B/W NEWS – 2011 Company Achievement Highlights

  • John Welsh was recognized as the “Massachusetts Labor & Employment Attorney of the Year” by Corporate INTL Magazine in their 2011 Global Awards.
  • Bello Black & Welsh has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the “Best Law Firms” in 2011-2012 in the area of management-side labor and employment law.
  • Bello Black & Welsh sponsored a table at the Women’s Bar Association Annual Gala on November 17, 2011, where guest speakers included the Honorable Margaret Marshall, who recently retired as Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  • Josh Black recently was elected to the “Best Lawyers in America” in the practice area of Employment Law – Management.
  • John Welsh recently was honored by his alma mater, St. John’s High School, for his many contributions and distinguished service to the school. Among other things, John was recognized for his service on the Board of Trustees, for helping create a framework to facilitate dialogue among St. John’s constituents (including students, families and administrators), and for his commitment to ensuring the school remains affordable to students from the Worcester area.
  • The Firm’s affiliation with Ford & Harrison LLP was featured in the September 30, 2011 edition of the Boston Business Journal.
  • John Welsh and Steve Weatherhead authored the chapter on labor and employment law in a recent publication from Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. entitled “Advising a Massachusetts Business.” Click here to learn more.
  • John Welsh was quoted in the September, 2011 edition of the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly regarding the advantages of small firm practice.
  • Ken Bello was quoted in the May 23, 2011 edition of the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly regarding the increase in worker-classification audits, particularly in Massachusetts. Click here to view the article.

CLIENT ALERT – New California Legislation Takes Aim at Gender discrimination, Credit Checks by Employers, Pregnancy Leave Healthcare Coverage and Commission-Based Employment.

Effective January 2012, California employers will be required to comply with new regulations relating to gender discrimination, credit checks, and pregnancy leave healthcare coverage. Additional changes will be made to Commission-based employment regulations in January 2013.

New Protection for Transgender Employees in California

Effective January 2012, the “Gender Nondiscrimination Act” will add “gender expression” and “gender identity” to the list of classes protected from discrimination in the workplace and in housing under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act. The Act provides protection for transgender individuals who face discrimination for their behavior and/or appearance as they relate to sex and gender. It also requires employers to revise dress codes to accommodate transgender individuals.

California Prohibits the Use of Credit Checks for Employment Purposes

California joins six other states in restricting the use of credit checks for employment purposes. In most cases, employers will now be prohibited from using credit-related information — such as credit history, credit score, and credit records — when hiring new employees.

California Law Intended to Protect Employees’ Health Care Coverage During Pregnancy Leave

A new California law, which amends the California Pregnancy Discrimination Law, prohibits employers from refusing to pay group health plan coverage for female employees who take pregnancy or childbirth leave.

California Amends Commission-Based Employment Contract Requirements

Effective January 2013, in-state employers will have to abide by rules previously applicable only to out-of-state employers, requiring employers to create a written contract for all commission-based employees describing how commissions will be computed and paid. Once effective, the law will also require all employers to give a copy of the contract to each applicable employee, and obtain a signed receipt for the contract from each employee.

CLIENT ALERT – Gender Identity Now a Protected Category under Massachusetts Employment Discrimination Law

Effective July 1, 2012, gender identity will become a protected category under Massachusetts employment discrimination and other civil rights laws. The new legislation amends existing state anti-discrimination statutes to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity, defined as an individual’s gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, which may be different from that traditionally associated with the individual’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence such as medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity. The law prohibits individuals from asserting gender-related identity for any improper purpose.