Updates

Updates

The American Rescue Plan Act’s Aid Allocations to State, Local Governments, and Schools

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Act” or “ARPA”), which is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. A stimulus package of this size will undoubtedly have economic ripple effects in every corner of American society. This Client Alert highlights the support ARPA provides for individuals and workers as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Begin on January 1, 2021: Are You Ready?

On January 1, 2021, most benefits provided by the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (“PFML”) will become available. While employers have been wrestling with issues regarding contributions, private plan exemptions, and notice requirements for quite some time, the availability of benefits next month is likely to prompt new questions and generate new challenges. This alert is designed to highlight some key issues that employers should be aware of as they prepare to handle employees’ requests for benefits.

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THE HAZY THICKET OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA INSURANCE COVERAGE: The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds That Insurers Do Not Need to Reimburse Medical Marijuana Claims

On October 27, 2020, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) provided guidance amidst the tension between Massachusetts law and federal law with regards to insurance coverage for medical marijuana. In its decision in Daniel Wright’s Case (“Wright”), the SJC held that a worker compensation insurer did not have to reimburse an insured party’s claim for medical marijuana.

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Governor Baker Issues Three New COVID-19 Orders

On Monday, November 2, 2020, Governor Baker issued three new COVID-19 Orders, all of which are effective Friday, November 6, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

COVID-19 Order No. 53 (https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-53/download) imposes a Mandatory Night-Time Closing Period for Certain Businesses and Activities from 9:30 p.m. each day until 5:00 a.m. the following day. This Mandatory Closing Period Order prohibits certain businesses, facilities, and activities from admitting customers, patrons, or members of the public to their premises or otherwise offering, providing, or permitting in-person, on-premises services or activities, during the closed period.

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Department of Labor Issues Revised Temporary Rule on Families First Coronavirus Response Act Including New Guidance Relating to Intermittent Leave

On Friday, September 11, 2020, the Department of Labor issued revisions to the temporary rule regarding the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). Those revisions can be found here – https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/16/2020-20351/paid-leave-under-the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act. The revisions take effect on September 16, 2020.

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Governor Baker Issues Guidance on the Enforcement Mechanism for COVID-19 Executive Orders

On August 18th, Governor Baker issued an executive order providing guidance to municipalities regarding how to enforce the numerous executive orders in effect in response to COVID-19. Many of the Governor’s prior orders provided municipalities with the authority to enforce the executive orders. For example, the Governor’s recent order mandating quarantine for travelers entering the Commonwealth from out of state provides local boards of health and their authorized agents as well as municipal police with powers to enforce the order. The Governor’s August 7th executive order limiting the size of in-person gatherings also allowed for enforcement by local boards of health and municipal police departments.

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National Labor Relations Board Changes Legal Approach to Employee’s Use of Profane, Racist, and Sexually Harassing Speech in Protected Activity

On July 21, 2020, the National Labor Relations Board (“the Board”) changed its analysis towards an employee’s use of verbally offensive behavior in the context of protected activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act” or “NLRA”) in the following decision: General Motors, LLC, No. 14-CA-197985, 369 NLRB No. 127 (2020).

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Latest News

Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Attorney Triumphs in Mask Mandate Lawsuit

  On November 16, 2021 a Judge ruled in favor of Attorney Peter Mello of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP and his clients in a lawsuit regarding mask mandates in Massachusetts schools. The Plaintiff’s filed a preliminary injunction in hopes of barring the Defendants’ from enforcing mask mandates on students while in school. They argued that “the defendants lacked authority to issue and implement the mask mandates, that the mandates violate parents’ constitutional rights to make decisions regarding their Read More

Legal Updates

The American Rescue Plan Act’s Aid Allocations to State, Local Governments, and Schools

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.

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