Due to the COVID -19 crisis, KJC Law Firm, LLC has transitioned to a remote workplace. We are committed to doing our part to reduce the spread of the virus.

Our attorneys and support staff have full access to telephone messages, email and our files. Our office is almost entirely paperless, and we plan to move our cases forward with videoconferencing tools. Our clients remain our first priority, and we are available to support and assist during this time of crisis.

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Articles Tagged with retaliation

Even as the Massachusetts economy reopens in phases, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the usual way of life for working individuals, families, businesses and communities.  This article will provide useful information for anyone who is out on, or considering, Covid-related medical leave.

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The need for paid sick leave or family medical leave has increased dramatically during the pandemic for those who have contracted the disease, are at high-risk to contract the disease, and also for those who are caregivers to high-risk populations.  Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as amended by the Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security (CARES) Act, certain employees who need to take time off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are afforded extended protections to prevent their employer from firing or otherwise retaliating against any employee because they took sick-leave.

The two key provisions of the FFCRA are the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).  These provisions and the FFCRA in its entirety became effective on April 2, 2020 and will last up through December 31, 2020.

 

Six Things Healthcare Workers Need to Know About the Massachusetts Health Care Worker Whistleblower Statute: Necessary Employee Protection Amidst the COVID-19 Fall-Out

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In Massachusetts, the Health Care Worker Whistleblower Statute (formally known as M.G.L. c. 149, sec. 187) makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against their health care provider employees who report dangerous working conditions, and object to and/or refuse to partake in dangerous employment policies and/or practices that pose a public health risk to themselves or others.  Retaliation against healthcare workers for “blowing the whistle” on unsafe conditions is nothing new in Massachusetts.  In fact, healthcare workers are the only private employees in the Commonwealth who are protected from unlawful retaliation (demotion, termination, blackballing) for reporting safety violations.  That concept is worth repeating – retaliation against healthcare workers for reporting unsafe conditions is so prevalent that the legislature created a specific statute for healthcare workers to discourage the disturbing and prevalent practice of retaliation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken the importance of whistleblowers to a whole new level.  Widespread deaths in veteran’s homes across Massachusetts call into question not only the safety institution, but the “culture of silence” that kept the lid on things until it was too late; a culture so deeply embedded that healthcare workers would only speak to the press or the mayor’s office in Holyoke “on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.”   These days, it is not exaggeration to say that blowing the whistle is a matter of life and death.  Many of them.  Protecting whistleblowers protects the community.

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