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Supreme Court Protects LGBTQ+ Employees From Discrimination
The Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision on Monday, June 15, 2020 making it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

The case expands workplace rights for employees who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. The case, which consisted of three separate cases consolidated into one, reached the Supreme Court after frustrations over the lack of workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. In one case, an employee of Clayton County, Georgia was fired from his job after his employer found out that he played in a gay recreational softball league. In another case, a skydiving instructor was fired after telling a client of his that he was gay. In the third case, a funeral director was fired after disclosing to her employer that she was transgender and was intent on living her life as a woman.

The decision expands on the language in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it illegal under federal law for employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ+ persons are now included in the “sex” category of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in the opinion that inherent discrimination exists when firing an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity because, in that circumstance, the employer is discriminating on the bases of actions and traits that wouldn’t typically be questioned in someone of another gender or sexuality.[1] Justice Gorsuch expanded further, writing: “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision [to fire an employee], exactly what Title VII forbids.”[2] The court left unclear […]

Criminal Defense Attorney is Now in Quincy

Your Criminal Defense Attorney is Now in Quincy!
Cohen Cleary, P.C. has added a new criminal defense location to southeastern Massachusetts. We now offers our legal experience to Quincy, MA along with the surrounding communities from our office at:

21 Franklin St., 3rd Fl, Quincy, MA.

With a comprehensive law enforcement background, we pride ourselves with our criminal defense experience that allows us to defend your rights zealously.

Out of the vast areas of criminal charges we handle, some of the primary practice areas our Trial Lawyers focus on include:

Operating Under the Influence/Drunk Driving
Drug Crimes
Restraining Orders
Domestic Assault and Battery.
Probation Violation

For any of these issues, we can be reached day or night at cell# (508) 269-3051 or during business hours you can call our main office line at (508) 880-6677.

If you or someone you know requires a defense attorney at our new location in Quincy, or at any of our other locations in Raynham and Plymouth, please contact us to discuss the possibility of retaining our firm to assist in your criminal defense.

With an emphasis on honest representation, knowledge of the law and trial advocacy, this practice is committed to understanding each client’s unique circumstances, setting a plan of action, and getting results. Call us today!

By |December 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

How much is my personal injury case worth?

How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
After an auto accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident that results in an injury, you may have thought about contacting an attorney. You may also have wondered “how much is my personal injury case worth?” The answer to this question involves careful consideration of the issue of liability (was the other party at fault) as well as a careful consideration of your “damages” or how you have been injured.

Damages resulting from your accident include compensation for bodily injury, pain and suffering, property damage, and payment for expenses. Calculating your entitlement to compensation must be done on a “case by case” basis as the damages are specific to your injuries and circumstances.
Compensation for Damages
 When you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured as the result of someone’s negligence, the questions then becomes what are your “damages?”

When it comes to compensation for personal injury damages, an award for compensatory damages is meant to make the injured party “whole” again through the payment of funds to the injured individual by the at fault party. Therefore, carefully considering all possible damages is very important. Similarly, documenting all of your injuries resulting from an accident is also very important. Working with an experienced attorney as part of this process helps to ensure that you receive the highest possible payment for all of your damages.
Damages for Personal Injury Claims May Include:

Bodily injuries including exacerbation of pre-existing conditions;
Scarring and disfigurement;
Conscious pain and suffering;
Psychiatric injuries (such as PTSD, Traumatic brain injury, loss of memory or cognitive functioning);
Loss of Enjoyment;
Loss of consortium; and
Wrongful […]

Big Changes Ahead for Overtime Exempt Employees

Big Changes Ahead for Overtime Exempt (Salaried) Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was a revolutionary act established during the “New Deal” phase of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency. The act established, for the first time, minimum wage requirements, overtime laws and created the standard work week for all Americans. Over time additional requirements have been added creating the current federal standards for employment pay in the United States.

Most recently, President Obama directed the Department of Labor to update some of these regulations. Included in this directive was a request to increase the compensation for executive, administrative, and professional (“EAP”) employees, often called overtime exempt or salaried employees. Prior to this directive, the last increase to the minimum requirement for the base salary of these EAP employees occurred in 2004 and required that EAP employees be paid a minimum of $455.00 per week or $23,660.00 annually.

