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Massachusetts Employment Law Questions & Answers
Q: Employer in MA wants to send temp. employees out to get DOT physical exams/certifications. I interpret this as a Hipaa

violation at the very least, since these are employees of staffing agencies, who are the real "covered entities" here. They supply the WC insurance, payroll, are the holders of their personnel records, etc. They also almost all have provisions written into their contracts that state... Read more »

J. Heath Dillon
J. Heath Dillon answered on Dec 29, 2020

The employer can communicate directly with the temp employment agency that supplied the employees of the employer's requirement that the temp employees obtain and pass a DOT physical. It is, likely, not appropriate for the employer to communicate this need directly to contracted employees... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi I have been working for a temp agency since December 2019. I am working at a retail store in Massachusetts.

The temp agency is out of New York. I know that New York does not offer time and a half on Sunday's, but I was wondering since I am working at a retail store here in Massachusetts should I be getting paid time and a half? I know there is some law about time and a half on Sundays working in... Read more »

Rhiannon Herbert
Rhiannon Herbert answered on Nov 25, 2020

Federal law only requires that you be paid time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek (regardless of which days you work). While your employer may offer time and a half or increased pay on weekends as an incentive to work these days, they are not required to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Immigration Law and Employment Discrimination for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an employer refuse to hire you on OPT?

I am a Masters' graduate from a STEM degree. I graduated in May 2020 so I am currently on OPT. I was given a confirmed written offer by a company, but when they were doing background checks etc, they asked me about my visa status. I told them I was on STEM OPT so I officially had 3 years of... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga answered on Nov 11, 2020

If employment is at will, then there is probably nothing you can do about it. It is hard to say if discrimination based on visa status is valid, given a company’s long-term goals. Your best option would be to discuss your case with an attorney with knowledge of workplace issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: FMLA usage and retaliation

Can an employee who already has intermittent FMLA attempt to use it after missing work for condition even if it wasn’t approved as it was reported late, but manager encouraged it. Then fires them for attempting to use it months later?

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Nov 11, 2020

More information is needed here. An employee is usually required to follow the employer's defined protocols when using FMLA leave. I would reach out to an employment law attorney in your state.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is attempting to use FMLA considered a right?

Does an employer have the right to terminate your employment for attempting to use FMLA for a day of work when you already have FMLA benefits?

Could this be considered retaliation?

What is considered by law FMLA retaliation?

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Oct 26, 2020

Hi. If you can show that your attempt to use FMLA was the reason for your termination, you may have a claim for retaliation. Retaliation can be shown through different factors: the proximity in time between your attempted FMLA use and your termination, hostility towards you after FMLA use/attempt... Read more »

Q: Do I get a share of money if some patents that I co-invented when I was a student is now sub-licensed by a company

I was a Ph.D. student working with my professor at University. We together applied for two patents, which were approved in the U.S. and Europe. My professor later started a company and licensed these patents from the University. Recently on the news, a large company sub-licensed these patents again... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 15, 2020

Sorry, I wish I had better news, but you very likely are not entitled to any money from the patent.

Generally, when you are a Graduate Research Assistant, you are getting paid, either as a salary or in lieu of tuition, to do research. You were getting paid. As with any university in the...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: my employer has failed to pay me for hours I worked 6 weeks ago, what are my options?
Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jun 17, 2020

Generally, you must be paid at a rate of no less than minimum wage for all hours worked. Failure to pay you for work you performed 6 weeks ago is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. You should contact an employment lawyer in your area to discuss your situation and inquire about violations... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Divorce, Employment Law and Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What can I do to recover damages? Anything?

My now ex wife worked with me in my business. She ended up having an affair with one of our employees. During her deposition she did not admit to a relationship with the employee but as soon as our divorce was final he moved in and made it public through social media. She has posted damaging... Read more »

Tanesha R Wright
Tanesha R Wright answered on Jun 14, 2020

As counsel has already stated if she's making defamatory statements about your business that is an issue outside your divorce. However, I do think there are issues you could address in your divorce on other matters. First, would be a potential modification if you are unable to make payments... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for Massachusetts on
Q: Need help with work related injury !!!

i broke my middle toe moving some PT lumber by hand, happened the 26th, nothing was done at work, 27th too much pain, smoked recreational marijuana for pain, 28th woke up with toe black, went to work to show them i was going to ER, now they want statement and drug test, 36 hours after, its now 3rd... Read more »

Jeffrey Young
Jeffrey Young answered on Jun 3, 2020

It is not clear from your question if you have already been to an Emergency Room. If not, then you should go. If you have and they want you to see an orthopedic or podiatrist then you should call one and try to make an appointment. It is very difficult to see anyone now with the virus issues. They... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Do I have a case for wrongful termination based on gender?

