Over the past few years the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has been re-examining whether it can assert its jurisdiction over religious schools, universities and hospitals. Recently, Bello Welsh LLP convinced the NLRB’s Division of Advice in Washington, D.C. that the NLRB lacked jurisdiction over our pro bono client, Nativity Preparatory School of Boston. The case is remarkable given that since April 2014, the NLRB has been expanding its jurisdiction inexorably over religious institutions based on its decision in .
A recent case highlights the need for Massachusetts’ employers to tread carefully around the so-called Wage Act, M.G.L. c. 149, § 148. Under this law, an employee who successfully makes out a claim for non-payment of wages “shall be” awarded automatic treble damages together with litigation costs and attorneys’ fees. Unlike the FLSA which permits the award of double damages as a liquidated remedy, the treble damages provision of the MA Wage Act is automatic, regardless of any good faith by the employer. While there remain arguments automatic treble damages is an unconstitutional punitive remedy, to date there is no definitive state court ruling on such a challenge. Read more
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