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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Presents Legal Update for the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives

 

Attorney Sarah Spatafore, a Partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, presented a Legal Update for the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives (“MOEC”) on April 11, 2022. The MOEC posted about Ms. Spatafore’s presentation on their twitter account last week, stating “This morning, leaders from Collaboratives across the state joined to hear from attorney Sarah Spatafore about a variety of legal updates including a Case Law/Statutory Update, Special Education, Employment Law considerations, and other important reminders.”

 

Ms. Spatafore began her presentation with a recent case law update, BSEA decisions, as well as a statutory and regulatory update. Her next topic was “Remote Workforce & Employment Law Considerations”, in which she discussed the strategic, operational, and legal considerations to make when deciding to work remotely. She then outlined the important reminders regarding employment law: pay on final workday; break time; FMLA special topics; and absenteeism. Ms. Spatafore also discussed the considerations, pros, and cons for students regarding “BYOD”, or Bring Your Own Device. The final topic Ms. Spatafore spoke about was the intersection of HIPAA and FERPA.

 

Ms. Spatafore practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients. Additionally, she handles cases within the Firm’s education law practice. Ms. Spatafore has represented clients before a number of courts and administrative tribunals at both the state and federal level.  She regularly conducts seminars and training programs on unlawful harassment, preventing discrimination, and a variety of other labor and employment issues, and she has completed all the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination-certified “Train-the-Trainer” courses. Ms. Spatafore graduated from Bates College in 2007 and received her Juris Doctor, with Honors, from Boston College Law School in 2012. While in law school, Ms. Spatafore interned at the Massachusetts Superior Court and was a member of the Jessup International Moot Court team. She was a co-recipient of the third year best oralist award at Boston College Law School. Ms. Spatafore is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Court of Appeals First Circuit.

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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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