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Press Release
April 24, 2020

Sugarman Rogers and three partners receive 2020 Chambers USA recognition

Sugarman Rogers partners Anthony M. Doniger, Lisa C. Goodheart and C. Dylan Sanders have been recognized by Chambers USA 2020. Doniger received a top “band 1” ranking for his High Net Worth success in the area of family law. Goodheart received a top “band 1” ranking for her work in Environmental Law as well as a “band 2” ranking in the area of General Commercial Litigation. Sanders received a “band 3” ranking in the area of Environmental Law. Chambers USA described Anthony M. Doniger as “a notable litigator who regularly handles sophisticated matrimonial matters, including divorces.” A peer stated that Doniger “is someone we have traditionally referred clients to a lot of the time. He's really well respected in the Boston community." Lisa C. Goodheart “has a first-class environmental practice and frequently counsels clients on high-profile disputes” according to Goodheart’s Chambers USA review. One peer commented that Goodheart is “the…

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Press Release
May 9, 2019

Goodheart and Sanders receive 2019 Chambers USA recognition

Sugarman Rogers partners Lisa Goodheart and Dylan Sanders have been recognized by Chambers USA 2019. Lisa received a top “Band 1” ranking for her work in Environmental Law as well as a “Band 2” ranking in the area of General Commercial Litigation. Dylan received a “Band 3” ranking in the area of Environmental Law. “Hailed as an ‘outstanding environmental litigator,’ Lisa Goodheart has an impeccable record serving clients on complex land use and environmental matters. A peer reports: ‘She is a terrific environmental litigator; she is very expert in this area, a strong advocate and just a pleasure to work with,’” reported Chambers USA. In the area of general commercial litigation, Chambers USA stated that “Lisa Goodheart is highly sought after for her prowess in contested real estate, energy and commercial matters. Sources praise her ‘tremendous gravitas’ and say: ‘She always does a great job with her case.’” Additionally, Chambers…

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Publication
August 10, 2017

Kate R. Cook on “Executive Order: Strike of a Pen, Law of the Land?”

In the Boston Bar Journal’s Summer 2017 (Volume 61, Number 3) issue, Sugarman Rogers attorney Kate R. Cook and Hemenway and Barnes attorney Patrick Moore take a look at Executive Orders in their Legal Analysis entitled "Executive Order: Strike of a Pen, Law of the Land?" An excerpt: The President of the United States and the Governor of Massachusetts have the implied power to issue executive orders that, in certain contexts, will have the force of law. Focusing on the federal system and the Massachusetts state system, this article will address the concept of the executive order, how it has changed over time, and why executive orders are used to further wide-ranging policy goals. The article will also address the judicial scrutiny of executive orders, including, in particular, whether they are owed any deference or presumption of lawfulness. Read the full article here, or contact Kate R. Cook (cook@sugarmanrogers.com) for more information.

Related Services: Government Law

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Legal Update
June 14, 2018

Flying a drone over land and separately entering another’s property to shoot video insufficient to support a harassment order

In one of the first appellate cases where the plaintiff claims to have been harassed by the defendant’s use of a drone, the Appeals Court has held that drone use and videotaping of property, while “nettlesome” and perhaps “disruptive,” could not justify the issuance of a harassment prevention order under G.L. c. 258E.  The case, F.W.T. v. F.T., 2017-P-790, clarifies that typical drone use, such as flying it over another’s property and videotaping property is an insufficient legal basis to obtain a harassment prevention order.  In vacating the Trial Court order against the defendant, the Appeals Court left open the question whether a drone could be used in a more intrusive manner that would satisfy the statutory requirements. The standard used to evaluate applications for harassment orders under c. 258E is well established under Massachusetts law.  The plaintiff must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant committed…

