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State, National Issues Challenge Employers

Posted on May 28, 2024

AIM Vice President of Government Affairs Sam Larson highlighted several legislative issues at the May HR Roundtable. The Massachusetts Legislature is nearing the July 31 finish line of its 2023-2024 session.

  1. Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Amendment

Last year, the legislature amended the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, allowing employees to “top off” benefits while receiving payments from the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML). There has been confusion about whether employers must permit employees to supplement benefits with paid time off up to their average weekly wage. The DFML has indicated that employer policies can restrict topping off, but it hasn’t been clear whether they can entirely deny it. Sam mentioned that the DFML will soon update its FAQ page to clarify this.

  1. Credit Reporting Bill (House 1434)

The House of Representatives recently passed a credit-reporting bill that now awaits Senate consideration. The bill would restrict financial-services employers from using consumer reports for most employment-related purposes. Some AIM members are concerned because they require credit checks for employees who handle money. AIM is working with the Senate to broaden exceptions for employees with financial responsibilities.

  1. Wage Transparency Bill (Senate 2468)

The wage-transparency bill is progressing slowly, with each legislative branch passing a version. A conference committee will likely reconcile the differences. If passed, the bill will require employers to post salary ranges for new and many current positions. Larger employers will also need to report wage data to the state. Action on this bill is expected by mid-to late July, with effective dates likely pushed to 2025 or later.

  1. An Act to Prevent Abuse and Exploitation (2703)

The legislature is considering a bill to prevent abuse and exploitation, commonly known as the “revenge porn” bill. It has passed the House and Senate and is now in a conference committee awaiting final language.

  1. Protecting Wages of Deceased Employees (House 4281)
    This bill aims to protect employers who pay final wages to the families of deceased employees. Currently, employers face legal uncertainties when doing so. The bill provides clear guidelines and legal protection for employers, ensuring that families receive owed wages without legal complications. The bill is in the House Ways and Means Committee and is awaiting further review.

Ballot questions

  1. Independent Contractors and App-Based Organizations
    Massachusetts voters may have the chance to vote on a ballot question this fall regarding independent contractors and app-based companies like DoorDash, Uber, and Lyft. Ongoing litigation between these companies and organized labor will determine whether the question makes it to the ballot.
  2. Service Rate Increase
    This question proposes increasing the tipped service rate from $6.75 per hour to $15 per hour by the end of the decade through annual incremental raises. Once the service rate reaches $15, the tipped minimum wage will be aligned with the regular minimum wage.

Federal update

  1. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Salary Threshold Increase
    Several national trade associations filed a lawsuit against the first phase of the FLSA regulations, which is set to take effect on July 1. The associations argue that two months is insufficient time for employers to prepare and implement the changes, and the July 1 implementation date may be delayed.
  2. FTC Ban on Non-Compete Agreements
    The Federal Trade Commission announced a ban on noncompete agreements, except for those tied to the sale of a business. The ban is set to take effect in September. Some trade associations have filed a lawsuit in opposition; the decision is likely to be appealed. The timeline for resolution is uncertain.
  3. EEOC Guidance on Workplace Harassment
    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released new guidance on workplace harassment, effective April 29.

Get Involved and Stay Informed

AIM members interested in these legislative matters or other HR-related issues may contact the AIM Helpline at 1-800-470-6277 or

For real-time updates, join us at the next HR Roundtable. Email for registration details.

To discuss these issues directly with AIM’s Government Affairs Department, contact Sam Larson at