Category Archives: Massachusetts

New Noncompete Agreement Law in Massachusetts

Introduction On July 31, 2018, after years of debate and attempts at compromise, the Massachusetts legislature finally passed a bill that will fundamentally alter the use of noncompete agreements in the Commonwealth.  The bill was signed by Governor Baker on August 10, 2018, and the law will go into effect on October 1, 2018.  The new law will apply only to agreements that are signed on or after October 1, 2018. The law does not prohibit the use of noncompete agreements altogether, but it does create specific standards regarding the enforceability of such agreements. Coverage The new law applies to …

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Noncompete Agreement Bill Finally Passes in Massachusetts

On July 31, 2018, after years of debate and attempts at compromise, the Massachusetts legislature finally passed a bill that will fundamentally alter the use of noncompete agreements in the Commonwealth.  If the bill is signed by Governor Baker, the law will go into effect on October 1, 2018, and will apply only to agreements that are signed after that date.  The bill does not prohibit the use of noncompete agreements altogether, but it does create specific standards regarding the enforceability of such agreements.  Click here for the full alert.

States Continue To Pass Equal Pay Legislation

While the Federal Equal Pay Act, which mandates employers to pay men and women the same pay for the same work, has been the law for 55 years, salary surveys continue to show that women are paid less than men.  In an effort to address this pay gap, states around the country are passing their own legislation.  Some of the states have enacted similar provisions, while a few have enacted unique provisions. Ban On Salary History Inquiries Studies have shown that one factor contributing to ongoing pay discrepancies is that an employee’s starting salary with an employer is often based …

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Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Takes Effect April 1, 2018

Pregnant workers in Massachusetts will soon benefit from broader protection against discrimination under the recently enacted Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“MPWFA”).  This new law, which applies to all employers with six or more employees, updates and expands upon existing state anti-discrimination statutes and makes it an unlawful practice to discriminate against a pregnant employee or an employee affected by a condition related to pregnancy.  The most notable change is that employers will now be required to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy and related conditions, including lactation and the need to express breast milk, unless the employer can prove that …

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Balancing Undue Hardship and Reasonable Accommodation with Employees Using Medical Marijuana Lights Up in Massachusetts Court

In a recent case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (the “SJC”) held that medical marijuana may constitute a “reasonable accommodation” for employees.  As a result, employers may not terminate employees for failing drug tests if the employees fall within that protection – provided the accommodation does not pose an undue hardship for the employer. Case background:  In Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, July 17, 2017),   SJC considered whether an employer had violated the Massachusetts anti-discrimination statute, M.G.L. c. § 151B, by terminating an employee who had failed a drug test for using marijuana at …

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