Diane DeGiacomo featured speaker on sophisticated issues in Family Law Practice

Diane DeGiacomo joined other experts in her field of family law to speak at the annual Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s “Cutting Edge Issues in Western Massachusetts Family Law Practice 2015” on March 27, 2015 in Springfield, MA.    Do the provisions in the Alimony Reform Act terminating alimony upon reaching retirement age apply retroactively? What is the standard courts use to decide if a parent with joint custody may leave the state with children? Under what circumstances will a court refuse to later uphold a prenuptial agreement, even if it was fair and reasonable when executed?  Analyzing recent cases against the backdrop of both old and new legislation, DeGiacomo illustrated recent trends in Probate and Family Court decisions, and practice tips for experience family law lawyers.

Diane DeGiacomo and Jared Kelly featured speakers at HRABC’s annual law update.

Diane DeGiacomo and Jared Kelly presented “The Season of Changing Leaves” to the Human Resources Association of Berkshire County  on March 18, 2015 at the Berkshire Hills Country Club.   The presentation centered around significant changes in employment law in the last 12 months, especially in the area of leave policies. Employers must now provide five sick days a year to employees, and for many employers, the leave must be paid. Massachusetts has now expanded the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act to encompass men as well as women. And the Act Relative to Domestic Violence requires employers of 50 or more to provide up to 15 days of unpaid leave a year for employees to address issues of domestic violence.   How these new leave requirements interact with one another, as well as existing required leaves, such as the Family Medical Leave Act, remains an open question. What is clear is employers must review and modify existing leave policies to comply with the ever changing employment laws in Massachusetts and on the federal level.     

New Law Mandates Employers Provide Sick Leave

On November 4, 2014, the voters of Massachusetts approved a ballot question that grants employees forty hours of sick time per calendar year.  Employers with eleven or more employees must provide paid leave.  Employers with ten or fewer employees may provide unpaid leave.   All employees are entitled to the leave, including part-time and temporary workers. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2015. Employees may use the sick time to (1) attend to their own illness or the illness of their child, spouse, parent, or in-laws; (2) attend routine medical appointments; or (3) address the effects of domestic violence in their household. One hour of sick time is earned for every thirty hours an employee works.  Employees begin accruing sick time on their date of hire, or on July 1, 2015, whichever is later.  Employees are not eligible to use accrued sick time until ninety days after the start of their employment.  They may carry over accrued sick time into the next year, but may only use a maximum of forty hours of sick time in one year. Employees may use sick time in hourly increments, or in the smallest unit of time that their employer uses to track...