Several New Employment Statutes Will Impact Massachusetts Institutions This Year

As colleges and universities embark on the new year, they should be aware the following recent statutory updates that will impact employers statewide in 2015:

  1. The new Earned Sick Time Law. Effective July 1, 2015, all private employers with 11 or more employers must allow all employees (full-time, part-time and temporary) to accrue one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, for a maximum accrual of 40 hours. Under the new law, employees must be permitted to carry over up to 40 hours into the subsequent year, though the use of the sick time may be limited to 40 hours in a calendar year.
  2. The new Domestic Violence Leave Law. Effective August 8, 2014, employers with 50 or more employees must provide up to 15 days paid or unpaid leave in a 12 month period to a paid employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or kidnapping or who has a family member who is a victim.
  3. The new Parental Leave Law. Effective April 7, 2015, the law extends statutory rights previously provided only to females; namely, eight weeks of paid or unpaid leave for full-time employees related to the birth, adoption, or placement for adoption of a child. The new law provides that two employees of the same employer are only entitled to 8 weeks of parental leave in total, and requires employers to put in writing if an extension of the leave will result in the loss of restoration rights or other benefits.

 

CLIENT TIP: Institutions should consider the steps they need to take to be in compliance with the new laws, including reviewing and revising personnel policies related to paid sick leave, domestic violence leave and parental leave to ensure they meet the laws’ requirements; training supervisory and managerial employees, and human resources and payroll personnel, on the new laws’ requirements; and notifying current and future employees of their rights and responsibilities as required under the new laws.

Ms. Sullivan concentrates her practice in all aspects of labor and employment law, including representation of businesses and institutions of higher education in proceedings before state and federal courts, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the National Labor Relations Board. Ms. Sullivan advises clients on a wide variety of day-to-day personnel matters, including hiring, termination, internal investigations, employment contracts and policies, wage and hour practices, non-competition agreements and employee discipline.

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