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Legal Update
June 21, 2017

Local conservation commissions may clam(p) down on hydraulic dredging

In a case with significant implications for the management of the state’s shellfish industry, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has ruled that local conservation commissions, acting under their authority from the state Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), may regulate hydraulic dredging for sea clams—even where doing so impinges on rights otherwise granted to fishermen under state permits from the Department of Marine Fisheries (DMF). In Aqua King Fishery v. Conservation Commission of Provincetown (June 16, 2017), the Appeals Court struck down a Provincetown bylaw that regulated hydraulic dredging, after finding the bylaw inconsistent with state law. But the Court also held, in a significant win for local jurisdictions, that Provincetown could regulate hydraulic dredging for sea clams in shallow waters in its capacity as the local enforcement authority under the state Wetlands Protection Act. Hydraulic dredging is a method for harvesting clams from the ocean floor. It uses high-pressure jets of water…

Related Services: Environmental & Energy Law

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Press Release
May 23, 2014

Chambers USA ranks Sugarman Rogers partners Lisa Goodheart and Jean Musiker

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2014 has recognized Sugarman Rogers partners Lisa Goodheart and Jean Musiker as leaders in their fields. In the 2014 directory, Lisa is described as “absolutely one of the top environmental litigators” and is recognized in the areas of Environmental Law (Band 1) and General Commercial Litigation (Band 3). Jean is named a leader in Labor & Employment (Band 4) and is regarded by her clients as “the ace in the hole.” Chambers USA is an annual publication distributed to general counsel of leading global and national businesses. Chambers researchers conduct in-depth interviews with in-house counsel and law firms, in an effort to systematically rank reliable and capable business lawyers. Full rankings and editorial commentary are available at http://www.chambersandpartners.com/.

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Legal Update
January 5, 2018

Massachusetts town cannot use local wetlands ordinance to block natural gas compressor station, federal court rules

A federal judge has ruled in favor of an energy company that seeks to build a natural-gas compressor station in Weymouth, Massachusetts as part of an interstate pipeline construction project. The ruling, in Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC v. Weymouth Conservation Commission, concluded that a ruling by the Weymouth conservation commission blocking the station under a local wetlands-protection ordinance conflicted with the exclusive authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and was therefore preempted. This ruling is an important development in an increasingly hard-fought area of litigation over expansion of natural-gas pipelines in the Northeast and nationally. The Weymouth compressor station at issue in the case was proposed by Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC, a recently acquired subsidiary of Enbridge, Inc., as part of its “Atlantic Bridge Project,” a plan to expand natural-gas pipelines and related facilities serving the Northeast and Canada. (Enbridge’s marketing page for the Atlantic Bridge Project is here.)…

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Legal Update
September 18, 2017

Harm from climate change is imminent —except when it is not

As the nation absorbs the tremendous scale of the damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a federal judge in Massachusetts this week kept alive a lawsuit charging that ExxonMobil has failed to adequately prepare an oil terminal in Everett Massachusetts to withstand storm surges, heavy rainfall and flooding. These are all effects that scientists warn will worsen and intensify with climate change. The succinct order, in Conservation Law Foundation v. ExxonMobil Corporation, permits CLF to seek a remedy against ExxonMobil for harms in what the court refers to as the “near future,” while barring litigation now over harm that may occur “far in the future.” The decision begs the question: Just what harms from climate change are sufficiently imminent to warrant granting judicial relief to litigants, and which are those that are “far in the future,” such that the courts should find that plaintiffs lack standing to sue? The…

Related Services: Environmental & Energy Law

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Press Release
May 4, 2018

Lisa Goodheart recognized in two practice areas by Chambers USA

Sugarman Rogers partner Lisa Goodheart has been recognized in two different practice areas by Chambers USA 2018.  Lisa received a top “Band 1” ranking in the area of Environmental Law, and a “Band 2” ranking in the area of Litigation: General Commercial. With respect to her environmental work, according to Chambers, Lisa is “widely recognized for her extensive expertise in land use and environmental matters. She is experienced across permitting, cost recovery and enforcement issues.”  In the area of commercial litigation, Chambers states that Lisa “is highlighted for her particular skill in real estate, commercial and environmental disputes.”  Lisa has been honored with recognition in both of these practice areas for a number of years. Chambers is an annual publication distributed to general counsel of leading global and national businesses. Chambers researchers conduct in-depth interviews with in-house counsel and law firms, in an effort to systematically rank reliable and capable lawyers. Established…