As one could imagine, this regulatory scheme was quite beneficial to employers, as those employees who satisfy the “duties test” (the test designed to indicate whether an employee constituted an executive, administrative, or professional employee) were exempt from being paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours so long as they were provided with compensation equal to or greater than $23,660.00 annually. This is no longer the case however; as the Department of Labor’s new regulations will substantially increase this amount to more than double the current level.

The final rule promulgated by the Department of Labor calls for the following changes to the current FSLA:

1. Sets the new standard salary compensation at the 40th percentile of the salary of full-time employees in the lowest wage census region. Currently the lowest wage census region is the […]

The Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractors Act

The Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractors Act
Spring is here, and with it comes that familiar sound of construction. After the last snow has melted away homeowners across the Commonwealth come out of hibernation. Some will want to repair damage done by the winter weather, while others may decide that their home and property could use some revamping. No matter the reason, spring and summer are the months where many homeowners will engage the services of a contractor to perform services on their home.

Before engaging the services of a contractor it is important for a homeowner to do their homework. Researching a contractor before hiring the contractor is an obvious step, but one that is often overlooked by the homeowner. The Commonwealth provides a database for homeowners to lookup their chosen contractor to confirm that they are registered with the state. After choosing the contractor, the homeowner must then decide what the scope of the work is to be performed. At this point a contact is usually drawn up and the parties make agreements as to the work performed and the cost of these services.

Massachusetts has enacted a statute aimed to protect the homeowner from unscrupulous contractors. The Home Improvement Contractors Act regulates how a contractor performs their service.  The act applies to all contractors who perform services related to “reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal, demolition, or construction of an addition…” of a pre-existing owner occupied building, which contains 1 to 4 units. The act also applies to any structure adjacent to a pre-existing owner occupied building.

In addition to specifying the types of activities that the act regulates, the act also spells out with specificity the language and notices that must appear in […]

Served with a Restraining Order?

What do I do when I am served with a Restraining Order?

The police knock on your door and hand you a document stating that an Abuse and Prevention Order (also known as a Restraining Order) has been issued against you. You are required to follow the terms of the order and a failure to do so could result in criminal charges.

The Restraining Order may require that you not only stay away from a family member or intimate partner, but may also prevent you from being allowed to make any contact whatsoever with the individual who requested the Restraining Order. How did this happen? In order to obtain a Restraining Order, the alleged victim completed an application and an affidavit alleging that that he/she is in fear of imminent physical danger from you. A case was presented to the Judge, and the Judge agreed, issuing the temporary Restraining Order. On the document you are served, there is a hearing date and it is important that you attend that hearing. This is your opportunity to present your side to Judge. Depending on the accusations, you may need to bring witnesses and evidence to support your case. A Restraining Order can have an impact on more than just your ability to be near a certain person. It can effect custody of your children, where you can live, your ability to have firearms, your residency, your employment, as well as your reputation.

An attorney can help you decipher the orders and possibly determine the next steps you need to take. These steps can include fighting the Restraining Order or seeking to change or modify the terms of the Restraining Order. If you have been served with a restraining […]

Should I Get A Restraining Order

Should I get a Restraining Order?
Restraining Orders are often referred to as “Abuse Prevention Orders” in the Courts and are effective tools that can be used to provide a level of protection to someone who is in fear of imminent danger of physical harm from a family member or intimate partner. When a Restraining Order is issued against someone, that person must abide by the rules set forth in the Order or possibly suffer criminal consequences to their actions. In order to obtain a Abuse Prevention Order, you must go to either your local Probate and Family Court or District Court and complete an application and an affidavit and attend at least one hearing. If you are in an abusive relationship, the Restraining Order is an important tool in obtaining your safety. There are certain circumstances where you may be able to obtain an Restraining Order on behalf of a third party such as your children.

Restraining Orders can prohibit a Defendant from being within a certain number of feet from a victim, prohibit access to places like schools or employment, prohibit any contact via third parties, and, at times, even prohibit contact with the parties’ children. It is important to consider all the issues as well as the pros and cons prior to seeking a Restraining Order.

If you or someone you know is in need of legal assistance call us today at (508) 880-6677 for a consultation with an experienced Restraining Order attorney.

Our law firm is centrally located in Raynham and Plymouth MA and serves all of Eastern Massachusetts.

By Janna K. Saad, Esq

Is An Employee In MA Protected For Using Medical Marijuana?

