Insight

New England States With Incoming Legislation

Best Lawyers takes an in depth look at newly proposed bills, litigation and cases coming out of four New England states.

New England Laws Taking Effect in 2022
GS

Gregory Sirico

April 19, 2022 09:16 AM

Connecticut

Recently, the Connecticut Department of Labor announced their proposed plans to revise the already amended Connecticut Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which was put into full effect on January 1, 2022. The proposed batch of incoming regulation changes hint at state lawmakers planning a significant expansion of Connecticut’s FMLA, with notable additions including updates on anything from the process for verifying familial relationships to filing employee complaints that cite specific FMLA violations. Additionally, the proposed revisions could also bring about new regulations not present within the original legislation, which could include fitness-for-duty requests, contact with employees’ medical providers to obtain authentication of certifications, reasons for recertification requests and other topics.

Going forward, any and all revisions to FMLA are likely to make the biggest impact on businesses and companies in Connecticut operating with 50 employees or less who, prior to 2022, under the state’s first iteration of the act, have not been required to provide such provisions to employees. In order to avoid unwanted litigation in the future, smaller employers must take immediate action to ensure they comply with the updated FMLA requirements. That’s not to say that larger employers won’t be subject to changes as well.

Similar to smaller companies across the states, larger employers will also have to review and revise their current workplace policies and procedures to meet the revised FMLA standards. With nothing set in stone yet, Connecticut based employers are bracing for a barrage of incoming legal and workplace violations claims. A virtual hearing to discuss the proposed FMLA revisions is set to take place on February 17, leaving already raddled employers on all levels to wait a bit longer.

Maine

Republican lawmakers in Maine are considering the construction of a new legal defense fund to combat the ongoing wave of struggling businesses within the state, primarily the state’s foremost economic resource to date: the lobster industry. In addition to facing the continual obstacles the pandemic has presented, Maine’s lobster industry, along with other statewide fishing businesses, are now expected to face a new batch of fishing laws, rules and regulations designed to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Earlier this week, Republican Representative William Faulkingham, a former lobster fisherman himself, stated that he will be personally overseeing this fund and the commission constructed to administer it. Faulkingham and other state Republicans propose the new legal defense fund should be fully back by the money collected throughout the 2021 fiscal year, which includes license surcharges as well as the sale of lobster trap tags.

In a public hearing earlier this week, Maine’s Lobsterman’s Association and other state lawmakers expressed their disapproval for the incoming bill, citing a bevy of both environmental and financial risks. As legal defense efforts continue to pop up all over the state, legal experts expect this bill to remain dead in the water for the time being.

Massachusetts

On February 2, 2022, the Joint Committee on Advanced Information Technology, the Internet and Cybersecurity, introduced the Massachusetts Information Privacy and Security Act (MIPSA), a new comprehensive data privacy bill that has been under committee consideration since March 2021. Backed by Democratic Massachusetts state Senator Cynthia Creem and Representative Andres Vargas, the bill is set to make its way to the statehouse floor. If enacted, the proposed law would more than likely reshape the ways in which Massachusetts businesses are able to interact with consumers. In addition to expanding the Attorney General’s data enforcement control, legal experts anticipate this bill will cause an increase in the cost of data privacy design and complexity, leaving companies exposed to a variety of litigation risks.

Aimed at protecting the personal data of Massachusetts residents, MIPSA draws inspiration from recently enacted data privacy bills in California and Illinois. If amended, MIPSA could permanently halt the creation of independently monitored data privacy agencies, which track biometric and language data in conjunction with state organizations. With the state legislative deadline approaching, members of the Massachusetts legal community anticipate MIPSA will be met with little to no resistance when it hits the statehouse floor next month. Going into full effect 18 months after enacted, this act will set the bar high for other states prompting change on a data privacy front, while also providing a brief glimpse of where data protection laws could be headed.

Vermont

On September 3, 2021, the Vermont Supreme Court issued a decision regarding the Snowstone LLC appeal of landmark Act 250, legislation originally enacted in 1970 to provide the state with a judicial process for reviewing and managing all environmental, social and fiscal issues that may arise when dealing with land development. The appeal concerned the credibility of Act 250 when applying it to “one-acre towns,” or a municipality that has yet to enact zoning or subdivision law and regulations.

Snowstone LLC, a Vermont-based contracting and construction company who’s quarry development project nearly exceeded the one-acre regulation (0.93) in a town without subdivision bylaws, shouldn’t have triggered Act 250 into effect at all. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that the threshold for one-acre land development was determined by measuring the size of the work site itself, rather than the overall size of the property/parcel, further validating Snowstone’s appeal.

