Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP

Providing our clients with state of the art legal service while maintaining an emphasis on personalized attention, accessibility and efficiency

One of the 50 largest firms in Massachusetts, our years of experience and resources offer clients throughout New England and nationally a wide range of legal services while maintaining a “hands-on touch” that is important in Client-Attorney relationships. To provide this kind of service, we established a multi-service firm comprised of skilled practitioners from a variety of fields. This enables us to bring to our clients the breadth of experience and depth of knowledge required for complex cases. Our broad resources and technology enable us to represent clients in a comprehensive and cost efficient manner.

What's Happening @ MHTL?

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A Hazy Situation - Marijuana and the Workplace: Current Law and Challenges Facing Today's Employers

Arthur Murphy, Kier Wachterhauser and Sarah Catignani recently published an article regarding the use of marijuana in the workplace in the September/October 2014 issue of HR Advisor. The proliferation of state laws legalizing the use of marijuana has the potential to create a bit of a hangover for employers.  Employers and HR professionals must carefully monitor both legislation and case law as it continues to develop in this area.  One thing is certain, this is an area where litigation will occur.  Planning ahead is critical to remaining in front of the curve.  Adapting policies now and crafting plans for addressing medical marijuana in the workplace will, at a minimum, ensure fair and consistent treatment of employees and provide your workforce with a greater level of predictability in this changing environment.

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Legal Updates

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  • Governor Patrick Signs Parental Leave Law

    On January 7, 2015, Governor Patrick signed “An Act Relative to Parental Leave” into law (the “Act”).  This Act replaces the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”), and extends parental leave rights to both men and women.  While similar to the MMLA in many respects, there are important differences of which employers need to be aware when updating policies and procedures in light of this new law.

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  • NLRB Rules that Employees Have a Legal Right to Use an Employer's E-mail System for Union Communications

    A majority of the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) recently overruled its own precedent and held that employees who are allowed to use an employer’s email system for work purposes must also be allowed to use that email system during their non-working time for communications that are protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). Purple Communications, Inc., 361 N.L.R.B. No. 126 (12/11/14). Only if an employer can show that there are “special circumstances” necessary to maintain production or discipline can an employer bar such access to its email system. Otherwise, if an employer cannot show such “special circumstances,” it can apply “uniform and consistently enforced” controls over an email system, but only to the extent that the employer is required to maintain production and discipline.

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  • Action Required Now for the Affordable Care Act’s Transitional Reinsurance Program

    The filing deadline to submit annual enrollment counts for group health plans subject to the Transitional Reinsurance Program (“TRP”) is December 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm. The first TRP contribution payment is due January 15, 2015. The TRP is one of the taxes and fees established under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Money raised through this fee is intended to stabilize premiums in the individual market for those with pre-existing conditions. The TRP contribution applies to benefit years 2014-2016, and the fee is $63 per covered life in 2014. The fee is expected to be less in 2015 and 2016, as the statute provides for less money to be raised in each subsequent year.

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  • Mandatory Employment Benefits Expand

    On November 4, 2014, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative providing for earned sick time for employees (the “Law”).  The Law takes effect on July 1, 2015, and will require certain employers to provide up to 40 hours of earned sick time per year to their employees for a wide variety of covered reasons.

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  • Firearms Licensing Alert - August 2014

    Proposed in the wake of gun violence incidents nationwide, on July 31, 2014, the Massachusetts Legislature passed “An Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence” (Act). The Act, which is now awaiting the Governor’s approval, will make significant changes to the authority of local licensing authorities over firearms licensing.

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