July 20, 2017

A new case out of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), the highest state court, looks at whether a woman who had a valid prescription for medical marijuana, but failed her employer's drug test due to it and was fired as a result, could sustain a claim for handicap discrimination. The SJC held she could.

As explained by the SJC: 

[T]he plaintiff, Cristina Barbuto, was offered an entry-level po...

June 14, 2017

Yesterday, the state legislature's Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development held a hearing on the paid family leave bills pending in the Massachusetts House and SenateThe bills attempt to provide for some level of paid family and medical leave for affected employees. 

As I have written about here before, the US is the only advanced economy that does not mandate paid family leave f...

May 18, 2017

Thirty million Americans are subject to non-competition agreements, called non-competes, with their employers or former employers, according to a recent Treasury Department report. The agreements can often be a serious impediment to those employees' ability to move on from their former employers and find meaningful work in similar industries or geographic areas.

In many cases, employees sign non-c...

April 28, 2017

If you're over 40, it's because there's a law that requires it. (It's not because your employer is trying to do you any favors!)

Congress passed a law in 1967 called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. §(s) 621, et seq. Given its name, unsurprisingly, it bars age discrimination in certain employment scenarios. 

For an employee's waiver of his or her rights under the AD...

March 31, 2017

A new study out from Pew provides some insights about Americans' caregiving as relates to their jobs. 

Some of the findings: 

  • About one-in-four Americans (23%) say they have taken leave from work to care for a family member with a serious health condition. 

  • Four-in-ten of the family-leave takers, however, say they took less time off than they needed or wanted to.

  • 60% of those who took fami...

March 28, 2017

It's possible. These cases theoretically implicate a couple of different laws and doctrines, including breach of contract, the Massachusetts Wage Act, and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

I will provide an overview of these three separate bodies of law and give some examples of how they come into play in this situation based on cases that have already been litigated.

These cases, like most e...

March 23, 2017

Is your Massachusetts employer showing you the door while providing you with a severance agreement to consider?

It is advisable to go over it with an employment lawyer so that she can review the implications of each provision with you, as well as identify what is there and what also might not be there.

Below are eight things to consider when thinking about signing a severance agreement. Note that t...

February 28, 2017

Last week, I was reviewing a sex discrimination and sexual harassment case out of the First Circuit and it struck me for several reasons, including because it speaks to the myth that bad employment outcomes never happen to good performers. I call this the good worker myth.

What do I mean? 

Let's review the facts of this particular case. In the words of the First Circuit:

This case arises from plaintiff K...

February 15, 2017

Two unpublished cases out of the Massachusetts Appeals Court brought by the same plaintiff shed some light on the ins and outs of a defamation claim in Massachusetts.

As this comes up a lot with clients and prospective clients, particularly in the age of social media, I wanted to take a moment here to review what might be covered and might not be covered in a defamation claim. These two cases, one just...

February 9, 2017

I don't write about my own clients for obvious reasons. The recent news stories about retaliation against whistle-blowing Wells Fargo employees, however, caught my attention because they are so similar to the stories of the employees I represent.

Workers in this CNN video reported being required to meet unreasonable performance standards by Wells Fargo. These standards were not only unrealist...

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Doorways Employment Law, LLC, is currently a virtual practice and generally serves individuals across Massachusetts, including Suffolk, Middlesex and Worcester counties. 

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