Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Federal Legislation Regarding Coronavirus Economic Impact — What Employers Need to Know.

Workshare Program offered by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance

“Massachusetts Employers, do you know that there is an alternative to layoffs during these difficult economic times?  The Workshare Program offered by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance allows an employer to reduce hours of full time employees in specific departments by 10%-60% due to a decline in work or cash flow.  The employee can receive partial unemployment benefits and the employer must keep employee benefits plans intact.  For more information please see the attached brochure or access the following link: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/workshare-information-for-employers.

Please feel free to contact John F. Tocci, Esq., Manager of Tocci & Lee’s employment law and litigation practice, with any questions or concerns during these challenging times at 617-542-6200 x212 or jtocci@toccilee.com.

430 CMR 22.00: COVID 19 Emergency Regulations

Tocci & Lee LLC has been in frequent communications with key Massachusetts Legislators regarding the impact of coronavirus related measures on Massachusetts employers and employees.  Employers should be aware that Massachusetts has initiated the attached emergency regulations allowing furloughed “stand by” employees to collect unemployment benefits.  As T&L recently advised clients, any furlough should set a definite return date (subject to change).  If no return date is reported, the Department of Unemployment Assistance will assume a four-week “standby” status.  Furlough is an alternative to layoff that many employers who can afford to maintain employee benefits during this crisis are turning to.  Under a furlough arrangement, an employee remains “employed” but will not work.  In order to collect unemployment benefits, the employee must remain “available to work for her or his employer.”