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Starting on July 1, 2015, Massachusetts employers with 11 or more employees must begin providing paid sick leave. Click here for a summary of the new law's key features.

Both employers and employees should review their rights and responsibilities under the new law carefully. Notably, good record-keeping of hours worked and accrued leave will be essential. 

Employers should also be aware that employees still retain their FMLA rights under federal law. Furthermore, when documenting the use of sick leave employers should bear in mind the need to comply with both HIPAA and Massachusetts data security and personal information privacy standards, when dealing with employee medical information.

 

We are what we eat

01/08/2015

 
After eating some very delicious Christmas and New Years meals with family and friends, I've realized that few personal freedoms are as close to our hearts and daily lives as being able to eat what we choose. When governments step in to regulate what we eat on grounds other than public health and safety, there should be careful scrutiny of such rules. In a small, but important case in federal district court in California, the state's ban against foie gras -- based on legitimate concerns about animal cruelty in its production -- was overturned on the grounds of federal regulatory preemption. In other words, the comprehensive nature of the federal regulations trumped the state's attempt to impose its own wholesale ban on a product. Here's the New York Times article

The lesson goes beyond foie gras and beyond California. Businesses of all sizes would be well served by being willing to carefully scrutinize state and municipal regulations and licensing practices for overreach and excessive micromanagement of legitimate activities. Governments do not have unfettered or unlimited regulatory authority. 

Happy New Year!
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Cats are not an appropriate source of foie gras.