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Author Archives: New England Biz Law Update staff

New limits on confidentiality and nondisparagement clauses

U.S. Capitol

The “Speak Out Act,” which limits the enforceability of confidentiality and nondisparagement clauses, has passed Congress and is expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden. The Act limits “judicial enforceability of predispute nondisclosure and nondisparagement contract clauses” ...

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Temporary worker’s tort suit covered by liability policy

Ice cream facility

A liability exclusion in a commercial general liability policy does not preclude coverage of a negligence claim brought by a staffing agency worker who said he suffered injuries because he was not provided with adequate protective clothing while working in ...

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Did OSHA fail to protect workers from COVID?

The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General has found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not sufficiently protect workers from COVID-19 during the earlier part of the pandemic. The OIG report, issued on Oct. 31, found that ...

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Employer can be sued for retaliation

Given some evidence that an employer’s proffered reasons for firing a former employee could be construed as pretextual, a lawsuit alleging that the termination was made in retaliation for the employee’s complaint about workplace racial discrimination can go forward. While ...

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Court issues verdict on employee misclassification

Wooden gavel

According to employer-side attorneys, a recent Massachusetts verdict in favor of an employer in a misclassification case should bring comfort to employers who contract with “legitimate” businesses for independent contractors’ services. But plaintiffs’ side employment attorneys say that they hope ...

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United Airlines must pay $305K to settle EEOC religious discrimination lawsuit

United Airlines plane

United Airlines will pay $305,000 to a Buddhist pilot and provide other relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced. According to the EEOC’s suit, the pilot was diagnosed with ...

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Year-end reminder to update employee handbooks

Company documents

The new year will be here soon. Consider this to be your annual reminder to review your employee handbook. Handbooks should be reviewed regularly as employment laws change at the local, state, and national level. Failure to update your handbook ...

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Cop suspended over Facebook post allowed to sue

A Cambridge, Massachusetts, police officer is suing the city, claiming that his employer violated his right to free speech. The city moved to dismiss the lawsuit, but a federal district court is allowing it to move forward. Officer Brian Hussey ...

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ADA ‘tester’ can sue over website’s non-compliance

A “tester-plaintiff” had standing to sue over a hotel reservation website’s alleged failure to comply with federal regulations governing accessibility for the disabled, even if she had no plans to actually book a room at the hotel, a federal appellate ...

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EEOC provides new guidance on caregiver discrimination

EEOC seal

As every employer has seen, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes to employees’ work locations, schedules and job status, affecting their work and personal obligations. This has resulted in competing job and caregiving demands for millions of Americans who must ...

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