The B&B Docket Blog:

Developments in the Dynamic World

of Business and Employment Law

THE PAINFUL REALITY FOR DENTISTS AND PHYSICIANS WHO VIOLATE THE MASSACHUSETTS EMPLOYEE MISCLASSIFICATION LAW

The Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Employee Misclassification Law (M.G.L. c. 149 § 148B) sets out the Commonwealth’s test for determining whether an individual may validly be treated as an “independent contractor,” as opposed to an “employee.”  The law and its strict interpretation serve as a trap for unwary business owners who wish to take advantage of the “independent contractor” designation for individuals…

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UNLIKE BEAUTY, CONTRACT AMBIGUITY DOES NOT LIE “IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER”: READ YOUR REAL ESTATE CONTRACTS CLOSELY

Anyone who has bought or sold property is aware of the overwhelming amount of paperwork exchanged between the buyer and the seller.  Many people gloss over these important real estate contracts and other documents without fully reading them. While many purchase and sales agreements provide for a fixed amount of damages (liquidated damages) in the event the buyers do not…

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DIRE ECONOMIC TIMES NOT A FACTOR IN ENFORCEMENT OF NON-COMPETE AGREEMENTS

Courts historically enforce non-compete agreements in personal service contracts provided they are reasonably related to a legitimate business purpose, and are otherwise fair, based on all the circumstances.  Under Massachusetts law, factors to consider in determining whether a non-compete agreement is reasonable are whether the covenant: (1) is supported by consideration; (2) serves a legitimate business interest; (3) is reasonably…

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WAL-MART PREVAILS IN U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION DECERTIFYING DISCRIMINATION CLASS ACTION

A recent United States Supreme Court decision, WAL-MART STORES, INC. v. DUKES ET AL. dealt a significant blow to plaintiffs in a nationwide class action gender discrimination case by denying class action status to Wal-Mart employees.  Even though this Supreme Court decision has given Wal-Mart and other employers a leg up against future class actions alleging wide-spread discrimination, the decision does not…

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MISCLASSIFICATION OF EMPLOYEES LEADS TO LARGE FINES AND CIVIL REMEDIES

As the economy continues to sputter along, both federal and state taxing agencies have been aggressive in pursuing businesses that misclassify workers as ‘independent contractors’ rather than ‘employees.’  Taxing authorities and government coffers are deprived of valuable revenue when businesses misclassify employees as independent contractors.  For employees, businesses are required to pay payroll taxes, workers compensation insurance coverage, social security,…

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When Personal or Financial Data Is Compromised – Act Fast! Data Breach Enforcement Action Leads To $110K Fine By The AG

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office (“AG”) recently announced that it had entered a consent judgment with Briar Group, LLC, a restaurant operator, due to Briar’s 2009 release of patron credit card information at the hands of computer hackers. Briar was notified of its data breach on October 29, 2009, but did not remove the ‘malware’ from its network until December…

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Hairdresser’s New Job Cut Short by Non-Compete

We discussed the general standards for enforcing non-compete agreements in a prior blog post. A recent decision from the Plymouth Superior Court highlights the fact-specific nature of the analysis in evaluating the enforceability of a non-compete agreement, and reinforces the risk to employees who carelessly enter such agreements with an employer. The Defendant, Daniel McKinnon, took a hair stylist position…

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