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Employment Law Archives

EEOC Disability Accommodation Guidance to Address Higher-Risk Massachusetts Employees Returning to Work

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Equal EmploymentDisability 3.jpgOpportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued instructions, statements, and guidance to help Massachusetts employers navigate COVID-19's workplace impact.

COVID-19 Layoff Or Pretext For Age Discrimination Against Older Massachusetts Employees?

The recent, unprecedented changes to our country and its workforce due to theAge discrimination 5.jpg COVID-19 pandemic have upended the lives of millions. The economic fallout continues and in many instances, Massachusetts employers simply have no choice but to lay off large swaths of their employees due to the lack of business/revenue. And these employers have legitimate reasons for doing so and view this as a heart-wrenching but necessary step. 

Mental Illness in the Massachusetts Workplace: Don't Ask? Don't Tell?

Today, many Massachusetts residents with even the most serious mental illnessesDiscrimination 15.jpg are capable of working in mainstream, competitive jobs. Thanks to a new generation of drugs, the acute symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression can be controlled for many patients, so that many persons with these disorders are able to hold full-time jobs. The new drugs cannot, however, cure mental illness, and many individuals continue to experience residual symptoms of their disorders. At work, they face a dilemma: Should they tell their employer about their diagnosis? Will disclosure result in support and job accommodations, or stigma and discrimination?
A new study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, is investigating this topic. The study aims to discover how employers and workers can talk about mental illness in ways that result in more successful work outcomes.

Disclosure is the path to employer-provided job accommodations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990, 2008) mandates that employers provide reasonable accommodations to workers with disabilities who are otherwise capable of performing the essential functions of their jobs. The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) cites the following example of a reasonable accommodation for a worker with serious mental illness:

Workplace Laws Your Massachusetts Employer May be Violating

No one is above the law, including your Massachusetts boss. The National LaborEmployee rights.jpg Relations Act and a variety of statutes overseen by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission protect employees from hostile work environments, discrimination and unfair labor practices. There are also Massachusetts and local regulations that employers must follow.

Massachusetts Adjusts Limits on Employer Inquiries into Job Applicants' Criminal History

Under Massachusetts law, employers are prohibited from asking for informationCriminal Record.jpg about an applicant's criminal history on an "initial written employment application" (this is referred to as the "ban the box" provision).

What if I am Still Employed, I Have a Massachusetts Wage Claim, but I Don't Want to be Fired?

It is illegal to fire a Massachusetts employee for trying to get paid their wages. The law says "NoEmployee Compensation.jpg employee shall be penalized by an employer in any way as a result of any action on the part of an employee to seek his or her rights under the wages and hours provisions of this chapter."

Infograghic: #MeToo: Facts About Sexual Harassment in the Massachusetts Workforce

The #MeToo and Time's Up Now movement is sparking much debate across the country, and your Massachusetts workplace is no exception. But just how prevalent is sexual harassment in companies across the U.S.? The infographic below highlights key findings from a recent CareerBuilder survey. 

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