Is An Employee In Massachusetts Protected For Using Marijuana?
The landscape of marijuana tolerance in the United States is no doubt changing. This includes those who advocate for the medicinal use of cannabis and those who are willing to tolerate its recreational use. We question, Is an employee in MA protected for using medical marijuana?

Currently there exist 23 different states that have passed some form of medicinal marijuana use law, not including the District of Columbia and the seven states where legislation is currently pending. That means an astonishing 30 states, or 60%, could have legislation legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana. Of the 23 states that currently allow for medicinal marijuana use, 4 states plus the District of Columbia have passed legislation allowing for the recreational use of marijuana.

While Massachusetts has not gone as far as to allow for recreational use of marijuana, they are 1 of 19 states which has decriminalized certain possession laws for small amounts of marijuana. In addition to its liberal views of marijuana, Massachusetts is also happens to be one of the most civil rights minded states, being one of the first states to implement anti-discrimination laws in education (1855), public accommodations and employment (1944).

So as one of the more lenient states in the country in their opinion of marijuana and their history of being pioneers in the fight against discrimination one could easily assume that Massachusetts would allow for the use of medicinal marijuana as a reasonable accommodation for those employees who are lawfully prescribed cannabis for treatment of serious and chronic disabilities, however that is likely not the case. Unfortunately that is an issue which has yet to be decided in Massachusetts.

Colorado was one of the first […]

By |December 21st, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Legal Issues in Same Sex Divorces

Legal Issues in Same Sex Divorces
After searching for love and the expensive wedding, you now find yourself in the same position as approximately half of all married adults in America: in need of legal representation for your divorce. With the quickly changing political climate in the country regarding same sex marriages you now need to navigate the laws of same sex divorce, and this blog will address some of the issues you may face including: parentage; child custody, and child support.

While the legal recognition of your same sex marriage should not be an issue in Massachusetts that does not mean you may not face some unique issues with your divorce proceedings. During divorce proceedings you will need to resolve the issues relating to the division of your marital assets, alimony, child custody, and child support.

The issues of parentage, child custody, and child support have the possibility of becoming the most troublesome aspect of your divorce. In general, the rules that govern heterosexual marriage regarding child custody and child support will apply so long as both parents are the legal parents. So long as both parents have a legal relationship with the child, custody, support, and parenting plans will be treated the same as heterosexual divorce.

Where there are potential serious issues are when both parents have not established a legal relationship with the child. In Massachusetts, children born via assisted reproduction within a legal spousal relationship are the legal children of the couple. This presumption is still there even when only one of the spouses has a biological relationship to the child. However, if the child was born using assisted reproduction before the legal marriage occurred the subsequent marriage of the parties does not legitimize […]

By |October 5th, 2015|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Legal Issues in Same Sex Divorces|

To Take or Not To Take the Breathalyzer? What you should know about refusing to take a breathalyzer.

You have been out with your friends, on a date, or coming home from a sporting event and while there you indulged in a few alcoholic drinks. You can function, but have no clue if you are close to the .08 blood alcohol level. On your way home, your heart leaps into your throat as you look in the rear view mirror at the sight of the blue lights. You know that you may have to make a choice, to take the breathalyzer or not.
If you elect to take the breathalyzer and blow a .08 or higher the penalties are different if it is your first offense. For a first time offender that blows a .08 or higher you are facing no more than a license suspension of 30 days after the conclusion of the criminal charge if you elect to take a plea bargain. You are also immediately eligible, upon completion of the charge, to apply and receive a hardship license. Melanies’ Law also allows extends the ability to receive a hardship license to second time offenders as well.
You may be asking yourself at this point why anybody would elect not to take the breathalyzer. The answer to this question is, without the breathalyzer results it is more difficult for the prosecution to prove that you were driving under the influence. Massachusetts Law allows the prosecution to prove that you drove under the influence in two different ways. The first way is the “per se” violation, this is where the prosecution proves that you drove under the influence by showing that your blood alcohol level was a .08 or higher. If the prosecution has a breathalyzer test with a result of a blood […]

By |July 13th, 2015|Operating Under the Influence, Uncategorized|Comments Off on To Take or Not To Take the Breathalyzer? What you should know about refusing to take a breathalyzer.|
Cohen Cleary, P.C.

Cohen Cleary, P.C.