On April first, two thousand fifteen, the provisions of the new Massachusetts domestic workers protection act went into effect. Domestic workers terminated without cause are entitled to certain advance notice or severance pay which is more if they actually reside in the home. If they work at least forty hours a week they must get twenty-four consecutive hours off each week and forty-eight consecutive hours off each month, and they can only agree to work on their day of rest if in writing and are paid overtime. There are other rights regarding things like pay for being on duty and for meal, rest, and sleeping periods and for written evaluations.
In the current economy, people support their families in many different ways. In addition to traditional employment where people earn a salary or wage, there are many other means by which people earn income. Some people are self-employed and are able to pay for certain living expenses through their companies.
These are called perqs and the value of the perq is includable as income. Other people receive state or federal assistance, veteran’s benefits, unemployment, tips and even lottery winnings are includable as income. Virtually any and all earnings should be included on your financial statement for purposes of determining child support. Any failure to disclose income may be used against you in court.
Attorney Robert Dambrov discusses changes to employment law that may allow more employees to receive overtime pay.
Last year the Massachusetts child support guidelines were amended. If you have been divorced for three years, you may be entitled to a modification of your current child support order if your payment obligation deviates from the new guidelines. The court will evaluate the deviation, and consider whether there has been a material and substantial change in circumstances to the parties income.
An example of a material and substantial change may be loss of employment, or new employment, or one of the parties suffering a disability which impairs his or her earning capacity. Because the facts and circumstances of everyone’s situation are different, if you think you may be entitled to a modification of your child support payment, you should consult with your legal professional.
Attorney Susan Mielnikowski discusses the topic of avoiding probate.
On April first, two thousand fifteen, the provisions of the new Massachusetts domestic workers protection act went into effect. Some domestic workers now have rights that most other employees do not have and individuals and families in private homes who employ these domestic workers are now regulated as employers with responsibilities and liabilities.
The law defines a ‘domestic worker’ as a person who is paid to perform the work of a domestic nature within a private home whose vocation is to provide child care services on more than a casual basis and is not a personal care attendant. The law does not cover any licensed employment agency. I will provide more information in future legal minutes.
To be protected by the handicap discrimination law, employees must have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. They must also be qualified which means they must be able to perform the essential functions of their job or would be so capable if they were given a reasonable accommodation.
What someone’s essential job functions are, and what accommodations are reasonable, depend upon the particular facts of each case. A discrimination complaint must be filed either with the Massachusetts commission against discrimination here in Springfield or with the equal employment opportunity commission in Boston within three hundred days.
Federal and Massachusetts employment law both protect handicapped employees. Just having a disability is not enough to be protected. A person must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a record of such impairment, or be regarded as having such an impairment.
Whether someone is substantially limited depends on the particular facts of each case. Major life activities include a number of different functions, such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
FAPE, stands for a Free Appropriate Public Education. This terminology is the cornerstone of the Special Education Law. Its purpose is to insure targeted instruction and individualized supports to permit most students with disabilities to participate successfully in the regular education main system. While the word “Appropriate” seems obvious, it is not.
The definition of appropriate is a hotly contested area involving competing interests between parents and school administrators. Children receiving special education services are not entitled to the best public education. They are, however, entitled to an education that is appropriate and tailored to meet their child’s unique needs. If you believe that your child is not receiving FAPE, you must request a team meeting with the school district. At the team meeting you can try and resolve the matter. In circumstances where resolution cannot be achieved, then you have the right to request a hearing for prompt resolution.