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Press Release
March 7, 2012

Ed Barshak and Lisa Goodheart recognized by Chambers USA

The 2012 edition of the legal directory Chambers USA recognizes SRBC partners Edward Barshak and Lisa Goodheart as leaders in their fields. The annual publication conducts in-depth interviews with a lawyer's peers and clients, and asks for assessment of a lawyer's technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by clients. In this year's guide, Ed is recognized in the area of general commercial litigation, and is described by his peers as a "titan of the bar." Lisa, who is described as "a very strong practitioner with tremendous litigation skills and experience," is recognized for her work in the area of environmental law.

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Employee Access

Citrix Remote Access https://remote.srbc.com You will need to download the Citrix client software before accessing the server. Clicking on this link should automatically detect your operating system and download the appropriate client for your computer: http://receiver.citrix.com **after installing on a MAC, click on this link to configure client settings: citrixreceiver://createprofile?pname=SRBC%20Citrix%20Applications&s=https%3A%2F%2Fremote.srbc.com&gw=0 Once you have the client software installed, point your browser to: https://remote.srbc.com If you have not installed the software prior to your first visit, you will be prompted to do so automatically. It is recommended you install the client from one of the above links prior to visiting the remote server. If you have installed the software, you will see a login screen. Simply enter your username and your network password. Once logged in, you may select individual applications to launch, or you may launch a desktop session. After you're done with your work, please make sure you log off…

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Legal Update
July 10, 2017

First Circuit upholds chapter 93A punitive-damages verdict in dispute over the negotiation of a commercial contract between software developers

The First Circuit’s recent decision in Full Spectrum Software, Inc. v. Forte Automation Systems, Inc., 858 F.3d 666 (June 2, 2017) addressed two important issues for parties engaged in the negotiation of commercial contracts in Massachusetts. The court upheld a jury verdict awarding nearly $500,000 in actual and punitive damages under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 93A against a software-development company in what began as a billing dispute with another developer. In affirming the verdict, the First Circuit held that even in dealings between such sophisticated business entities, the defendant was properly found liable for acting unfairly or deceptively, in violation of chapter 93A, when it “strung along” the other party by delaying the signing of a contract. The court also held that the trial judge properly permitted a jury to decide the defendant’s liability under chapter 93A, notwithstanding the defendant’s objection and uncertainty as to whether a plaintiff has a…

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Legal Update
July 24, 2018

Sixth and Second Circuits find coverage for social engineering fraud scams

Two federal appeals courts have recently issued opinions in key social engineering fraud coverage cases, in both instances finding that the policies in question provided coverage for the insureds’ losses. The decisions stand in contrast to certain earlier cases, including one from the Fifth Circuit, in which no coverage was found for similar types of scams. In American Tooling Center v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of America, 2018 WL 3404708 (6th Cir., July 13, 2018), the Sixth Circuit reviewed whether there was “computer fraud” coverage for a spoofed e-mail scheme in which thieves impersonated one of the insured’s overseas vendors in order to divert vendor payments. The insured, a tool and die manufacturer, outsourced some of its work to a Chinese company, which periodically invoiced the insured via e-mail. Cybercriminals were able to intercept e-mails between the insured and the vendor and began to e-mail the insured, posing as…

