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Upcoming Changes to Law Regarding Student Use of Tobacco

In July 2018, the Massachusetts Legislature passed “An Act Protecting Youth from the Health Risks of Tobacco and Nicotine Addiction” to reduce youth access and use of tobacco and nicotine products, including vaporizers. The legislation impacts individuals, businesses, government agencies, as well as educational institutions. The impacts to educational institutions, as outlined below, go into […]

Supreme Court Holds Age Discrimination in Employment Act Applies To All State And Local Governments

In an 8-0 decision issued this morning, the Supreme Court held in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido et al., No. 17-587 (2018) that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to all state and local governments, regardless of  how many employees they have. In 2009, faced with a budget crisis, the Mount […]

VDH Attorney Obtains Significant Appeals Court Ruling on Status of ROTC Student for Child Support

In what appears to be the first reported decision by an appellate court in the country, on October 18, 2018 the Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled that a student did not “enter the military” or, therefore, become emancipated for purposes of  child support when he obtained an Army ROTC scholarship. VDH attorney John Foskett represented […]

Two VDH Attorneys Named 2018 Massachusetts Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Robert D. Hillman has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer for 2018 and Nicholas J. Dominello has been named a Massachusetts Rising Star.  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 process includes independent research, […]

Supreme Judicial Court Discusses Public Policy Exception to Vacating Arbitration Awards

On October 3, 2018, the Supreme Judicial Court sustained an arbitration award reinstating a police officer who had filed a police report that the arbitrator found was “intentionally misleading” but not “intentionally false” and that did not result in a wrongful arrest, a wrongful prosecution, or a deprivation of civil rights. The decision, City of […]

Appeals Court Holds Public Employee Unions Can Negotiate Pay Schedules that Differ from those in the Massachusetts Wage Act

In a 3-2 decision issued earlier this week, the Appeals Court held that unions have the authority, through collective bargaining, to act on behalf of the employees they represent by negotiating a different schedule for making payments of earned overtime than the deadline established by the Wage Act, G.L. c. 149, §§ 148 and 150. […]

Appeals Court Reaffirms Requirement to Exhaust Grievance Procedures in Collective Bargaining Agreements

In Tortolano v. Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, No. 17-P-631 (2018), the Appeals Court has reiterated that employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) and its respective grievance procedure must exhaust that procedure before bringing a breach of contract claim.  Additionally, the Appeals Court held employees challenging overtime wages pursuant to M.G.L. c. 149, § 30B […]

DESE Updates Educator and Administrator Model Rubrics for Evaluation

On August 10, 2018, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (“DESE”) released updated model rubrics for classroom teachers and school administrators. Following the release of the model system in 2012, DESE began collecting feedback from teachers and school leaders in 2016 to refine the model rubrics. While there are no substantive changes to […]

Massachusetts Legislature Enacts Non-Competition Agreement Law

On August 10, 2018, Governor Baker signed a bill reforming the use of non-competition agreements in employment contexts. The bill, referred to as the Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (the “Act”), goes into effect on October 1, 2018 and does not retroactively impact contracts entered into before that date. Definition of “Non-Competition Agreement” The Act defines […]

2018 Edition of MCLE’s Treatise “School Law in Massachusetts” Features Contributions from VDH Attorneys

The new 2018 edition of MCLE’s treatise “School Law in Massachusetts” features contributions from three lawyers at VDH.  Elizabeth B. Valerio has provided updates to her chapter entitled “Powers and Responsibilities of the School Committee”.  John Foskett and Caroline Thibeault have authored a new chapter entitled “Student Records”.  The treatise is edited by Rhoda Schneider, […]