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Boston Growing Hub for the Life Sciences Industry 06/08/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Life Sciences, Venture Capital & Private Equity.
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The Boston Business Journal just announced that at the annual Biotechnology Innovation Organization meeting, Boston was recognized as the city with the largest number of employers in the field of research testing and medical laboratories.  The BBJ explains that from biotech giants such as Biogen to Genzyme to research labs at the prestigious Harvard and MIT, the city is booming in life science employment and early stage development.

Furthermore, MassBio CEO and President Bob Coughlin explains how, “The research shows Massachusetts shines at the earliest stages of industry, with high levels of academic research, NIH and venture capital investments, as well as number of patents earned by our institutions…” Specifically, MA had $9.5 billion in VC investment in a three year term and ranked just behind California in the number of life science patents awarded.

MBBP is proud to represent life sciences companies throughout the greater Boston area (and beyond), in fields including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, along with institutions and investors in a wide range of sophisticated legal matters that arise in connection with the development, protection and commercialization of their diagnostic and therapeutic solutions.

Read the full Boston Business Journal article here.

New Overtime Regulations Will Result In Many More Workers Becoming Entitled To Overtime 05/18/2016

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Employment.
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2015-01-05_8-57-41We’re reviewing the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations in our Massachusetts Employment Law Blog.  Click here to read about the DOL’s Final Rule, which President Obama announced the publication of today.

Employers Cannot Pay Employees With Stock or Equity In Lieu of Cash 09/30/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Employment, Legal Developments.
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wht-logo[2]A company with a temporary cash shortage might be tempted to compensate employees with an ownership interest in the company (stock or equity) instead of with cash.

But, is this practice legal? Generally, the answer to this question is no. Under state and federal law, employees must be paid at least the minimum wage in cash. Providing equity does not fulfill this requirement.

An exception to this rule is made, however, if the employee comes within the exemption for executive-business owners provided for in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

To be exempt as an executive-business owner under the FLSA, an individual must (1) be employed in a bona fide executive capacity, (2) own at least a 20% bona fide interest in the business and (3) be actively engaged in the management of the business.

Unless an employee meets each of these requirements, paying in equity alone could result in significant liability for the employer, as well as possible individual liability for the president, treasurer, and individual “officers and agents” of the employer’s corporate entity.

For further help in determining whether your employee comes within the executive-business owner exemption or questions about paying employees with equity, contact a member of our Employment Law Group.

MBBP Clients Among BBJ’s Honorees – “Best Places to Work of 2015” 05/04/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News, Computer Software & Hardware, Events, Industries, Internet and E-Commerce, Public Companies.
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2015-04-30_15-23-12On Thursday, April 30th, the Boston Business Journal announced the 80 honorees for its annual Best Places to Work of 2015 program. This year’s employers were divided among five different categories based on company size, and were selected based on survey responses provided by employees. The BBJ will recognize this year’s honorees on June 18th at the Citi Performing Arts Center.

Among the 80 nominees, are several MBBP clients:

Congratulations to all! View the full list of “Best Places to Work of 2015“.

Employment Tip of the Month 04/14/2015

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Employment, Legal Developments, New Resources.
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Last month’s Tip of the Month reminded employers that communicating and maintaining an overtime policy can minimize liability for unauthorized overtime hours. This month, we focus on a second way employers can protect against wage and hour liability: the inclusion of a payroll deductions policy to take advantage of the “safe harbor” protection against liability for misclassification of employees based on the failure to pay employees on a salary basis.

To read our full Tip of the Month, please visit our Massachusetts Employment Law blog.

Employment Law Clip: Pitfalls of Using Independent Contractors 03/03/2014

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Employment.
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Many businesses use “independent contractors” to augment their regular workforce. They see advantages to using trained, non-employee workers with specialized skills who can provide needed services on a short-term or long-term basis. However, the ability of businesses to classify workers as independent contractors is not unchecked. Businesses cannot avoid employer obligations simply by designating certain workers as independent contractors.

In this video Massachusetts Employment Lawyer Robert M. Shea discusses the serious danger that independent contractors can pose to a business when they do not comply with government and tax laws and are misclassified as such:

Want more information? Try some of our other resources on this topic:

Please feel free to contact any member of our Employment Law Group with any questions on independent contractor laws.

MBBP’s Employment Law Clip Series will provide quick, easy-to-digest snapshots of common Employment issues, as well as practical information on how to avoid complicated, expensive and time-consuming pitfalls. Stay tuned for the next topic on Wage Payment Laws: Termination.

New Massachusetts Law Creates Wellness Program Tax Incentives for Employers 08/29/2012

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Employment, Legal Developments.
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Employment Attorney Bob SheaBy: Bob Shea

Massachusetts has enacted legislation that, effective January 1, 2013, gives employers an annual tax credit of up to $10,000 for implementing wellness programs for their employees. The wellness program tax credit is part of broader legislation entitled “An Act Improving the Quality of Health Care and Reducing Costs through Increased Transparency.”

The law acknowledges that “wellness programs implemented by business have resulted in both savings to their premiums as well as overall savings to the cost of health care,” and states that the goal of the tax credit “is to provide smaller businesses with an expanded opportunity to implement these programs.” The law offers employers a tax credit of 25% of the costs associated with implementing a wellness program, up to $10,000 per year. Employers can apply the credit to taxes owed to the Commonwealth. Further, employers can carry over and apply to their tax liability in future years any wellness program costs that exceed the $10,000 per year cap. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will be issuing regulations specifying how employers can ensure that their wellness programs qualify for the tax credit.

For any questions on this topic, please feel free to contact Bob.

Wage and Hour Lawsuits Hit Record High 08/14/2012

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News.
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Employment Attorney Bob SheaBy: Bob Shea

The number of wage and hour lawsuits filed in federal court hit a record high for the twelve month period ending March 31, 2012. The number of actions filed each year has more than doubled in the past ten years. The majority of these lawsuits involve claims of employee misclassification, including claims of employees being classified as independent contractors and of non-exempt employees being classified as exempt (and not receiving overtime pay). Many lawsuits also involve claims of employees not being compensated for work performed outside regular work hours. Over the past decade, many lawyers representing employees have changed the focus of their practice from handling discrimination claims to pursuing wage-hour claims because of the higher success rate and class action potential. For employers, this means they should consider inceasing compliance efforts.

Please feel free to contact Bob with any questions on this topic.

What Employers Can’t Ask During Hiring Process 03/29/2012

Posted by Morse Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Attorney News, Employment.
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With talk of employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews, New England Cable News turned to our own Christopher Perry to set the record straight. What can Massachusetts employers ask during an interview and what can’t they ask? Perry cautions employers to know the laws regarding discrimination and any type of background checks using a third party. The video clip also previews changes coming in May 2012 regarding CORI laws and additional requirements for employers. Watch the interview on NECN Business below.

Christopher Perry

To learn more about specific employer obligations regarding hiring in Massachusetts, please contact Christopher Perry.

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