Law Office of Adam P. Whitney Blog

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'Money Hedge' found at https://flic.kr/p/chEbX5 by Tax Credits (https://flickr.com/people/null) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
'Money Hedge' found at https://flic.kr/p/chEbX5 by Tax Credits (https://flickr.com/people/null) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

The New Massachusetts Equal Pay Act - How Bad Is it for Employers?

The new Massachusetts Equal Pay Act goes into effect on July 1, 2018.  The basic concept of the statute is that you cannot pay employees differently based on gender.  You are busy running your business, but don't ignore this statute.  You could face lawsuits that result in high damages awards and an award of the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and litigation costs.  There are attorneys who will be actively targeting your company to find violations.  The statute will be irresistible because any employee will be able to show a prima facie case if he or she is paid less than employees of another gender for comparable work.  The statute is unclear on the employee's burden of proof, but it may fall to the employer to justify any discrepancies in pay.

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A Minority Owner's Right to Inspect LLC Records or Corporate Books and Records

An LLC (Limited Liability Company) Member in Massachusetts has a right to inspect certain records of the LLC. This includes basic information, such as the certificate of organization, the names and addresses of all Members and Managers, and a copy of the operating agreement.

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Don't Cause Self-Inflicted Harm to Your Business because You Thirst for Revenge

Think carefully before you embroil your company in a lawsuit. Lawsuits are expensive and risky. A lawsuit can backfire in several ways. You can face counterclaims. You can be charged with the legal fees and costs of your opponent if your claims are not well grounded. You expose your company to producing private business documents and testifying under oath, which can open you up to more problems.

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Does Your Business Need an Outside General Counsel?

Big companies have their own attorneys on payroll and at the ready. As likable as most attorneys are, businesses would not keep them on the payroll unless they added value. A general counsel acts as a strategic partner. She understands the business, puts it in the best legal position, and protects it from potential liability. When a dispute arises and a business needs immediate legal action, things go much better when an attorney who is already familiar with the business and issues is ready for action.

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'Dogged' found at https://flic.kr/p/732b7n by JD Hancock (https://flickr.com/people/jdhancock) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
'Dogged' found at https://flic.kr/p/732b7n by JD Hancock (https://flickr.com/people/jdhancock) used under Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Employment Severance Agreements Should Be Drafted or Reviewed By Your Attorney

Severance agreements, also called separation agreements or sometimes settlement agreements are legal documents that can greatly impact legal rights and obligations. Some may consider these standard legal documents. While there are many standard provisions, careful drafting and review are in order. Even experienced attorneys make mistakes when drafting these documents. While they seem simple and straightforward, they are more complicated than one would think and there are many traps for the unwary.

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Massachusetts Employers Should Prepare for the New Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Synopsis: This new statute amends Chapter 151B, Section 4 and provides substantial rights to employees and applicants based on pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions.

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The Massachusetts Wage Act as it Applies to Directors and Investors

Subtitle: The President or CEO of an Underfunded Corporation or LLC Is in a Unique Position to Face Double Financial Disaster

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Termination of Minority Shareholder or LLC Member Employment

Employees who are shareholders of a private corporation, family business or limited liability company (“LLC”) may not be subject to the employment-at-will rule in Massachusetts. This means that the majority owner or owners cannot simply fire a minority owner-employee at their whim.

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LLC Operating Agreements and Business Divorces

An operating agreement (and other types of agreements between business partners, including shareholder agreements, partnership agreements and joint venture agreements) should govern how the business is to work. In particular, what are the agreements among the partners? What role will each partner have in the work, in the management, in the finances? Will any partner receive a salary? How much? Are partners entitled to a job? What fiduciary duties does each owe to the business? How will profits be distributed? What about losses? Will the partners have to invest more in the business if there is a shortfall? Will there be other employees? What happens if there is not enough business income to pay employees? What will the exit strategy/buyout be? Are the parties married to one another for any future business of the same type?