The Legal Line®

DOL Publishes Final Independent Contractor Rule

February 15, 2024

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor published its final rule for independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Briefly, the rule establishes a 6-factor basis for what it calls an “economic reality test” to evaluate whether, under the FLSA, a worker is an independent contractor or an employee.  The rule takes effect … Read more

EEOC Publishes New Guidance on Harassment

November 28, 2023

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced the publication of new proposed enforcement guidance regarding Title VII anti-harassment law.  Using a variety of real-life examples, the Guidance summarizes the agency’s views on the legal standard applied to harassment claims, including what types of conduct is covered, available defenses for employers, the elements of compliant … Read more

DOL Seeks Higher Salaries for Employees Exempt from Overtime

October 12, 2023

Late in August, the Department of Labor announced that it had proposed a new rule for the white collar overtime exemptions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  In essence, the proposed rule seeks to substantially increase the salary requirements that allow employers to exempt a worker from the entitlement to premium overtime pay under … Read more

New Federal Law Clarifies Employer Obligations to Accommodate Pregnancies and Childbirth

October 12, 2023

A new Federal law, known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “PWFA”), expands the employer’s duty to accommodate pregnancy-related conditions. The EEOC propounded new Proposed Regulations on August 7, 2023, to enforce this new law.  The public can submit comment on the Proposed Regulations by October 10, 2023. Generally, employers covered by the PWFA … Read more

Federal Prohibition of NDAs in Sexual Assault and Harassment Cases Becomes Law

March 1, 2023

On December 9, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Speak Out Act.  Briefly, this law makes unenforceable any non-disclosure and/or non-disparagement clauses parties might agree to before a dispute for sexual assault or sexual harassment arises. Explaining the need for the law, the Act notes that 81% of women, and 43% of men have … Read more

Federal Trade Commission Proposes Rule Banning All Non-Competes

February 9, 2023

Major change may be coming to companies who need to protect their trade secrets or good will from departing employees. On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its notice of a proposed rule that would prohibit businesses from using these covenants with their workers.  While some states like California have already banned … Read more

2023 Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Notices Published

December 20, 2022

All Massachusetts employers (including employers with private or self-insured benefits plans) are required to post certain notices and provide certain information to their employees under the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. For example, all Massachusetts employers must display in a prominent place easily accessible to employees, a workplace poster that explains the benefits … Read more