By Jack K. Merrill, Esq.
In 2015, new laws and court decisions again brought big changes to employer/employee relationships. The net effect will likely be to increase the burden on Massachusetts businesses.
The biggest change should be familiar to all – the law requiring that all employees earn sick leave and that many of them be paid for using it. Massachusetts also amended its maternity leave statute to formally cover men on the same terms as women. Meanwhile, the state’s minimum wage rate continued its rise. Offsetting these changes to some degree are court interpretations of the independent contractor law that limits its applicability in two industries.
Here’s a summary of some but not all employment law developments from 2015.
The statute that took effect on July 1, 2015 requires all employers to provide sick leave benefits to their employees. Accrual must occur at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 worked, and, for employers of 11 or more workers, the time off must be paid. The statute places substantial limits on employer authority to challenge sick leave use, which need not be medically supported until it exceeds three consecutive work days. Since all employers must implement written policies, it’s more important than ever that all have employee manuals, regardless (almost) of company size. [Read more…]