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Remote Access for Employees

The firm offers a variety of access points for remote access to resources. The preferred methods are either using your firm-issued laptop, or the remote desktop service, as these provide a more complete remote working experience. Individual services are accessible directly as well, and links have been provided below. VPN (for laptop users) Remote Desktop (remote access to virtual desktop) https://remote.srbc.com Outlook Web Access (email) https://outlook.com/sugarmanrogers.com Mimecast Personal Portal (manage messages on hold and backup access to recent mail in the event of a Microsoft outage) https://webmail-us.mimecast.com/ NetDocuments (document management system) https://vault.netvoyage.com/ Rippe LMS+ (time & billing) https://sugarmanrogers.rippe.com/ iTimeKeep (time entry) https://services.bellefieldcloud.com/newdesktop/#/login Rippe LMSV (for admin/billing) https://lms.rippecloud.com/rdweb Nextpoint (litigation support/document review and productions) https://sugarman-rogers-barshak-cohen.nextpoint.com/login LoopUp (conference calls) https://account.loopup.com/

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Legal Update
July 13, 2018

Private land owner in Chapter 91 tidelands lacks authority to invoke the public trust doctrine to challenge validity of land-use restrictions

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has confirmed that private parties may not use litigation to seek enforcement of “public trust rights” in tidelands governed by M.G.L. c. 91 (“Chapter 91”) outside of the Chapter 91 licensing program. In its July 10, 2018 decision in Commercial Wharf East Condominium Assoc. v. Boston Boat Basin, LLC, the Appeals Court rejected a landowner’s claims that certain legal and contractual restrictions that had been placed upon its use of its waterfront marina property violated the public trust doctrine because they limited the public’s access to that property. At issue in this case was Boston Boat Basin’s marina on the seaward side of Commercial Wharf in Boston Harbor. The marina is accessible to the public only by way of an easement over the Commercial Wharf East Condominium Association’s (“CWCA”) property—which encompasses the landward portion of the wharf. The party that owned the land prior to Boston…

Related Services: Appellate Practice

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Legal Update
April 16, 2018

Attorney General granted broad authority to investigate ExxonMobil for unfair trade practices relating to its climate change knowledge and activities

On April 13, 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state Attorney General can proceed with her investigation into whether Exxon Mobil Corporation (“ExxonMobil”) violated the state consumer protection law (G. L. c. 93A) by concealing its knowledge about whether and how fossil fuel emissions contribute to global warming and climate change.  Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, as a result of the SJC’s decision in Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Attorney General ExxonMobil will now be required to disclose reports, communications, and other materials concerning the company’s understanding of climate change risks, its potential failure to inform the public about those risks, and its efforts “to undermine the evidence of climate change altogether, in order to preserve its value as a company.” The events leading up to this case began in April 2016, when the Attorney General served a civil investigative demand (C.I.D.) seeking a wide range of…

Related Services: Environmental & Energy Law

Event

Tony Agudelo moderates the MBA program “Making the Winning Argument”

Sugarman Rogers Partner and MBA Civil Litigation Section Co-Chair Tony Agudelo will moderate a panel discussion at the Massachusetts Bar Association entitled "Making the Winning Argument" on Wednesday, November 12. Five master trial lawyers will deliver verdict-winning opening statements and closing arguments they gave in real-life headline-making cases, and will explain their goals and challenges in preparing the arguments. Cases and topics include: Price v. Ambrus M.D. ($7 million verdict; medical negligence case) Zeolla v. Ford Motor Company (rollover of Ford Expedition; wrongful death case) A multi-plantiff racial discrimination and harassment case (Employment law; defense verdict) Aleo v. Toys R Us ($20.6 million verdict; product liability/wrongful death case) The program is free for all MBA members. Full event details are listed below. Making the Winning Argument Wednesday, November 12 4:00–7:00 P.M. MBA | 20 West St., Boston Register online MODERATOR Anthony V. Agudelo - Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, PC FACULTY Rober M. Higgins - Lubin & Meyer…

November 12, 2014

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Legal Update
March 13, 2020

How can Massachusetts public bodies balance Open Meeting Law requirements while following social distancing recommendations during the COVID-19 state of emergency?

