Legal Update: New Changes for Parental Leave

Many workers in Massachusetts do not qualify to take leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).[1]  Yet, at the same time, in a country where automatic leave to attend to the birth or adoption of child is rare, millions of employees rely on the FMLA to guarantee that their jobs will be available when they return work.

The Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MMLA), applies only to employees working in the Commonwealth, and was designed to fill in some of the FMLA’s coverage gaps for Massachusetts workers. This week new amendments expanded, clarified, and renamed the MMLA, “the Parental Leave Act.”  Besides the snazzy gender neutral name, there are two big changes to the act: Continue reading

The Month of March in Labor History

March 4, 1801: In his inaugural address, President Thomas Jefferson declares: “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

March 31, 1840: President Martin Van Buren issues an Executive Order providing for a 10-hour work day for all employees on federal public works projects.

March 7, 1860: Several thousand shoemakers in Lynn, Massachusetts begin a strike that soon spreads to 20,000 shoe workers all over New England. The strikers, who include men and women, eventually win Continue reading

Social Media Will Ruin Your Whole Life

An in-depth examination of the career-crushing power of social media in the New York Times Magazine last month, “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life,” (, illustrates just how fatal off-hand remarks (or ill-advised photos) on social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pintrest, Imgur, Yelp, Google+, and so on) can be. Continue reading

MassCOP Wins Significant 111f Injury Recurrence Arbitration

On January 14, 2015, arbitrator Richard Boulanger issued an important injury leave award in favor of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police and its affiliate, the Ipswich Police Association, Local 310.  The arbitrator granted Ipswich Police Officer Aaron Woodworth injury leave for a three month period in 2014 when Officer Woodworth was out of work recovering from Continue reading

Right Wing Assault On Unions

National Right to Work Foundation (NRTW), a right wing think tank funded by large corporations, is on a mission to obliterate unions and collective bargaining in Massachusetts.  It recently filed unfair labor practice charges against various teachers unions claiming that agency fee and the principle of exclusive representation are unconstitutional under the First Amendment.  Emboldened by the recent Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn, NRTW argues that Continue reading

NLRB Uses Dramatic and Novel Penalties to Punish a Flagrant Repeat Offender Employer

In late October, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a groundbreaking decision in the long-running dispute between the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).  In HTH Corporation, Pacific Beach, the NLRB took a new approach to enforcement and put other scofflaw employers on notice that their continued Continue reading