HR in the News

The HR world is dynamic–it’s constantly evolving and new stories continually emerge. As a business owner, it’s vital to stay on top of all relevant changes that impact your operations. Remember to take time each day or week to scan headlines, articles or websites to stay abreast on HR in the news.


Massachusetts Pay Equity Law

In the past, job interview questions may have included one about the candidate’s past salary. Employers sometimes discussed previous compensation prior to giving a job offer to a candidate.

On July, 1, 2018 in Massachusetts, a new pay equity law will go into effect that will prohibit employers from doing this during the screening process. One of the main reasons for this law is to minimize the pay gap between male and female employees.


Massachusetts Transgender Protection

The LGBT community has received a lot of attention as of late and new laws are being passed to protect the rights of these individuals. On July 8, a bill was signed into law that’s designed to protect transgender persons from discrimination in places of public accommodation such as bathrooms and locker rooms. This bill will also ensure that these individuals are allowed to use the facilities that correspond with their gender identity.


Rhode Island Data Security Law

As you may know, cyber security continues to be a hot topic. With countless data breaches and cyber attacks dominating the headlines, new laws are being passed to heighten the cyber security protocol that businesses implement. On July 2, the Rhode Island Identity Theft Protection Act of 2015 came into effect. This law requires businesses in the state to meet security compliance or deal with serious financial penalties if they experience a data breach.

Specific measures that employers must take include destroying sensitive, personal information of customers and employees after a reasonable period of time. If a data breach does happen that affects 500 or more Rhode Island residents, businesses are required to report it within a maximum time period of 45 days.


Massachusetts Non-Competition Agreements

Although a bill was passed on June, 29 which would have shaken up non-competition agreements in Massachusetts, things officially came to halt on August 1. Originally, legislature attempted to pass a bill that would limit the use of non-competition agreements.

On July 14, however, the Senate passed a different bill with some slight changes. The bill was rejected by the House, bringing everything to a standstill.

Although the Senate and House versions were fairly similar, they were unable to reach an agreement on something called “garden leave.” The Society of Human Resource Management defines this as being, “A requirement that an employer pay the former employee for the time restricted from working because of a noncompete.”

Since a compromise was unable to be reached, non-competition agreements will remain in Massachusetts at least until the end of 2016.

Keeping up with HR in the news is your ticket to remaining compliant and avoiding unnecessary penalties. With diligence you can keep your operations running smoothly and stay on the right side of the law.


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