News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Partner Speaks on Horseplay in the Workplace at the MACRS Kevin J. Regan Fall Conference.

Katherine A. Hesse, a partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented alongside an esteemed all-female legal panel at the Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems’ Annual Kevin J. Regan Fall Conference on October 1, 2019 in Springfield, Massachusetts. This conference serves the primary mission of the Massachusetts Association of Contributory Retirement Systems, which is to preserve, strengthen and educate the 104 public retirement systems of the Commonwealth while promoting the rights and benefits of our respective members, present or future, and to uphold the public interest in the proper administration of contributory retirement systems. Topics presented by the panel included: Splitting the Option D Benefit, Heart Presumption and Essential Duties, Accidental Disability and Horseplay, Group Classification Issues, and the Impact of Mediation Awards and Settlements.

Ms. Hesse’s presentation focused largely around accidental disability retirement, and its strict standards relative to causation. There are several criteria which must be met in order for an employee to qualify for accidental disability retirement, the first of which being that said employee must be injured “while in the performance” of his or her duties. This injury must result in the employee being unable to perform the essential duties of his/her job. The inability to perform must be likely to be permanent. The disability must also be by reason of a personal injury sustained or a hazard undergone as a result of, and while in the performance of the member’s duties at some definite time and place. However, the most crucial piece, and the main focus of Katherine’s presentation concentrated on the portion of the statute which reads, “without serious and willful misconduct on the member’s part.” She went on to present several Massachusetts cases that illustrated how horseplay in the workplace could disqualify an individual from qualifying for accidental disability.

Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Presents “Recent Developments in ERISA”

  Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, Partner Katherine Hesse gave a plenary presentation on Recent Developments in ERISA on Friday September 16 to members of the Group Legal Services Association (“GLSA”) at its annual meeting in New Orleans.  Among the topics she emphasized were what employers/plan sponsors need to know in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade and lessons from the Court’s decision in Hughes and other class action litigation as to factors to consider Read More

Legal Updates

MARIJUANA REFORM BILL BECOMES LAW

On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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