected by July 1, 2019.