Under an Executive Order issued on March 12, 2020, state, quasi and local governments may conduct meetings remotely, provided that the public body takes steps to ensure public access to the deliberations of the public body through adequate, alternative means. “Adequate, alternative means” may include, without limitation, providing public access through telephone, internet, or satellite enabled audio or video conferencing or any other technology that enables the public to clearly follow the proceedings of the public body in real time. The Open Meeting Law’s requirement that a quorum of the body and the chair be physically present at the meeting is also suspended. A municipal public body that for reasons of economic hardship and despite best efforts is unable to provide alternative means of public access in real time may instead post on its municipal website a full and complete transcript, recording, or other comprehensive record of the proceedings as…

Related Services: Government Law

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Press Release
May 1, 2016

100% of Sugarman Rogers female partners named “Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts”

Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen is proud to announce that all of their female partners have been named "Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts" by Super Lawyers and were featured in the April issue of Boston magazine. Lisa C. Goodheart and Christine M. Netski both made the "Top 50 Women Attorneys in Massachusetts" list; Goodheart for her work in Environmental Litigation, and Netski for her work in Business Litigation. In addition, managing partner Regina E. Roman was recognized for her work in Insurance Coverage, along with Susan A. Hartnett. Alisa L. Hacker was featured for her work in Family Law, and Andrea Studley Knowles made the list for her work in Product Liability Defense. "We are so proud of this accomplished group. Their recognition further validates our long tradition at Sugarman Rogers of recruiting, hiring, promoting and supporting first-rate women lawyers," said William L. Boesch a partner and member of Sugarman…

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Legal Update
June 4, 2018

Minority LLC member is entitled to equitable remedies for majority member’s breach of fiduciary duties in freeze-out merger

Majority members of a limited liability company cannot rely upon the “exclusive remedy” provision in the Massachusetts Limited Liability Company statute (M.G.L. c. 156C) to prevent minority members from recovering certain equitable remedies in cases where the majority has breached its fiduciary duties to accomplish a merger that the minority opposed, according to the Supreme Judicial Court’s recent decision in W. Robert Allison v. Elof Eriksson. Indeed, the SJC held that trial courts have discretion to fashion equitable relief for minority LLC members wrongfully “frozen out” by majority members seeking to consolidate their control through mergers. Such relief may include rescission of the merger or, more commonly, modification of the new entity’s operating agreement to provide greater minority member protections. Here, Robert Allison and Elof Eriksson were the founders and sole members of Applied Tissue Technologies (ATT-MA), a Massachusetts LLC. Eriksson controlled roughly 75% of the company and Allison controlled…

Related Services: Business Disputes

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Pro Bono

Sugarman Rogers has a well-earned reputation for its commitment to pro bono legal work—work without pay for low-income clients and other social-justice causes—and for the firm’s culture of civic engagement. Following in the footsteps of founding partner Ed Barshak, whose career of public service is legendary, we strive to make pro bono work an integral part of the firm’s daily life. To that end, we actively support our lawyers’ handling of and participation in pro bono matters and credit their time on such cases just the same as their “paying” work. Our attorneys annually dedicate between 1,200 and 1,900 hours to pro bono cases, primarily on behalf of low-income individuals and families. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court annually publishes a “Pro Bono Honor Roll” of lawyers and firms who meet the court’s criteria of commitment to work for such clients, and Sugarman Rogers is a perennial qualifier for the list.…

