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OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

On November 16, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced that it would suspend the Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing for the time being.  Our office published an advisory on November 5, 2021 addressing employer obligations to comply with the ETS. The ETS went into effect on November 5, […]

Superior Court Denies Injunction Against DESE and Local District School Mask Mandates

Joining a continually increasing number of federal and state courts around the country, a justice of the Hampden Superior Court has denied a request for an injunction against the state-wide school mask mandate first ordered by the Commissioner of DESE on August 25, 2021 and against several local school districts’ school mask policies. In The […]

OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

On November 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing.  The ETS takes effect upon publication in the Federal Register, November 5, 2021.  Covered employers have thirty (30) days to come into compliance with most aspects of the ETS, including vaccine mandates, but […]

Update to Joint Advisory regarding Mandated Reporting Responsibilities of School Personnel in Cases of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

On October 27, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) issued an updated joint advisory with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) concerning mandated reporting responsibilities for school personnel in cases of suspected child abuse and neglect.  The update replaces the previous advisory on the same topic issued in 2010. The updated […]

Massachusetts School Mask Mandate Extended Through At Least January 15, 2022

On October 26, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (“DESE”) extended its statewide school mask mandate until at least January 15, 2022. The mandate requires all students and staff members five (5) years and older to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating or drinking. Prior to the extension, the […]

Supreme Judicial Court Finds That Police Officer Who Injured Coworker on Town Property During Working Hours Was Not Acting Within Scope of Employment

On October 25, 2021, the Supreme Judicial Court held in Russell Berry v. Commerce Insurance Company, (No. 2020-P-1316) that the provision of the Massachusetts Tort Claims Act, G.L. c. 258, §2 (the “Act”) which provides civil tort immunity to any public employee acting “within the scope of his office or employment” did not apply to […]

Four VDH Attorneys Named 2021 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Robert D. Hillman and John Foskett have been named Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2021 and Nicholas J. Dominello and Jennifer F. King have been named Massachusetts Rising Stars.  Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This selection […]

Massachusetts Legislature Extends COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

On September 29, 2021, the Massachusetts legislature extended the “Act Providing For Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave,” through April 1, 2022.  The Act, which requires all private and public employers within Massachusetts to offer employees leave time for COVID-19 related issues, was set to expire on September 30, 2021.  It will now remain in […]

Suffolk Superior Court Allows Governor Baker’s Vaccine Mandate to Go Into Effect Despite Challenge from Police Union

On September 23, 2021, the Suffolk Superior Court issued a ruling in State Police Association of Massachusetts v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, et al. (No. 2184-CV-02117), allowing Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s October 17th deadline for mandatory vaccinations for all Commonwealth Executive employees to remain in effect. Siding with the Commonwealth, the Court denied motions from the […]

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds that Employee May be Terminated for Exercising Right to Submit a Rebuttal to Personnel File

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Appeals Court issued a decision, Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc., 99 Mass. App. Ct. 95 (2021), holding that terminating an employee solely for exercising his right to submit a written rebuttal to his personnel file pursuant to G.L. c. 149, §52C does not fall within the public policy exception […]