Is Brookline’s Face Mask Mandate Constitutional?

On April 14, 2020, the Brookline Department of Public Health issued the following advisory: “Effective April 17, 2020 every individual is required to wear a protective face covering at all times when in the public.”[1]  The mandate contains no expiry.  This article poses constitutional questions relevant to the town’s broad rule.   In order to …

Tipped Restaurant Employees May Be Entitled To at Least 75% of Their Tips From Before the Crisis.

As part of the federal response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, restaurants are eligible for loans to cover their payroll costs through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which can include tips paid to wait staff.  Such loans are then forgiven if certain conditions are met, meaning the restaurant does not have to pay the money …

Parents Are Entitled to Paid Time Off to Take Care of Kids During the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Emergency

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act signed by the President on March 18, 2020, requires non-healthcare provider employers with less than 500 employees to give up to 12-weeks of job-protected leave to parents to care for their children necessitated by school/daycare closures or loss of childcare due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) health …

Employers Must Pay Out All Wages and Vacation Upon Termination in Massachusetts During the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Tough times call for tough measures.   Many employers will rely on this adage to avoid their obligations under Massachusetts law during the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).  Massachusetts law generally requires employers to pay all wages and accrued vacation on the day that someone is laid off, not per the usual billing cycle.  Employees …

Pregnant in Brookline, Boston, or anywhere in Massachusetts? You may be entitled to changes in your work schedule, duties and work environment.

The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (Act) was approved by the legislature last summer and went into effect April 1, 2018.  If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, please make yourself aware of your civil rights under the Act, and plan how you are going to exercise them.   ACCOMMODATIONS   A pregnant …

Brookline High School: How Lessons on White Privilege Can Violate Students’ Civil Rights

Given the recent steps announced by Mayor Bill DeBlasio of New York City to increase the number of Black and Latino students at the city’s most elite public schools and the constitutional implications such a proposition brings, it might serve Brookline well to understand how it is addressing race in its own school district.  Examining …