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Legal Update
March 31, 2020

Protecting your contractual rights in the wake of COVID-19

Retail stores, restaurants, and other commercial tenants are shut down.  Shipments of parts are delayed.  Long-planned vacations and wedding celebrations have been cancelled.  Childcare facilities and gyms are closed indefinitely.  From corporate boardrooms to kitchen tables, the economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the resultant lockdowns are impossible to ignore—to say nothing of its devastating public health impacts.  Among the myriad ways the virus has disrupted life in recent weeks, COVID-19 is wreaking unprecedented havoc on the performance of contractual agreements—from industrial to personal—raising thorny questions about who bears the costs when obligations aren’t met, and what remedies are available to parties who do not receive the benefit of their bargain. While the challenges presented by this pandemic may be unique, there are a number of established legal concepts that provide a framework for addressing these questions and determining the respective rights and obligations of companies and individuals…

Related Services: Business Disputes

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Legal Update
February 26, 2013

New FMLA Final Rule: Summary of changes and next steps for employers

On February 6, 2013, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), the U.S. Department of Labor issued its Final Rule (the "2013 Regulations") on the FMLA. The 2013 Regulations become effective March 8, 2013. The 2013 Regulations incorporate -- and in some cases, expand -- the military leave amendments of 2008. Families of eligible veterans now have the same protections as families of active military service members. The definition of "serious injury or illness" now covers pre-existing conditions aggravated by military service. A new leave category, parental leave, has been added to the qualifying exigency leave. The period of leave to be granted for a service member's rest and recuperation has been extended from five to 15 days. In addition, private health care providers, not affiliated with the military healthcare system, are now authorized to issue FMLA certifications for military-related leave. Listed below is a…

Related Services: Employment Law

Insight

Press Release
August 17, 2020

In Memoriam: Edward J. Barshak
May 21, 1924 – August 12, 2020

  The Boston legal community has lost one of its finest. Edward J. Barshak passed away peacefully on August 12, 2020, at age 96. For more than five decades as one of our founding partners, Ed was an icon of the trial bar and a fearless defender of civil rights. As a young lawyer, he courageously represented lawyers charged with engaging in communist activities during the McCarthy investigations and achieved the groundbreaking SJC ruling in Brown v. Commonwealth, 335 Mass. 476 (1957), recognizing a right to counsel for criminal defendants under the Massachusetts constitution – six years before the US Supreme Court’s decision in Gideon v. Wainwright. He later represented Mitchell Goodman in the now-famous federal prosecution against Dr. Benjamin Spock, Goodman, and three other co-defendants for advocating resistance to the Vietnam-War draft, culminating in the 1969 First Circuit decision vacating their convictions. In her book about the Spock trial,…

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Ed Barshak – Honoring a lifelong leader

(This article originally appeared on the Boston Bar Association website. Reprinted here with permission.) The Boston Bar Association will honor Edward Barshak with its Lifetime Achievement Award on September 12 at the 2014 Annual Meeting Luncheon. A leader isn’t always the first one to speak up. A true leader exhibits command of speech so that when they do speak, their words carry weight. As we interviewed Boston’s most respected advocates and citizens for this profile, one phrase resonated among countless sound bites. “When Barshak speaks, everybody listens.” From Fitchburg’s Finest to One of Boston’s Best When he joined Mapplebeck, Alberts & Sugarman in 1957, Fitchburg native Edward J. Barshak had already carved out a reputation as one of Boston’s most promising trial attorneys. As the fifth attorney at what would later become Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, Ed set to work building what would soon become Boston’s top tier civil…

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Legal Update
April 2, 2020

Department of Labor publishes additional guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

With the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) effective on April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued a new round of guidance on the FFCRA in the form of FFCRA Q&A. DOL’s Updated FFCRA Q&A The DOL’s previously published FFCRA guidance was discussed by Sugarman Rogers here.  The updated FFCRA: Questions and Answers address a wide range of new issues.  Below are a few of the key takeaways: Intermittent Leave for Teleworking Employees is Allowed: Teleworking employees unable to work their normal schedule of work hours due to one of the qualifying reasons in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act may take paid sick leave intermittently if the employer and employee agree.   Similarly, if a teleworking employee needs to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, because of COVID-19 related reasons, the employee may take…

Related Services: Employment Law
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