I wanted to touch briefly on those employment policies sometimes found in employee handbooks that ban employees from discussing their pay with each other. 

The purpose of the policies is often to keep employees in the dark about what others are paid so as to, among other things, not allow resentment to creep in.

A downside to these policies, however, is that to the extent there is discrimination at...

January 17, 2017

The federal US Department of Labor (USDOL) recently settled a matter with the employer LexisNexis Risk Solutions where after an investigation, they determined there was "a significant difference" paid to women verses men in the same role at two separate company locations. 

According to a USDOL press release

Two separate investigations by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Fede...

December 20, 2016

"The federal employment discrimination laws depend on the willingness of employees and applicants to challenge discrimination without fear of punishment. Individuals rely on the statutory prohibitions against retaliation, also known as "reprisal," when they complain to an employer about an alleged equal employment opportunity (EEO) violation, provide information as a witness in a company or agency inv...

August 19, 2016

One of the best parts of being an employment lawyer is figuring out all the relevant aspects of an employment situation and counseling people on how to best go about achieving their goals. When I worked at the Massachusetts AG's Office, if someone was speaking with me it was usually either because they were a worker who was mistreated somehow at work or because they were an employer (or their lawyer)...

August 8, 2016

The end of July saw the end of the formal 2015-2016 state legislative session. What were some noteworthy pieces of employment legislation that did and did not make it to the Governor's desk?

 What did pass:

Amendments to the Equal Pay Act -- As I've outlined in a past blog post, the amendments tighten up the already existing state Equal Pay Act. There has been a lot of press around this, particular...

August 1, 2016

Governor Baker has signed the legislation that amends the current Massachusetts Equal Pay Law, M.G.L. c. 149, s. 105A.

But, you may ask, I thought it already was illegal not to pay men and women the same for the same job? 

It is. What this legislation does, among other things, is to make it illegal to pay men and women differently for "comparable work” -- not just the same job. Comparable work here...

July 6, 2016

Earlier today, Gretchen Carlson, formerly of Fox News, sued her former boss Roger Ailes, the Chairman and CEO of Fox News, for sexual harassment in New Jersey state court.

Carlson alleged she suffered both types of legally cognizable sexual harassment by Ailes -- quid pro quo and hostile work environment. An example of quid pro quo -- Latin for "this for that" --  alleged here was that after Ailes...

January 30, 2016

Since one case went very badly for lunch ladies in Everett in the 1990s, advocates have been trying to tighten up the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act, M.G.L. c. 149, s 105A, a statute, among others, I used to be responsible for enforcing.  

In the Everett case, female school cafeteria workers (a/k/a "lunch ladies") sued under the Equal Pay Act arguing that the male school janitors made more for compar...

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