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Discharged Employees Must Be Paid Unused Vacation Time Regardless of Written Policy


The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) held in Electronic Data Systems Corp. v. Attorney General that it is a violation of the Massachusetts Wage Act (M.G.L. c. 149, �148) to fail to pay unused vacation time to involuntarily terminated employees. In this matter the employer, Electronic Data Systems (“EDS”) had a written vacation policy which expressly provided

Defeating a Neighbor’s Challenge to Zoning Relief


Pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, § 17, only a “person aggrieved” by a local zoning board’s decision has standing to appeal the decision. Courts lack jurisdiction to preside over an appeal unless the plaintiff is determined to be a person aggrieved; therefore, absent such a determination a zoning appeal must be dismissed. The Massachusetts Legislature

Stock Options and Divorce


Did you know that stock options, whether vested or unvested, may count as “income” for purposes of calculating child support even if they are not vested? If the option doesn’t vest until after the termination of the marriage, the Court may apportion the options between marital and non-marital property. Unvested options may be considered as

Using IRA Funds to Finance a Home Purchase


There has been much publicity surrounding the First-Time Homebuyer Credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Many young families and individuals are rushing to take advantage of this limited time offer and in their haste, may miss other favorable tax regulations that facilitate and encourage homeownership. One such code provision, of particular

Should Employers Waive Non-Competes


Employers did you know that waiving or scaling back a non-competition or non-solicitation restriction for departing employees to reduce the cost of severance may come back to haunt you? It is not unusual in this difficult economic time that companies are looking for ways to save money it pays to departing employees by either waiving

Protecting a Business from Competitors


There is nothing wrong with competition. However, when an owner of a convenience store realized that an adjacent gas station planned to increase its footprint and include a full service convenience market he became concerned that the ensuing traffic and safety problems would cause havoc in the area and affect his business. The convenience store

When is a Pre-Marital Agreement Appropriate and Enforceable


The purpose of a Pre-Marital Agreement (also known as a Prenuptial Agreement) is to govern the respective rights of two people contemplating marriage in the event of termination of the marriage by death or divorce. Typically a Pre-Marital Agreement is used where there is a significant disparity in the income and/or assets between the parties,

Planning IRA Distributions


Although advance planning is needed to help accumulate the biggest possible nest egg in your traditional IRAs (including SEP-IRAs and SIMPLE-IRAs), it is even more critical that you get help in planning for distributions from these tax-deferred retirement planning vehicles. There are four areas where knowing the ins and outs of the IRA distribution rules

Making Zoning Regulations Work


In the current economy many businesses are looking for new sources of revenue. Recently, Attorney Peter Herbst assisted the owner of a rock and gravel quarry in adding retail sales to his otherwise wholesale business. While the existing zoning regulations prevented any retail sales at the client’s industrial zoned property, Attorney Herbst crafted a text amendment to