I'm a service tech for a franchisee of Panera Bread and Wendy's. I worked there for 18 years. 2 mos ago my boss announced his retirement and his supervisor chose me to take his place (email proof). Right before my supervisors retirement date his boss quit. Someone from another department... Read more »

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on May 20, 2020

You may have a claim for gender discrimination under Title VII and state law, but more information is needed to fully evaluate your situation. You should contact an employment attorney in your area as soon as possible to discuss your options.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Due to a chronic health condition (and COVID) I have an MD letter to work from home. Can work deny this?

Work will not allow me to work from home. I need help understanding my options and the best way to proceed but getting this information from work has been exceedingly difficult. I recently requested to start paperwork for short-term disability. This paperwork was provided along with the suggestion... Read more »

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Apr 1, 2020

I would recommend reaching out to an employment attorney in your state for a consultation. More information is needed on your medical condition to determine if it qualifies as a disability under the ADA. If it does, you might try to request a reasonable accommodation of working from home. Looking... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Products Liability for Massachusetts on
Q: Can court order me to stay unemployed

Tell me I legally can't have a job

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Mar 6, 2020

A court or a panel could make a determination that a person is disabled (and hence, unable to work), based on the findings of an examining physician, and that benefits they are slated to receive reflect the fact that they are cannot work. As such, not working would be a condition for benefits. Your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I carry specialized equipment to my work site everyday to perform inventory. This is company owned equipment I transport

In my personal vehicle. Is the driving time considered on the clock time because without the equipment I carry, the job can not be done

Carrie Dyer
Carrie Dyer answered on Jan 8, 2020

It depends. If you drive from your home to your employer's office or warehouse to pick up the specialized equipment (without which you cannot perform your job duties), then drive to the work site from there, the Fair Labor Standards Act typically requires that you are paid for time spent... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a job that already offered me a position (signed offer letter) take back their offer due to my medical condition?

As part of the job I was required to get a medical evaluation before starting, it involved me disclosing any medical conditions I have and some blood work. My blood work came back great, but I have a herniated lumbar disc. Can a job take back their offer, even though I had already signed everything... Read more »

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Jul 22, 2019

In addition to certain federal agencies that may be able to help you, every state has its own set of employment laws, some of which may cover your particular situation. Contact an employment lawyer near you.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If my company had me sign a contract saying that everything I invent is theirs, is it binding without consideration?

I am an hourly employee. The contract was an "Updated" contract, mid employment. I am a Technician not paid to engineer or invent. Now they want to patent my idea.

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on May 1, 2019

If you sign the new contract your employer will probably have the legal right to seek a patent on your idea; and the consideration will be your continued employment, which they may try to make "at will."

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Copyright, Employment Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m an aspiring lawyer, any advice?
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 24, 2019

Yes. Stop wasting time asking silly questions here on Justia.

Meantime, study hard, make really good grades, get an undergraduate degree that will be there to fall back on if you flame out, apply to as many law schools as you can afford to, if several schools accept you, select the one...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Business Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My job was threatened an I was forced to sign paperwork saying I'd look for no comp for my part in this invention. ..
Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick answered on Apr 19, 2019

No one here on Justia can help you unless you tell us all the relevant facts about your situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does an employer have a right to terminated your employer due to unsatisfactory work performance and gender?

I feel my supervisor and director did not treat me fairly and consistent like other employees in the department. My employment terminated due to my writing. I obtained writing memos and documents from co-workers to explain my case. I have done some research and found there have only been two male... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 22, 2019

It's illegal to discriminate based on gender, but I'm not sure I hear evidence relating to that in your question. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Signed a contract with wedding planner for an amount, she didn't do good job, can we insist to pay on first agreed pay?

Fiancé only signed one contract with planner for 28k where her commission would be 20% of that agreed amount per contract. Though through out the weeks planner only pushed ideas she saw fit and not what we specified when we initially met her. Fiancé ended up locating a venue which is the majority... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 22, 2019

You might have a basis for contesting her fees, e.g., breach of contract by failure to perform her agreed duties. It's key to review the contract and all the related facts. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How restrictive is non-solicitation contract language as a marketing professional moving from full-time to independent?

I am leaving my company as a marketing manager after 6 years for personal reasons, but will continue on an independent contractor under my newly formed LLC for the next 6 months. The contract I'm reviewing has non-solicitation language that I want to make sure does not tie my hands beyond the... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 22, 2019

Employees cannot violate the Intellectual Property rights of the company, including using any company client lists in their own professional pursuits. As for limitations on the non-compete clause, that depends on the facts, e.g., when it was signed, consideration received in exchange, time/... Read more »

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