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Massachusetts Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Education Law, Contracts, Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Massachusetts on
Q: My tuition remission was revoked when my dad was suddenly laid off. Without it, I will drop out of school. What can I do

I am a third year university student in the Nursing program, with one year left of school (not including the current semester). My tuition is roughly $50,000/year, and my family does not have the ability to take out large loans. My father was working for 26 years when he was suddenly laid off from... Read more »

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

Perhaps your father might have a basis for an employment law complaint, but that really depends on the facts leading to his termination. Also it would be useful to know when your remission was cut off - mid year or after the full year, as well as the contractual terms of the remission benefits.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it illegal for a union to verbally threaten you before voting for a new contract?

Sean O'brien The president of Local Union 25 told me and 40 of my coworkers that if we can not agree to the contract then we as a union could drop you. Then what will you do for work after?

Also Signature Flight Support sent me a letter stating as you know Teamster Local 25 has no more... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 9, 2019

Have a lawyer review the contract you originally signed with the union to represent you, along with the context and communications re: the current contract to determine your rights and duties. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: After taking a break from job, do I need to find another employer before previous employer H1B expiration date?

I am currently on H1B status which is valid till 04/07/2019 but was thinking of taking a break from job and change status to H4. If I want start a new job again after the break do I need to find one before my current H1B end date of 04/07/2019 i.e. should the new employer file for my H1B transfer... Read more »

Carl Shusterman
Carl Shusterman answered on May 28, 2018

If your spouse is in H-1B status, and you wish to stop working, you can apply to change your status to H-4. As long as you maintain your H-4 status, whenever you find another employer, you can change your status back to H-1B.

Good luck!

Carl Shusterman

www.shusterman.com

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Am I eligible to get H4-EAD using spouse's approved I140 immigration petition from previous employer?

My spouse has an approved I140 immigration petition from his previous employer. His new employer has yet to begin the green card process which is probably sometime this year. Am I eligible to get an H4-EAD with his approved I140 immigration petition from previous employer? And is it feasible to go... Read more »

Carl Shusterman
Carl Shusterman answered on May 28, 2018

Since your spouse is in H-1B status and has an approved I-140, you probably are eligible for an EAD as an H-4 visa holder. The Trump Administration is considering stopping H-4 visa holders from obtaining EADs. It would be a smart idea to apply before they do so.

Good luck!

Carl...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: After accepting an offer from company A, I received a better offer from another company. Would it be okay to tell Co. A?

My H1B is already transferred by company A. Under these circumstances what should I do, as the offer from company B would be excellent for my career?

Carl Shusterman
Carl Shusterman answered on May 4, 2018

You can have Company B submit an H-1B petition requesting a change of employers after you work for Company A for a short time.

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my employer mandate that I sign a release of all claims because I filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC?

I do not agree with a single part of the settlement agreement and I do not want to lose my rights to sue. Can my employer terminate me if I refuse to accept and sign the release of claims.

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Mar 24, 2018

Is your employer asking you to do this as part of a settlement of your claim? If so, then it is up to you whether or not the settlement is worth signing the release and withdrawing your claim.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I was just fired from teaching without any evidence of wrongdoing and I was never given an opportunity to give testimony

I asked for a copy of the policy I broke and I was denied. I feel this is wrongful termination. How can I prove it. We don't have union so I'm on my own. Can anyone help?

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Mar 16, 2018

Unless there is a specific provision at your employer that limits the grounds for termination, you are considered an employee at will and can be terminated for any reason or no reason. I strongly suggest you contact an employment attorney who litigates and meet with her/him to determine what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I get fired in MA do I lose my company stock? Is it better to resign or get fired? Can you resign while suspended?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Mar 16, 2018

It depends if your ownership has vested or not and the reason for the termination. Absent a provision that calls for forfeiture of vested stock for specific reasons, any stock you have that has been vested will be retained. Any non-vested stock will be forfeited.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does Massachusetts state law require employers to pay an employee for their accumulated sick time?

If the employee is terminated, let go or the company closes, are employers required to pay them for their accumulated PTO/ETO?

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Mar 12, 2018

Any accrued vacation pay is required to be paid. Accumulated sick pay is not required under MA law unless the employer has a stated policy to that effect.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: is there anything I can do?

I'm a delivery driver for a small liquor store. I get paid minimum wage from the store, and about on average $400-$500 a week in taxed tips. In 1 year, I've delivered over $230,000 worth of product for them alone.

