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, Represents Dedham School Committee in Labor Dispute

Kevin Bresnahan, a partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, represented the Dedham School Committee in its recently-concluded collective bargaining with its teachers’ union. After nearly two years of negotiations, the union scheduled a strike vote last week. Attorney Bresnahan filed a petition with the Department of Labor Relations on behalf of the School Committee, and obtained an order to prevent the illegal strike. When the union went forward with the strike vote, a judge in the Norfolk Superior Read More

Legal Updates

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Post-Janus Bill Over Governor’s Veto

On September 19th, the Massachusetts Legislature overwhelmingly overrode Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of a union-friendly law. The bill was passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME which relieved bargaining unit employees who were not members of the union of the obligation to pay dues to public sector unions. The Massachusetts bill allows unions to charge non-members certain fees, relieves unions of some of their obligations to those non-union employees, and expands unions’ access to public employees.

 

 

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