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Massachusetts Employment Law Questions & Answers
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:...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is there a limit of hours an adult is allowed to work? Is a job responsible after shift has ended (ex: car accident)?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Nov 13, 2017

Basically, with few exceptions such as a Truck Driver, there is no limit on the number of hours an adult employee is allowed to work. There are conditions and limitations on an employer's right to force overtime, although most hourly employees like a little overtime.

As to the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I wanted to know if employers could see my health records when i apply or want a job and how much can they see.
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Nov 7, 2017

Unless you grant them permission to look at your health records they are not entitled to see them. I am not sure what you are concerned about, but you cannot lie on a job application. For jobs that require security clearance, the entity which checks your history for security clearance may be able... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: The cafe I’m working for is closing for 6-8 months to rebuild. Can I collect? Who is responsible? State of business?
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Oct 22, 2017

Assuming you have enough weeks worked to qualify you can collect unemployment.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a previous employer contact a current employer for no other reason other than to advise I left their place

I was pursued by a particular company, decided to give it a try, but after working there for 3 days I decided it wasn’t for me and left. They are now contacting my current employer telling them how I left basically trying to sabotage me. There was no other purpose for their call other than to... Read more »

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

Unless your current employer contacted them, they are not allowed to call your current employer. More importantly, depending upon what they said they may have opened themselves to law suit under several statutes.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Employment Law and Immigration Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a USA employer finance my Masters degree cost for F-1 Visa?

am from Bangladesh. I am graduating this year on December 2017. I am a freelancer and currently working for a USA firm for more than one year, as my BOSS is very happy with my work he wants to finance my Masters degree in the USA. He wants to give me a employee contract letter with 30K or funding... Read more »

Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga answered on Oct 12, 2017

Yes. He should sit down with an immigration attorney to go over to process.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I am a freelance composer in outside USA, is it legal to work with USA companies with payments?

I am a music composer originating from Korea and New Zealand, which is not USA, but I am willing to work with USA companies as a freelancer. Then do I need specific thing to do before I do it, or am I just good to work, or is this up to the company that gives me work?

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Oct 12, 2017

You do not have to have a specific entity to do business with a US Company in the US. You need to contact a local attorney who understands the Tax Treaty between the US and your home country as to tax withholding and tax liability. The US company may require you to get a TIN (Taxpayer Identity... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Contracts for Massachusetts on
Q: boss is making terminated employees sign an agreement not to apply for competitors. If refuse to sign agree what happen

I may get terminated from my job and my boss is forcing terminated employees to sign agreement to not go work for competitors if I refuse to sign agreement what can I expect

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Oct 3, 2017

First, while trying to make a non-compete agreement as part of a termination package is clever, I am not sure it is enforceable under MA law. Moreover, unless someone is properly compensated, promotion and raise or a raise, a non-compete agreement is not enforceable if not executed at the time of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My daughter was wrongfully fired. Her pay check is now ready. Does she have to sign to get it
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 14, 2017

If they are including severance pay, then she may have to sign something. If they are just paying her wages and accrued vacation pay, then no she does not have to sign anything. I would contact an employment attorney in your area if you have more questions.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Workers' Compensation for Massachusetts on
Q: Lawsuit for injury at work then being fired

I worked there full time for about two months I injured my leg on the job, I told them about it they still had me work the next day I tried my best but could not work through the pain I told the manager I cannot work on it I need to go to a doctor to make sure it doesn't get worst I got hurt 2... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Sep 5, 2017

Contact a workmen's compensation attorney immediately. If you do not know one, call the Massachusetts bar association and ask for a list of attorneys in your area to assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My employer is dismissing me several hours early so they don't have to give me breastfeeding breaks. Discrimination?

I work at a daycare where my infant attends. I require three 30min breaks but can sometimes switch with another teacher so I can supervise while nursing. Today I was sent home 5 hours early while all my coworkers had to work 9 hour shifts with no lunch break because we are short-staffed. My... Read more »

William C. Head
William C. Head answered on Aug 20, 2017

Massachusetts has some pretty decent laws, for such issues.

Select someone on this list, and see if you can get legal help:

http://attorneys.superlawyers.com/discrimination/massachusetts/

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Sexual Harassment for Massachusetts on
Q: My old boss on a daily basis called me stupid retarded and fag I have text calling me fag and homo what are my options?

Just trying to see if there's anything I can do, I put up with this harassment for years because I needed a job, now that I'm out of the hostile work environment I'm wondering if I have any real options

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Aug 4, 2017

You might be able to sue for constructive termination and hostile work environment. When did this end? 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 about me, my... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: i have been working for dunkin donuts for almost a year and well it came to my attention last october/november my hours

were being altered and shaved how do i go about fighting this to get my proper pay from this time period

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jul 26, 2017

If you have a wage claim, you can file a complaint with the state. 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 about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: can you be fired for insubordination because you contacted HR anonymously after being forbidden by manager

I was having a problem with the GSM at my dealership. I emailed HR and she emailed the GM. I had to have a meeting with him and he forbade me from contacting HR again. The problem did not go away. I emailed HR anonymously and she gave my email to the management and let them trace my IP address and... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jul 14, 2017

How can you be forbidden from contacting HR for a problem. What was the underlying issue you were having that caused you to contact HR? 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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: in Massachusetts can findings of fact from an unemployment appeal ever be used in a civil lawsuit to show lying/malice

Employer tried to deny me unemployment by claiming I was fired for negligence but admitted at unemployment appeal that I was not fired at all. However they now tell new employers I was terminated and I keep losing jobs..could I use the findings of fact to win a lawsuit for backpay and to stop... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jul 1, 2017

If the information was gathered from public records, I see no problem with it being used as evidence. 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 about me, my... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: The restaurant I work for is also a catering service. The employees get one combined check. If I work different jobs...

with different pay wages for a combined total of over 40 hours, should I get overtime wages using the blended wage calculation system? (I work in Massachusetts).

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Jun 23, 2017

If you work over 40 hours a week for the same employer then you should get overtime. The calculation of the overtime may bit a more complex than the usual manner. While MA exempts tipped employees from overtime pay, the federal law does not. Therefore, you should be paid overtime at least based... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it legal for my boss to ask me whether I'm taking my medication? Could this count as disability discrimination?

I have a medical condition requiring weekly/biweekly doctor's appointments, and my employer knows about it. In addition, he has made it a requirement to meet with him on a weekly basis so that he can ensure I am healthy. He often asks me many questions that make me feel uncomfortable, such... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jun 12, 2017

That may indeed qualify as disability discrimination, invasion of privacy, and creating a hostile work environment. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I was robbed by a coworker she was caught on camera stealing my money I wanted to press charges the employer did not.

I was robbed by a new coworker she was caught on camera stealing the money I was not notified of when her next shift would be . Or even her last name it turned out that her and the store manager were friends and he fired her without letting me know what time she came in the store to have her... Read more »

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on May 30, 2017

You can report the theft to the police. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Am I a victim of wage theft? Is there a way to make my employer pay me for my hours worked?

After working 4 years with an org on salary, I decided to leave. After leaving the salary position, I signed a "work for hire" contract w/ the org to be paid X dollars per hour for every hour I worked on two projects to help the org close out the work. The contract included a clause... Read more »

Nan Evans
Nan Evans answered on May 30, 2017

What does the contract say will happen if you don't submit your hours on time? Does it describe a penalty?

If it does not describe what will happen to someone who submits hours after the deadline, you might be able to argue that you should be paid. It's also possible that the...
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