My boss recently said he was no longer going to pay me gas money... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Mar 2, 2018

The question involves a lot of complex issues. However without going through a detailed analysis and determining what employment policies your firm has, the answer to can he force you to take a week-off the answer is yes he can lay you off for any reason he wants so long as it does not violate... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Employment Discrimination and Civil Rights for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I sue?

I work for Amtel and they told me because I called out twice because the first time I went to the clinic do to high blood pressure and I’m diabetic so my sugar was really low the second time was because I got sick with strep and fever and because of my fever I had a really high blood pressure... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 30, 2018

Contact an attorney who specializes in suits under the American's with Disabilities Act. You can call the Boston Bar Association or the Massachusetts Bar Association for a free referral. It would seem that the Company has terminated you for an invalid reason. One issue is however if you were... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal for me to work until 11 PM?

I live in Massachusetts. I'm 16 years old and I applied to a nursing home but they told me they might not be able to hire me because I might not be able to work until 11 PM. I can't find an answer online. Everything seems to suggest it's only like that for minors that go to school but I don't.

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 16, 2018

The answer according to the Mass Attorney General and the ma.gov website is as follows:

16 and 17-year olds work hours

Only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. (on nights preceding a regularly scheduled school day) - if the establishment stops serving clients or customers at 10:00 p.m., the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can my employer deny to pay me full PTO hours upon termination?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 16, 2018

You are entitled to be paid for accrued vacation time. The law requiring the accruing of paid sick time does not require an employer to pay for accrued but unused sick time. Depending upon how the PTO is described in the Company handbook or any employment agreement, any accrued but unused PTO may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I settled an employer age discrimination/retaliation complaint in 2017...can I claim fees 2015-17 on my taxes

I filed a legal complaint shortly after quitting in 2015, and filed a MCAD complaint in 2016. The case was settled out of court in 2017

John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Jan 12, 2018

This irs does allow you to deduct attorney fees paid to recover in a discrimination claim on line 36 of form 1040

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p525#en_US_2016_publink100041600

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can an employer take the signature page from a document that I signed and attach it to a revised policy that I didnt rea
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jan 11, 2018

No. Absent your authorization to do so, it is not a lawful act

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Company claims I am bound b the terms of an unsigned contract.

If I started work for a company approximately 10 years ago, and was given a contract to sign. However I chose not to sign the initial contract. Approximately 5 years later the company came up with another contract. Again I did not read or sign the contract. I was not asked for a signed contract... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Dec 19, 2017

There is a reason such contracts have to be in writing, non-compete agreements under MA law need to be in writing. Moreover, the second contract offered appears to lack consideration. While they have a legal argument, I believe they would lose absent a writing confirming your agreement to these... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Salaried exempt employee's pay being docked due to sick days

I am a working mother in the state of Mass. My pay is being docked due to PTO bank being used. There is no sick leave policy in the handbook; it just covers PTO. The word sick isn't even mentioned. I have used all of my PTO for my sick children, and myself being sick. Can they legally dock my... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Dec 11, 2017

First, any deduction for sick time has to be consistent with company sick time policy. If the company does not have a formal policy, they still have to charge your absences against your accrued sick time. MA requires that every employee shall be entitled to accrue and use 40 hours of sick time over... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Business Law and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on
Q: can Massachusetts mandate certified nursing assistants?
John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Dec 4, 2017

If you are speaking of state requirements for CNAs, here is a starting point: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/nurse-aide-registry-program

Q: What could I sue for in this drug test instance?

So my employer is the medical director at a psychiatrist office. I am an administrative assistant. His wife, who does not have a visa to work in this country, randomly drug tested me, in a public bathroom that is shared with the whole office building of different businesses, with a store drug test,... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Dec 4, 2017

First of all if the medical director's wife is here on a Visa that does not permit her to work, then she is prohibited from administering any drug test for your company or any other company. In that event the use of the drug test can be challenged. Second, Massachusetts does not have a defined... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What are the laws in MA regarding testing positive for marijuana on a new employer drug test if I have a MA medical card
John Espinosa
John Espinosa answered on Nov 30, 2017

This article discusses a recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court case that addresses the issue: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/07/17/sjc-rules-mass-companies-can-fire-workers-just-because-they-use-medical-marijuana/nxPMEGF0uzbjawXeCkA35J/story.html

Here is the case itself:...
Read more »

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