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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Partner was Special Guest Panelist at Quincy Chamber Town Hall

 

Nan ONeill from Murphy, Hesse, Toomey &Lehane, LLP, presented for the Quincy Chamber Town Hall on the topic of bringing employees back to work in Massachusetts on Thursday, May 21, 2020.  The Quincy Chamber Town Hall was co-hosted with the Neponset River Chamber.  Nan was joined by co-panelists Margaret Laforest, Regional Director, Massachusetts Office of Business Development, and Norman Eng, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Small Business Administration.

 

Nan focused on the legal environment surrounding reopening Massachusetts, pointing out the legal requirements all employers must comply with, as laid out in Governor Baker’s Four-Phase approach.  Nan also emphasized that the MA legal requirements cannot be considered in isolation, and as businesses bring their employees back to work, they must consider OSHA requirements to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace; and EEOC return to work protocols which emphasize the continuing duty to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities in the COVID-19 context, permissible health inquiries and employee testing, and anti-harassment prohibitions protecting workers from discriminatory behavior because of their nation origin, race, age or disability.  Nan also discussed the leave entitlements returning employees may have under the FFCRA.  She concluded with a discussion of the tension created by the enhanced unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act and employer efforts to bring employees back to work. The bottom line is that employers cannot think of any of these issues in isolation.  As employers comply with the MA mandates, they can incorporate requirements for creating a safe workplace, maintaining a harassment-free workplace, and other regulatory provisions, into employee communications and required employee training.

 

Nan and the MHTL team will continue to keep businesses updated on the return to work legal developments as they unfold on both the local and national levels.

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Workers’ Compensation Claims and COVID-19

The coronavirus and its effects are likely to have an impact on workers’ compensation claims. Two of the most common questions that have been raised regarding COVID-19 and workers’ compensation are addressed below, including compensation for employees who contract COVID-19 at work and employees who are injured while working from home.

Quincy, MA

Crown Colony Plaza
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
P.O. Box 9126
Quincy, MA 02169-9126

Boston, MA

75-101 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

Tel: (617) 479-5000
Tel: (888) 841-4850
Fax: (617) 479-6469

Springfield, MA

One Monarch Place, Suite 1310R
Springfield, MA 01144