Massachusetts Employment Law Update – January 2019

Massachusetts

Data Breach Notification

On January 10, 2019, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation (H.B. 4806) amending employers’ breach notification requirements when Massachusetts residents are impacted by a data security breach. Specifically, employers are now required to include all of the following information to Massachusetts residents in their breach notifications:

  • The right to obtain a police report.
  • How to request a security freeze and the necessary information needed for it.
  • That the security freeze will be free.
  • Mitigating services that will be provided.

Employers are also now required to provide the following information when reporting a breach to the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General and/or the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation:

  • Nature of the security breach, unauthorized acquisition, or use.
  • Number of affected residents at the time of the notification.
  • Name and address of the employer that experienced the breach.
  • Person responsible for the breach of security, if known.
  • Type of personal information that was compromised, for example, Social Security number, driver’s license number, financial account number, credit or debit card information, or other data.
  • Whether the employer maintains a written information security program.
  • Any steps taken, or planned to be taken, relating to the incident, including updating the written information security program.

If the data breach includes Social Security numbers, then an employer must contract with a third party to offer each resident whose Social Security number was disclosed (or reasonably believed to have been disclosed) with free credit monitoring services for no less than 18 months. Additionally, an employer cannot require a resident to waive his or her right to a private right of action as a condition to its offer of credit monitoring services.

The law is effective April 10, 2019.

Read MA H.B. 4806

Unemployment Benefits and Employer Lockout

On December 31, 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation (H.B. 4988) increasing unemployment compensation benefits for locked out employees. Under the law, the total unemployment benefits an eligible individual may receive due to an employer’s lockout must be extended to an additional 26 times his or her benefit rate or until the lockout ends, whichever is shorter. Of note, specific stipulations apply to these additional benefits and entitlement rights.

The law became effective December 31, 2018.

Read MA H.B. 4988