On February 11, 2022, in a somewhat rare jurisdictional occurrence, the Vermont Supreme Court decided to entertain an appeal in regard to the 2021 decision. Fully in compliance with state development and zoning laws, Snowstone was successful in winning its appeal of Act 250, putting a nearly six-month legal ordeal to rest. As the demand for environmental land protection and regulations continues to grow, state lawmakers anticipate an influx in zoning litigation in the coming months.

Headline Image: iStock/WDstock

Related Articles

What Are Zoning Laws Meant To Do?


by Bartek Szymanski

Zoning laws are important to the safety and protection of communities.

Hand holding pan writing on map

Privacy Practice


by Casey Waughn

Data protection is all the rage among tech companies and state, national (and even transnational) governments alike. Is it a passing fad or here to stay? And how should businesses and groups of all sizes handle compliance with a blizzard of new laws?

Data Protection Prompt New Privacy Laws

Success and Leadership by All Measures


by Justin Smulison

Lubin & Meyer Continues to Secure Medical Malpractice and Injury Results That Protect Victims and Inspire Change

Lubin & Meyer Continue to Secure Legal Result

New England "Lawyer of the Year" 2022


by Best Lawyers

Vincent Lau is honored as 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" in New England for Immigration Law.

New England "Lawyer of the Year"

New England's Best Lawyers 2022


by Best Lawyers

Our New England's Best Lawyers 2022 publication features top-ranked legal talent in New England.

New England's Best Lawyers 2022

In the News: Georgia


by Best Lawyers

Trinity Hundredmark wins a Moxie Award; Pete Robinson joins King & Spalding; and L. Lin Wood goes against Elon Musk.

Georgia Legal News Headlines

Recent Developments on Privacy and Data Protection in Brazil


by Ricardo Barretto Ferreira da Silva and Camila Taliberti Ribeiro da Silva

A change of paradigm is urgent and requires a robust legislation on personal data protection.

Privacy and Data Protection Brazil

My Data My Rules: An Overview of Data Protection in Brazil


by Fábio Pereira

My Data My Rules

Trending Articles

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees


by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada 2023


by Best Lawyers

The year 2023 marks the second edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada, highlighting professionals earlier in their legal careers all across Canada.

Blue background with white stairs formed out of lines

All Eyes to the Ones on the Rise


by Rebecca Blackwell

Our 2023 honorees recognized in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ tell us more about how their path to law formed, what lead them to their practice areas and how they keep steadfast in their passion to serve others.

Person walking between glass walls towards window

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Canada™


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 16th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada™ and 1st Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in Canada.

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers in Canada™

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch – The Future of Legal Talent Looks Bright


by Justin Smulison

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is launching its second edition in the United States, and after talking with both a company leader and esteemed lawyers on the list, the importance of this prestigious list is evident.

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America 2022

Press and Publicity: How Television and Social Media Impact Legal Careers


by Justin Smulison

In recent years, with social media giving minute by minute reporting, many lawyers are finding themselves thrust into a spotlight they never planned for. How are lawyers grappling with unexpected stardom, media coverage and merciless influencers?

Close up of camera at news station

How A Claim Can Create A ‘Class’ of Its Own


by Justin Smulison

One civil claim can help a victim recover, prevent others from the same harm and even save lives. Tom Connick has experienced this directly, having been at the ground floor of injury claims that have led to high-value class action settlements.

Fire Consuming Paper Money

The Real Camille: An Interview with Johnny Depp’s Lawyer Camille Vasquez


by Rebecca Blackwell

Camille Vasquez, a young lawyer at Brown Rudnick, sat down with Best Lawyers CEO Phillip Greer to talk about her distinguished career, recently being named partner and what comes next for her.

Camille Vasquez in office

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

Protecting Small Business Owners: Trial Experts Connick Law LLC Notoriously Successful with Fire Litigation


by Justin Smulison

When small business owners become the target of insurance companies in fire-related lawsuits, hiring a firm with a reputation for understanding the science of fire suppression trials can save their livelihoods.

Gold Indoor Sprinkler Heads on Red Background

Introducing Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch


by Best Lawyers

Meet the next wave of top legal talent.

Ones to Watch

Announcing the 2022 "Best Law Firms" Rankings


by Best Lawyers

The 2022 “Best Law Firms” publication includes all “Law Firm of the Year” recipients, national and metro Tier 1 ranked firms and editorial from thought leaders in the legal industry.

The 2022 Best Law Firms Awards

Choosing a Title Company: What a Seller Should Expect


by Roy D. Oppenheim

When it comes to choosing a title company, how much power exactly does a seller have?

Choosing the Title Company As Seller