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Archived: Employers to Discuss Key Issues with Massachusetts Policymakers

Posted on June 6, 2011

Some of the most troublesome employment-law issues facing Massachusetts companies – including independent contractor classification and proposed mandated sick leave – will be on the table Thursday when AIM members meet with Secretary of Labor Joanne Goldstein and two senior Massachusetts lawmakers at the State House.

Massachusetts State HouseThe second annual AIM State House Roundtable will give employers a unique opportunity to speak directly about business issues with the Patrick Administration’s point person on labor and employment law, along with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian Dempsey, and Senator Michael Rodrigues.

“Employers frequently express their concern to us about issues such as treble damages, rules governing classification of employees and proposals to mandate sick leave and family leave,” said Tom Jones, Vice President in the AIM Employer’s Resource Group.

“Public officials need to hear these concerns as they develop policies to promote business growth and job creation. The State House Roundtable provides the perfect setting to do that.”

Goldstein in April expressed strong support for identical bills offered by Sen. Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville) and Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton) that would enable the 1.5 million workers in Massachusetts who currently lack paid sick days to earn an hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked and up to seven paid sick days a year. Under the proposals, employees who earn sick time would be able to use it to care for themselves, a child, spouse or other immediate family members.

The secretary called mandatory seven paid sick days “a basic right.”

AIM opposes mandatory sick days. The association believes decisions about time off and other benefits should be left to employers and their workers.

Dempsey authored a proposed state budget for Fiscal Year 2012 that avoided new taxes, gave cities and towns the power to control health insurance costs, placed the Workforce Training Fund into a trust and narrowed the scope of the onerous 2008 treble damages law. The Senate did not immediately follow suit on the treble damages provision, which would have limited mandatory awards to triple damages to cases in which employers willfully violated the Massachusetts wage and hour low.

The State House Roundtable will take place from 1-5 p.m. Participants will then return to the AIM Boston office for a networking reception.