The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act will become effective on July 1, 2018. It calls for all Massachusetts employers, irrespective of size, to pay men and women the same for comparable work. The new law, which amended G.L. c. 149, Section 105A, provides in pertinent part:
In this latest Legislative session on Beacon Hill it appears that the House and the Senate have reached certain compromises concerning non-compete legislation which would alter considerably the existing non-compete legal landscape in Massachusetts. The new version of the bill – HO 4434 – would alter Chapter 149 of the General Laws and provide generally as follows:
Although burning the midnight oil last night, a Joint Conference Committee failed to reach agreement on a compromise bill by the established deadline of midnight, July 31.
Among other differences, the House and Senate versions of so-called non-compete reform contained very different “garden leave” provisions.
The House version required 50% pay for a one year “sit it out” period, while the Senate version required 100% pay for a maximum 3 month non-compete period. The House version also allowed the parties to come up with another form of acceptable consideration to support the non-compete period.
The Governor indicated that he favored the House version of the proposed reform.
At this point, the issue of non-compete reform is off the table until January 2017, the start of the next legislative session on Beacon Hill.
On Friday, July 22, 2016, the Governor’s office released the following statement concerning the various legislative reform bills recently promulgated by Beacon Hill lawmakers:
“The Governor favors the House version of the non-compete legislation because he believes it better balances workers’ abilities to seek new employment while ensuring cutting edge businesses can protect essential intellectual property. Finding the right compromise on this issue is essential to ensuring innovative businesses want to stay and grow in the Commonwealth.”
Click below to watch a portion of Andrew Botti’s “The State of Non-Compete Agreements in Our State: What’s Pending on Beacon Hill this Legislative Session?” presentation from January 2016.
In a 158-0 vote, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to approve the so-called Pay Equity Act. The Act makes it unlawful for any employer to discriminate “in any way on the basis of gender in the payment of wages,” or to pay someone of a different gender less for comparable work. The term “comparable work” is defined as work which requires substantially similar “skill, effort and responsibility,” and is performed under similar working conditions. These somewhat fuzzy concepts may present substantial liabilities to the unwary employer.