Employment Laws to Be Aware of as Your Business Grows – Part 2


(Last Updated On: April 26, 2023)

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As a business owner, it’s so rewarding and exciting to watch your startup blossom into a larger, thriving business. But as you grow, it’s vital to be aware of federal and Massachusetts state employment laws. In this blog, we’ve highlighted the two laws that businesses must be aware of when shifting from one to two or more employees. However, remember that employment law is ever evolving and the best way to remain compliant as your business expands is to consult the experts. Contact Rodman Employment Law for guidance specific to your unique business and situation.  

1. Massachusetts Mini-COBRA 

The federal COBRA law requires employers to offer continuation of health insurance coverage to employees who lose their jobs or have their hours reduced. However, this law only applies to businesses with 20 or more employees. So why are we mentioning it here? Massachusetts enacted the Mini-COBRA law impacting employers with 2-19 employees in 1996. This law stipulates that if an employee loses their job or has their hours reduced, and they had been covered by the company’s health insurance plan up to that point, the employer must offer the option of continued coverage for up to 18 months. The employer must also notify the employee about this benefit extension.  

Granted, the employee will need to pay for the coverage themselves. But it helps employees transition from one job to the next, without losing health coverage. MA employers need to ensure that they comply with this law to avoid any future repercussions.  

2. Massachusetts Equal Pay Act 

Another piece of legislation to familiarize yourself with as your business grows is the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA). This law prohibits employers from paying employees of different genders different amounts for comparable work. To put it more simply, employers cannot pay employees of one gender less than employees of another gender for doing the same job.  

The law also prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history. This is because women and minorities have historically earned lower salaries than their male counterparts, which can lead to a cycle of unequal pay throughout their careers. By prohibiting employers from asking about salary history, the law aims to break this cycle and ensure that employees are paid fairly based on their skills and experience. 

Got Legal Questions as Your MA Business Expands?  

As you grow from one employee to two or more, you’ll want to ensure that your policies and procedures are in compliance. It’s wise to have an MA employment lawyer review them periodically. That way, you can avoid any unintentional legal mistakes as you continue to grow your team. Contact us at 617-820-5250 if we can be of any assistance as you work toward bringing your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

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