Update from Archstone Law Group

Negative Employee Information

A recent change to Massachusetts law, made retroactive to August 1, 2010, requires an employer to notify an employee within 10 days of placing any negative information in the employee’s personnel record that is, has been, or may be used with respect to the employee’s employment including compensation, promotion, or disciplinary action. The scope of information of which an employee must be notified could include materials not previously included in personnel records by some employers, such as informal notes, electronic mail, or time cards. Negative information that was placed in an employee’s file prior to August 1, 2010 is not subject to the new law regarding notification.

Postnuptial Agreements Permitted

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that postnuptial agreements are enforceable in Massachusetts. While prenuptial agreements have long been valid and enforceable in Massachusetts, there had been considerable uncertainty about whether an agreement entered into after the wedding would hold up. The SJC held that in the event of divorce, a postnuptial agreement must be carefully scrutinized to determine if it is “fair and reasonable” both at the time it was signed and at the time of the divorce. The Court also provided a list of factors that would indicate whether a particular postnuptial agreement would be enforced or not.

New CORI Rules

Governor Deval Patrick recently signed into law a comprehensive bill that overhauls the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system used by many Massachusetts employers to access the criminal histories of job applicants and employees. The new law gives employers access to criminal records through an online database, while simultaneously restricting the information available and imposing other requirements on employers. The provisions of the new law will be phased in, beginning on November 4, 2010.

Recent Transactions

Here’s a sampling of the transactions we have been involved in recently:

  • $10 million acquisition by software company of another software firm for cash and earnout consideration.
  • Sale of a medical practice to a hospital and negotiation of employment agreements between the hospital and the selling physicians.
  • $20 million tax-exempt bond financing and related permitting, development, and leasing of a new long term care facility and refinancing of existing facility.
  • Succession planning for family-owned business, including formation of a family limited liability company and preparation of new estate planning documents.
  • Obtained 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for a large healthcare foundation, a family of long term care enterprises undergoing corporate reorganization, and an organization engaged in secondary school global education