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SJC Holds that Certain Crimes Committed After Retirement Can Result in Pension Forfeiture

On September 6, 2022, the Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Mahan v. Boston Retirement Board, No. 13208 (2022), holding that the pension forfeiture provisions of G.L. c. 32, § 15(3) and (4) apply to an individual whose criminal activity occurs after the individual has retired from public service. The SJC’s conclusion means that […]

SJC Upholds MIAA’s Decision That Fifth-Year Senior is Not Eligible for Athletic Participation

On August 29, 2022, the Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Abner v. Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, No. 13224 (2022). The court upheld a determination by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (“MIAA”) that a high school senior who had repeated his junior year and had played four prior years of high school athletics was […]

Follow Up: Statute Limits Impacts of SJC Decision that Payments Made in Lieu of Vacation Time Are Not Included in Pension Calculation

On August 4, 2022, Governor Baker signed into law an act that limits certain impacts of the Supreme Judicial Court’s recent decision in Joseph O’Leary v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, No. 13229 (2022). The SJC concluded that payments made in lieu of vacation leave are not “regular compensation” for purposes of retirement calculations. The Legislature […]

SJC Concludes that Payments Made In Lieu of Vacation Time Are Not Included in Pension Calculation

On August 11, 2022, the Supreme Judicial Court issued a decision in Joseph O’Leary v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board, No. 13229 (2022), holding that payments made in lieu of unused, accrued vacation time are not “regular compensation” for the purpose of calculating a public employee’s retirement allowance under the Contributory Retirement Law, G.L. chapter 32. […]

Massachusetts Appeals Court Clarifies The Correct Recipient of a Presentment Letter for Claims Against a Public School Under the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act

On August 10, 2022, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a decision in John Doe v. Cambridge Public Schools, 21-P-877, dismissing an elementary school student’s complaint of negligent infliction of emotional distress because the student failed to meet the presentment requirement of the Massachusetts Tort Claim Act (the MTCA), G.L. c. 258, § 4, when he […]

Massachusetts Enacts Law Banning Discrimination Based on Natural and Protective Hairstyles

On July 26, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law An Act Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Natural and Protective Hairstyles, Chapter 117 of the Acts of 2022 (the “Act”). The Act prohibits discrimination based on race-related hairstyles in the workplace, schools, and places of public accommodation. The Act has two important components. First, it expands […]

Massachusetts to Provide Free School Meals for All Students in 2022-2023

As part of the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget, signed by Governor Charlie Baker on July 28, 2022, all K-12 public-school students in Massachusetts will be eligible for free school lunches this coming school year. The budget allocates a one-time investment of $110 million to support a pilot program providing school meals for all. Over […]

Massachusetts Legislature Extends Remote Meeting Bill Through March 2023

On July 16, 2022, Governor Baker signed into law a new session law, An Act Relative to Extending Certain State of Emergency Accommodations, which extends certain COVID-19 related measures including provisions regarding holding remote meetings and remote public access to meetings. This extension expires on March 31, 2023. This extension allows public bodies to continue […]

Extension Of Remote Open Meeting Bill Remains Pending In Massachusetts Legislature

On February 15, 2022, Governor Baker signed into law a new session law, Chapter 22 of the Acts of 2022, which extends certain COVID-19 related measures including provisions regarding holding remote meetings and remote public access to meetings. This extension expires on July 15, 2022. The Senate budget bill includes a provision that would extend […]

Supreme Court Rules That A Public School Violated The First Amendment By Disciplining Coach For Field Prayer

On June 27, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, No. 21-418 (2022), holding that a public school district violated the First Amendment rights of its high school football coach, Joseph Kennedy, when it suspended and later non-renewed him for praying quietly and without his players […]