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Emma Follansbee

Associate

[email protected]

+1.617.348.4732

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Emma counsels clients on a wide variety of employment issues and litigates employment disputes before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Her litigation practice includes restrictive covenant agreements; discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation claims; and wage and hour compliance.

Emma regularly advises clients on compliance with federal, state, and local laws, including changes in Massachusetts non-compete laws and leave entitlements. Her practice also encompasses assisting clients with terminations and reductions in force, WARN notifications, workplace investigations, employee classifications, and employee handbooks and policies. She is a regular contributor to the employment group’s blog, covering topics such as the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act and Parental Leave compliance.

Emma has been engaged in a number of the firm’s pro bono initiatives, including the asylum and immigration practice and the Domestic Violence Project.

Education

  • Boston College (JD)
  • Wesleyan University (BA)

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

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The WARN Act and COVID-19: What are Employers Obligated to Do?

May 14, 2020 | Blog | By Delaney Busch, Emma Follansbee

Facing the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are considering their obligations to their workforce in the event of a reduction in force related to COVID-19 (“COVID-19”). This post provides an overview of an employer’s WARN Act obligations in the event a COVID-19-related closure or reduction in force.
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With the reopening of the economy on the horizon, employers are looking ahead to welcoming employees back to the traditional workplace. Business operations will look vastly different during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In Part 2 of our Roadmap Series, we outline important operational planning steps and actions employers can take now to successfully and safely bring employees back to the workplace. Future posts in this series will address many of these issues more in-depth, so be sure to stay tuned.
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Coronavirus Continues to Spread: What Employers Should Be Doing

February 27, 2020 | Blog | By Emma Follansbee

In light of the Coronavirus’s continued impact in the workplace, this post reviews the CDC’s newly issued guidelines for businesses, and dives deeper into how employers can lawfully navigate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), sick time laws, and other leave laws, while maintaining the safety of their workforce.
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The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus in Wuhan, China, which has spread to the United States with new cases being reported every day, has the global community on high alert. While employers would be wise to leave the containment and treatment of the virus to medical experts, disease outbreaks present a unique set of employment law issues for many businesses, especially for those that require international travel as an essential job function for their employees.  This post addresses some of the employment issues raised by the Coronavirus outbreak.  (Note: we recognize events on the ground are fluid, and therefore will update this post as necessary.)
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This post summarizes the requirements of MAPFML and outlines the requirements of the private plan exemptions.  We also explain some of the obstacles employers who hope to take advantage of the exemption are likely to encounter. 
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On May 1, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (the “Department”) issued guidance (the “May 1 Guidance”) extending two key deadlines applicable to the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (MAPMFL).
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In our last blog post on Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (“MAPFML”), we reviewed the Department of Family and Medical Leave’s (the “Department”) draft regulations published in January 2019 and outlined some of the questions left unanswered by the then-current regulations.  Since January, the Department has held a number of listening sessions throughout the Commonwealth soliciting comments and feedback on the draft regulations.  On March 29, 2019, the Department published revised draft regulations for public comment and hearing.  The regulations are set to be finalized on July 1, 2019, which is also the effective date of MAPFML and the commencement date for payroll deductions from employee paychecks. 
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Massachusetts Paid Family Leave Law: What Employers Need to Know Now

February 6, 2019 | Blog | By Emma Follansbee

Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (the “Department”), issued answers to a handful of frequently asked questions for both employers and employees, and published draft regulations for the implementation of Massachusetts Paid Family Leave (“MAPFL”).  Although the benefits under this new law are not available to employees until 2021, employers’ obligations begin in just a few months. This post delves into some of the key guidance issued by the Department thus far and explores some of the open questions posed at the first listening session in Boston on January 30, 2019.
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Over the past five years, parental leave policies have become increasingly commonplace among employers. Such policies are important tools for recruiting and retaining talented employees, and are important components of a positive and inclusive company culture. Meanwhile, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is paying increased attention to how these policies may violate discrimination laws by providing unequal benefits along gender lines. Recently, the EEOC has placed certain policies under scrutiny. Taking lessons from these cases and other recent developments, this post provides employers with tips for ensuring that their parental leave policies are compliant with relevant laws.

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News & Press

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Mintz Associate Emma Follansbee was quoted in an article published by EHS Today on legal considerations for employers as they educate and inform their employees of rapidly evolving news regarding the global Coronavirus outbreak.
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Mintz Associate Emma Follansbee was quoted in an article published by Bloomberg Law on legal considerations for employers as they take steps to safeguard workers from the global Coronavirus outbreak.

Events

Speaker
Aug
16
2018

Mastering Absence Management, "Compliance - Overview of Regulations"

New England Employee Benefits Council

Boston, MA