In a recent class action law suit brought by employees of a security company, the Massachusetts Superior Court described the legal standard to be applied when determining whether a thirty-minute meal break constitutes compensable working time. In this case brought under the Massachusetts Wage Act, the employer Longwood Security Services Inc. (“Longwood”) maintained a company policy pursuant to which its employees/security officers were permitted to take an unpaid thirty-minute meal break, but were required to stay in uniform, not permitted to leave their assigned location without permission, and remained responsible for keeping their radio on and responding to calls during their meal break.
In this fast-paced world, where many people are more likely to send a text message than an e-mail or handwritten letter, a case before the Massachusetts Land Court, St. John’s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC, reminds us of the perils of doing so. A potential purchaser of real estate was interested in buying property in Danvers from the owner to use as a medical marijuana facility. Both parties had real estate brokers.
For nearly two decades, Massachusetts law has protected individuals who exercise their First Amendment rights to petition from litigation meant to harass and discourage them from such activity. Over the years, Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (or “SLAPP”) jurisprudence has blossomed, affording protection to individuals who make public statements from lawsuits by well-funded business adversaries who seek to stop such activity. “The typical mischief that [Mass. Gen. L. c. 231, §59H, the Anti-SLAPP statute] intended to remedy was lawsuits directed at individual citizens of modest means for speaking publicly against development projects.” Duracraft Corp. v. Holmes Products Corp., 427 Mass. 156, 161 (1998). The penalties of violating the Anti-SLAPP law are severe: a case may be dismissed and the plaintiff becomes liable for the defendant’s legal fees.
Turning 18 is an exciting time in every child’s life. Adulthood comes with increased freedom to make independent decisions. However, something all parents should consider when their child turns 18 is having the child execute (i) a durable power of attorney; (ii) a health care proxy; and (iii) a health care directive. A will is often unnecessary as most 18 year olds do not have significant assets. If an adult child possesses assets, parents should also consider having their child execute a will.
For anyone involved in a privately-owned company, where shareholders or members and decision makers are often one in the same – don’t miss this insightful program. Whether you are contemplating a private company as your business model or you are an owner in such an entity, you need a basic knowledge of the rights and obligations that are unique to this type of business. You also need to be well-equipped to handle the challenging situations that can arise among shareholders so you can act quickly when needed.