Effective at noon on March 24, 2020, Massachusetts will become the latest state to close non-essential businesses in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. As covered here previously, Connecticut and New York issued substantially similar executive orders in days immediately prior. The Massachusetts order identifies “essential” businesses, orders the closing of non-essential businesses
On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final overtime rule as it relates to the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees. The DOL estimates that 1.3 million workers will be eligible for overtime pay as a result of its final rule. Here is how the new rule will impact workers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.…
Notice to employees due September 30, and required contribution withholding begins October 1.
Massachusetts’ Paid Family and Medical Leave program was signed into law in June 2018, and cannot be utilized by employees until January 2021. But by September 30, 2019, employers must notify all covered individuals of the Paid Family and Medical Leave program, and on October 1, 2019, employers must begin payroll deductions for Q2 2019 unless an exemption has been approved.…
Just as the 2018 legislative session came to a close on the night of July 31, 2018, the Legislature passed a bill reforming the law of noncompetition agreements (“noncompetes”) in Massachusetts. The bill is being viewed as a compromise following years of unsuccessful efforts to pass noncompete reform. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law in the coming days. …
On June 28, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill titled “An Act Relative to Minimum Wage, Paid Family Medical Leave, and the Sales Tax Holiday” (H.4640). The new law, dubbed the “Grand Bargain,” implements incremental increases in Massachusetts’ minimum wage over the next five years, and creates a new paid family and medical leave program in the Commonwealth. A full text of the bill can be found here.
Minimum Wage Increase
The law increases the minimum wage from $11.00 to $15.00 over the course of five years. In 2019, the minimum wage will increase from $11.00 to $12.00. Thereafter, it will continue to increase each year in $0.75 increments until it reaches $15 in 2023. The Grand Bargain also results in a five-year phase out of the requirement of premium pay for hours worked on Sunday.
Tipped employees will also receive a boost from the current $3.75/hour tipped minimum wage, which will increase by $0.60 increments each year until 2023 when the tipped minimum wage will be $6.75/hour.
Paid Family and Medical Leave Program
Reflecting a nationwide trend, the law establishes a Paid Family and Medical Leave program to take effect on January 1, 2021. The program will entitle eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave, with a maximum of 26 combined weeks of paid leave in the same year.
Individuals eligible for leave include employees, self-employed individuals, and certain former employees. The program will be funded by employers and employees through a payroll tax.…