Independent contractors. The Massachusetts Independent
Contractor Law is one of the strictest in the country. It has a
three-pronged test for determining who is an independent contractor versus an employee, and it’s “very difficult to meet all
three prongs,” Lewis says.
To be an independent contractor, a person must:
• Work outside the employer’s business, free from direct control of the employer in contract and in fact.
• Act outside the usual course of business, which is one of the
most difficult prongs to satisfy.
• Customarily engage in an independent occupation.
Personnel records. In 2010, state legislators amended the
Massachusetts Personnel Records Law to require employers to
notify a worker within 10 days of placing any information in his
or her personnel record “to the extent that the information is
being used, has been used or may be used to negatively affect the
employee’s qualification for employment, promotion, transfer,
or additional compensation, or the possibility that the employee
will be subject to disciplinary action.”
That is an unusual requirement. In warnings and other
communications intended to address performance or con-
duct issues, consider making a statement that the document
is considered part of the worker’s personnel file, Robertson
Sick leave. The Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave Law
requires 40 hours of paid leave for people working in businesses with 11 or more employees. Unpaid leave must be
granted by smaller companies, Lewis points out.
Massachusetts is one of nine states that have some form of
paid-sick-leave legislation. The others are Arizona, California,
Connecticut, Georgia (effective July 1, 2017), Illinois, Oregon,
Vermont and Washington (effective Jan. 1, 2018). Washington,
D.C., and Puerto Rico also have similar requirements, as do
many cities and two counties, Robertson notes. Georgia’s and
Illinois’ laws do not require employers to provide paid sick leave
but stipulate that if covered employers make paid sick leave
available, they must allow employees to use the paid sick leave
for broader purposes than just their own illnesses.
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