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Massachusetts AG to Appeal Toss of Landmark COVID-19 Neglect Case

The Massachusetts Attorney General will appeal a state court decision to dismiss a landmark criminal case against the operators of a state nursing home. In November 2021, the Hampden County Superior Court dismissed charges against the Massachusetts nursing home’s former superintendent and former medical director. According to this Law360 article, McDermott Partner Mark Pearlstein, who conducted a report into the facility’s deaths, called the leadership decisions at the home “baffling.”

Read more here.




Broadband Internet a Hurdle as Telehealth Services Rise in Popularity

Doctors and lawmakers say reliable broadband internet is lagging for populations that could benefit the most from telehealth services. In this MetroWest Daily News article, McDermott Partner Stephen Bernstein and McDermott+Consulting Vice President Mara McDermott offer insight into the challenges—and opportunities—for virtual care as it gains popularity.

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Tax Guidance Needed as Remote Work Grows, Panelist Says

How should the federal and state governments approach remote work taxation? In this Law360 article, McDermott partner Kathleen Quinn says the growing complexity of remote work highlights the need for guidance.

“What’s becoming even more problematic is now, we don’t just have people that work in a New York office and they traditionally work from home from New Jersey,” Quinn said. “Now, people are saying, ‘Well, I’m going to work from New Jersey, then in the winter I’m going to work from Florida…and then maybe for a month I’ll go to Europe.’ It really becomes sort of a withholding mess.”

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Family Ties: Connecticut Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave

Connecticut enacted a paid family and medical leave law, which provides paid leave to eligible employees and expand allowable reasons for such leave. This Connecticut statute closely tracks Massachusetts’s parallel statute and appears to be among the most generous paid family leave laws in the country. All private sector employers (and their employees who work in Connecticut) are covered.

Access the full article.




Employers with Massachusetts Employees Must File Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure Form by November 30

Any employer who has six or more employees in Massachusetts in any calendar month after November 2017 is required to complete a Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form by November 30, 2018. The HIRD form is used by MassHealth to collect information about employer-sponsored insurance offerings. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently published a set of FAQs stating that the HIRD form:

  • Is filed by an employer through the employer’s MassTaxConnect web portal (the employer clicks the “File health insurance responsibility disclosure” link to access the form);
  • May be filed by an employer’s third-party payroll provider on the employer’s behalf, though it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure the form is timely filed;
  • Will not be used to impose fines or penalties related to the employer’s insurance offerings;
  • Must be filed annually by November 30 in future years; and
  • Does not require employees to complete a separate form. Employers may recall that a prior version of the HIRD form which was discontinued in 2014 required both the employer and the employee to complete forms.

The FAQs do not specifically establish a penalty for failing to meet the annual November 30 deadline. There is also a possibility that a court could determine that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 preempts the HIRD requirement, meaning that employers would no longer be required to file the form if the requirement were challenged in court. However, we recommend employers submit the HIRD form by the fast-approaching deadline on November 30, 2018.




New Restrictions on Using Non-Competes in Massachusetts – What You Need to Know

The Massachusetts legislature’s recent approval of a comprehensive non-competition reform bill includes significant restrictions for employers seeking to impose non-compete obligations on Massachusetts workers. The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act will become effective on October 1, 2018, leaving little time for employers to consider what actions to take to protect their business interests.

Access the full article.




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