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Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton Rebrands as Morse

April 24, 2019 Leave a comment

Morse_Logo_CMYKMorse Barnes-Brown Pendleton is pleased to announce the next phase of its brand evolution, reflecting the Firm’s identity within the legal marketplace. Effective immediately, the Firm has adopted the stronger, simpler, more modern brand of Morse. Additionally, mbbp.com will change to morse.law to reflect the Firm’s new moniker. This new identity preserves our 25-year tradition and carries into the future the vision of our founding partners of a unique law firm geared to providing the services that business clients need at the highest levels of the legal profession in a flexible and collegial environment.

Read the full announcement on our website.

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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks New Overtime Rule From Taking Effect On December 1

November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

2015-01-05_8-57-41By: Scott J. Connolly and Sandra E. Kahn

On November 22, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary order that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing changes to the salary basis for white collar overtime exemptions.  The new salary rule, which was to become effective on December 1, 2016 would have required employers to increase exempt employees’ minimum salary from $23,660 to $47,476.  The preliminary court order blocking the rule appears to apply to all public and private employers nationwide.SJC Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846523xB1386)

Find out how the judge’s order will affect the new salary rule, which was to become effective on December 1. Read this month’s Employment Law Alert.

Massachusetts Pay Equity Law Imposes New Restrictions on Employer Pay and Hiring Practices

August 11, 2016 Leave a comment

By: Maura E. Malone

2015-01-05_8-57-41On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed “An Act to Establish Pay Equity (the Act)” into law.  The Act, which does not become effective until July 1, 2018, will require Massachusetts employers to pay men and women equally for comparable work.  It also forbids employers from asking prospective employees about salary history or restricting employee discussion of pay.  The Act imposes significant consequences for
violations of the law.

The Act will make it unlawful for employers to pay unequal wages to employees of different genders who perform comparable work. The Act broadly defines wages to include “all forms of remuneration for employment.”

Continue reading on the full alert.

Employment Law Alert: Bill Passed on Employee Noncompetition Agreements Reform

June 30, 2016 Leave a comment

2015-01-05_8-57-41By: Scott J. Connolly

Yesterday afternoon, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved bill H. 4434 which restricts
employee noncompetition agreements. This bill has key modifications SJC Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846523xB1386)from original proposals that are important to be aware of, including the “garden leave” clause. The issue will now be headed to the Senate, which has previously been a supporter of noncompete reform.

Read more in the full Employment Law Alert to find out more.

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Will We See Non-Compete Reform Enacted This Year?

June 28, 2016 Leave a comment

By: Scott J. Connolly

For the past eight years, legislative efforts to reform 2015-01-05_8-57-41post-employment noncompetion agreements in Massachusetts have failed. But this year, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo has signaled his support for H. 4323 and there is buzz that a non-compete bill may
SJC Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846523xB1386)land on Gov. Baker’s desk before the legislative session ends in July. 

This bill entitled, “Massachusetts Noncompetition Act” has eight key components in order for a noncompetition agreement to be valid and enforceable. If H. 4323 is enacted, employers will have to quickly and carefully revise their employee restrictive agreements to comply with the new law.

Read the full post here.

New Overtime Regulations Will Result In Many More Workers Becoming Entitled To Overtime

May 18, 2016 Leave a comment

By, Sandra E. Kahn

On May 18, 2016, President Obama announced the publication of the U.S. Department of 2015-01-05_8-57-41
Labor’s final rule (“Final Rule”) updating the overtime regulations, and providing that employees who earn less than $47,476 annually will be entitled to overtime.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) “white collar” exemptions are familiar to most employers. Under the FLSA, employees must be paid the minimum amount required by the statute on a salary basis, and the employee’s job duties must primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties. The Final Rule changes only the salary basis test, leaving in place the existing duties test.

For more details, read our full alert and visit our Employment Law Group page.

Are You Responsible for Your Employees’ “Shenanigans” Outside the Office?

March 17, 2016 Leave a comment

shamrock-iconAs music and beer flow freely this St. Patrick’s Day, employers have good reason to be aware of what “shenanigans” their employees may be up to.

Employers already know that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal and can result in liability, but employers should also know that under some circumstances sexual harassment outside of the workplace can result in employer liability.  Employers are liable for the harassment of employees by managers and persons with supervisory authority, regardless of whether the employer knows of the conduct.  Employers are also responsible for harassment committed by non-supervisory employees where the employer knew or should have known about the harassing conduct and failed to take prompt, effective, and reasonable remedial action.  As a result, an employer could find itself facing a claim for harassment based on conduct outside the workplace.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) uses the following factors to assess whether conduct outside the workplace constitutes sexual harassment under M.G.L. c. 151B for which an employer is liable:

  • whether the event at which the conduct occurred is linked to the workplace in any way, such as at an employer-sponsored function;
  • whether the conduct occurred during work hours;
  • the severity of the alleged outside-of-work conduct;
  • the work relationship of the complainant and alleged harasser, which includes whether the alleged harasser is a supervisor and whether the alleged harasser and complainant come into contact with one another on the job;
  • whether the conduct adversely affected the terms and conditions of the complainant’s employment or
  • impacted the complainant’s work environment.

To minimize the risk of liability, employers should be proactive in creating a harassment-free workplace and culture, and raise awareness about the responsibilities supervisors have in responding to inappropriate conduct.  Employers can do this by conducting anti-harassment training and by distributing the company’s harassment policy.  Distributing the company’s harassment policy isn’t just good practice, it’s the law.  Massachusetts requires that employers with six or more employees not only have a sexual harassment policy and give it out to new employees when they start work, but also that an individual copy be distributed to each employee annually.

An employer’s commitment to prohibiting harassment extends to employer sponsored gatherings, including holiday parties where alcohol is served.  When planning such events, consider reminding employees of their obligations with regard to harassment in advance, and limiting alcohol consumption through strategies such as using trained professional servers.

Contact a member of the Employment Law Group for more information on employer liability for outside of work behavior, responding to complaints of sexual harassment, and for assistance in creating workplace policies.

Categories: Uncategorized