In August 2014, An Act Relative to Domestic Violence was signed into law and became effective immediately. Section 10 of the Act, codified at G.L. c. 149, §52E, created new protections for an employee who is, or whose covered family member is, a victim of abusive behavior. Abusive behavior includes domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and kidnapping. Under the new law, employers with 50 or more employees must provide employees up to 15 days of unpaid leave in any 12-month period if the employee or covered family member of the employee is a victim of abusive behavior.
Hiring qualified employees that are the right fit for a company is one of the hardest and most important jobs for employers. A bad hire is not only a waste of time and money, but also causes morale problems and the risk of a wrongful termination claim if the employee is terminated. Because it is impossible to have a perfect hiring record--particularly when a company is growing quickly and is hiring many new employees--employers often ask whether it makes sense to have a probationary period for new hires.