Massachusetts’ Highest Court Recognizes Employment Protections for “Qualifying Patients” under the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act

July 18th, 2017|Categories: accommodation of employee’s marijuana use, Disability, handicap discrimination, Human Resources Compliance, Kathleen O'Toole, Mary E. (Beth) O'Neal, MCAD & EEOC, medical marijuana|

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Judicial Court held that an employee who is a “qualifying patient” under the Massachusetts’ 2012 medical marijuana law (“An Act for the humanitarian medical use of marijuana”) (the “medical marijuana law”)  may pursue a claim for handicap discrimination under  the state’s anti-discrimination

A Refresher on Retaliation Based on the EEOC’s Revised Retaliation Guidance

September 7th, 2016|Categories: Alexis P. Theriault, Discrimination & Harrassment, Human Resources Compliance, Litigation, MCAD & EEOC, Thomas J. Gallitano|

Retaliation is now the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination. The number of retaliation claims has doubled since 1998. In fiscal year 2015, retaliation accounted for nearly 45% of the claims the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received. Despite this, the Commission had not revised its guidance on retaliation since it was first issued in 1998.

Retaliation – The Basics

September 1st, 2016|Categories: Alexis P. Theriault, Discrimination & Harrassment, Human Resources Compliance, Litigation, MCAD & EEOC, Thomas J. Gallitano|

Retaliation “occurs when an employer takes a materially adverse action because an individual has engaged in, or may engage in, activity in furtherance of the EEO laws the Commission enforces.” See EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII), the

Massachusetts Passed Unprecedented Pay Equity Legislation. What Employers Should Know

August 5th, 2016|Categories: Alexis P. Theriault, Andrew R. Dennington, Human Resources Compliance, Laws and Regulations, MCAD & EEOC, Wage & Hour|

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Act to Establish Pay Equity (the “Act”) which becomes effective July 1, 2018. The Act makes three significant changes to existing law. First, and most importantly, it prohibits employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history. This is a groundbreaking provision –

EEOC Issues Two New Publications Discussing Workplace Rights of Persons with HIV

April 5th, 2016|Categories: Adam M. Santeusanio, Johanna Matloff, MCAD & EEOC|

According to a December 2015 press release, in Fiscal Year 2014 alone, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) resolved approximately 200 charges of discrimination based on HIV status, resulting in over $825,000 for job applicants and employees with HIV who were unlawfully denied employment or reasonable accommodations. See December 1, 2015 EEOC Press Release.

What Employers Need to Know If “An Act to Establish Pay Equity” Becomes Law

February 17th, 2016|Categories: Anthony Bova, Human Resources Compliance, Laws and Regulations, MCAD & EEOC, Wage & Hour|

On January 28, 2016, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed S. 2107: “An Act to Establish Pay Equity” (the “Act”), which would lower the threshold for employees to litigate gender-pay inequality claims. The Act, which would replace G. L. c. 149, § 105A in its entirety, would allow employees to discuss wages with one another and

Supreme Court Considers Timing For Constructive Discharge Claims

December 16th, 2015|Categories: Alexis P. Theriault, Discrimination & Harrassment, Litigation, MCAD & EEOC|

In Green v. Brennan, the Supreme Court will decide an important procedural question involving the issue of “constructive discharge”—what is the trigger that starts the clock for filing a claim? Is it the employer’s last discriminatory act or the date of the employee’s resignation? The Justices heard argument on November 30th, and a decision is

What the Protected Class, Gender Identity, Means to Employers

July 28th, 2015|Categories: Discrimination & Harrassment, Human Resources Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Mary E. (Beth) O'Neal, MCAD & EEOC|

Recap of Where Gender Identity is a Protected Class Nineteen states (Massachusetts, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington) and the District of Columbia expressly prohibit discrimination based upon gender identity, in both private and public employment. Six states (Indiana,

The Lowdown on the US Supreme Court Abercrombie Decision

June 2nd, 2015|Categories: Discrimination & Harrassment, MCAD & EEOC, Thomas J. Gallitano|

Photo Credit: Mordy Steinfeld CC In a decisive 8-1 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court sided yesterday with the EEOC in the religious discrimination case of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 14-86, Supreme Court of the United States (June 1, 2015). In a Nutshell Justice Antonin Scalia, writing

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