Updates

Updates

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance on COVID-19 and the FLSA

In addition to issuing guidance on OSHA and COVID-19, which we covered in our Labor & Employment Alert issued on March 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor also issued Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This edition of the Client Alert will highlight the Questions and Answers provided by the DOL regarding the FLSA.

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Sweeping Federal Legislation Passed Related to COVID-19 –

Significant Changes Made to Workplace Leave Laws and Benefits

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Act (the “Act”). President Trump signed the Act into law the same day. Among other provisions, the Act expands food assistance and unemployment programs, provides free coronavirus testing, expands the federal Family and Medical and Leave Act to cover employees unable to work due to childcare obligations created by school closures, establishes paid leave for such absences, and provides a new paid sick leave benefit related to COVID-19. The text of the new Act can be found here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201

This Alert will summarize some of the major provisions affecting most public and private employers. We will be supplementing this Alert with additional information as information becomes available.

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MA Legislature Passes Relief Bill Waiving the One Week Waiting Period for

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the Massachusetts Legislature passed significant legislation directing the Director of Unemployment Assistance to waive the one-week waiting period for any person making a claim for unemployment benefits related to COVID-19 circumstances. It was promptly signed by the Governor, thereby providing significant relief for workers affected by the current situation.

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OSHA Strategies for Dealing with COVID-19 in the Workplace

Last week, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was designated as a global pandemic. It continues to disrupt our workplace communities and our community at large. To assist employers in continuing to plan for and respond to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance on COVID-19 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This edition of the Client Alert will focus on the OSHA guidance. We will issue subsequent Client Alerts which will cover the FLSA and the FMLA guidance.

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GOVERNOR BAKER ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER TO IMMEDIATELY ALLOW EXPANDED REMOTE PARTICIPATION AND “ALTERNATIVE ACCESS” TO ALL PUBLIC MEETINGS

On March 12, 2020, as part of his authority under the State of Emergency declaration, and in response to multiple recommendations to keep distance between individuals in order to protect public health due to the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order (”Order”) suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, to allow expanded remote participation and alternative access to all public meetings. The Order provides swift and much needed clarification for select boards, school committees and all other “public bodies” subject to the Open Meeting Law.

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Strategies for Dealing with COVID-19 in the Workplace Installment 1 of the MHTL COVID-19 Client Alert

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is creating increasing concern in workplace communities and in our community at large. Each day infections spread to new parts of the world and the U.S. The number of cases and deaths continues to rise in the U.S. Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the number of cases and deaths globally, reports that the virus is in over half of the U.S. states, with 755 cases and 26 deaths.

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PANDEMIC: LESSONS FOR SCHOOLS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THE CORONAVIRUS

On February 1, 2020, a university student from Boston became the eighth person in the United States to be diagnosed with the coronavirus, and the first on the East Coast. This student had recently returned from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the pandemic. Since then, scarcely a day has passed without additional coverage of the coronavirus, which has been declared a global public health emergency.

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Supreme Judicial Court’s Decision Regarding Tort Claims Act Preserves Vital Protections for Municipalities

On January 22nd, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) issued a decision in Magliacane v. City of Gardner which preserved key protections for municipalities facing tort claims. The SJC’s decision agreed with the arguments put forth by MHTL’s attorney Cindy Amara in an amicus brief she filed in the case on behalf of the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association (“MMLA”).

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Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane Partner Completes Term as Chair of Neponset River Regional Chamber

  Alisia St. Florian, partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, was recognized for her leadership as she completed her term as chair of the Neponset River Regional Chamber during the Chamber’s Annual Meeting. Attorney St. Florian was the chair of the board during the Chamber’s 125th Anniversary year celebration, on September 19, 2019 at the Paul Revere Heritage Site in Canton with 125 people in attendance. Alisia said the following about her term as chair, “Being a member Read More

Legal Updates

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance on COVID-19 and the FLSA

In addition to issuing guidance on OSHA and COVID-19, which we covered in our Labor & Employment Alert issued on March 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor also issued Questions and Answers on COVID-19 and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This edition of the Client Alert will highlight the Questions and Answers provided by the DOL regarding the FLSA.

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