The Legal Line®

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

EEOC Publishes New Workplace Poster

December 19, 2022

In late October, the United States Equal Opportunity Commission announced the release of an updated “Know Your Rights Workplace Poster.”  The new poster replaces the previous version of the notice titled the “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law”poster. Employers covered by Federal anti-discrimination laws, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the … Read more

Here We Go Again: DOL Proposes Latest Revision to Independent Contractor Rule

October 28, 2022

On October 11, 2022, the DOL finally announced the publication of its proposed new rule.  And what was old is new again.  The proposed rule reverts back to an “economic reality test” for evaluating whether a worker is an independent contractor based on the “totality of the circumstances” of the worker/business relationship. It establishes a … Read more

Season of Change: Federal Appeals Court Recognizes Gender Dysphoria as Disability and NLRB Proposes New Joint Employer Rule

October 12, 2022

Federal courts and administrative executive agencies have recently made significant developments in the area of employment law.  In a matter of first impression by any Federal appeals court, the Fourth Circuit recently held that gender dysphoria constitutes a disability subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) also recently … Read more

Waiving Arbitration Does not Require Prejudice to the Other Party, Says USSC

June 9, 2022

On May 23, 2022, in a case called Morgan v. Sundance, the United States Supreme Court unanimously decided that a party can waive its right to arbitration even when its conduct has not prejudiced the other side.  In so holding, the USSC changed 1st circuit precedent which had for years required a showing of prejudice.  … Read more

EEOC Issues Guidance on Caregiver Discrimination

April 14, 2022

Federal employment discrimination laws do not prohibit employment discrimination based solely on an individual’s status as a caregiver.  But caregiver discrimination does violate federal employment discrimination laws, such as Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, when it is based on another protected characteristic, like an individual’s … Read more