MANAGEMENT MOXIE Nimble News
May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country! ~Daniel Webster
Happy 4th of July!
We have exciting news at Foley & Foley, PC -Attorney Mikaela McDermott will join our team July 12, 2016. She brings years of experience in public and private sector employment and labor law. She will make our strong team even stronger.
The Massachusetts legislature has been busy. Two bills that will impact employers are still in the works and may land on the Governor's desk soon:
The Massachusetts House passed a comprehensive noncompete reform bill on June 29, 2016. Because the Senate passed a fairly similar measure last year, the bill is expected to be approved by the Senate before the session closes on July 31, 2016. Whether Governor Baker will sign the bill is unknown at this time. The major changes:
The Senate Bill Proposal - 2119 "An Act to Establish Pay Equity" is gaining momentum. Attorney Mike Foley recently presented on this topic at a Government Affairs Committee of the New Bedford Chamber of Commerce - more about his presentation
Here is the bottom line: For decades, it has been illegal in the United States for an employer to discriminate against women, including discrimination against women in terms of compensation.
In Massachusetts, employees who believe that they are underpaid on the basis of their gender currently have recourse to four statutes when seeking relief:
- The Federal Equal Pay Act (FEPA);
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII);
- The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA); and
- Chapter 151B of the General Laws of Massachusetts (151B).
Depending upon your perspective, here are the highlights or low lights regarding the pending pay equity law:
- Significantly changes the definition of "comparable work" under MEPA. That critical phrase under the proposed law "shall solely mean work that is substantially similar that it requires substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions.. ." The key question is how will this impact merit pay, commission pay and any pay system that is not seniority driven.
- It would become unlawful for an employer to seek the salary history of any prospective employee.
- Employers could not prevent employees from disclosing their wages, benefits or other compensation or inquiring about or discussing the wages of any other employee.
There is more to this far ranging bill and we will, of course, keep you informed.
As always, please contact us with any concerns or questions. We can help.