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Human Resource: What An Employer Needs To Know About MCAD

By January 12, 2012February 19th, 2015No Comments

Young Business WomanWhat is MCAD?

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is the state’s Chief Civil Rights Agency.  This government body in essence ensures that all businesses within the State of MA are compliant in their employment of employees.  Any employee that feels they have been discriminated against may file a “Charge” or a “Complaint” against that employer at MCAD.  Most all complaints must be filed within 300 days of the alleged infraction.

MCAD provides employees and employers with a wealth of information about their rights as employees in this state.  The website provides them with detailed information about Maternity Leave, Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and more…

Employees Know Their Rights, Do You?

Employees today are well aware of their rights in the workplace do you know what they are as the Employer?  In most cases I find this is not the case.  As a matter of fact I just learned of an employer that makes their employees sign an agreement at hire that they cannot take a lunch break or coffee break at any time during the day.  They must work their full eight hours daily without any breaks.  This is in clear violation of a number of work rules that being primarily those employees are allowed a minimum of two/ten minute breaks every four hours worked.

The shame of this whole thing is that most employers we believe are good employers; it is the few that treat their employees terribly that affect the rest of us.  Nonetheless laws are laws.

What you don’t know can hurt you:

Unfortunately, what you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to employment laws and regulations.  Ignorance is not bliss!  If you are caught not following process/procedure/law it can be a very painful experience.  It is imperative to have the proper “blocking and tackling” in place as an employer to prevent frivolous lawsuits from occurring.  How can you do this?

HR Audit:

We recommend a complete and thorough HR Audit as this audit can show you as the employer where you are not compliant or at risk.  This audit should review your employee handbook, process/procedures for hiring, firing, interviewing, reviews, job descriptions and much more…  This audit should help determine what areas you as the employer need to shore up and improve.  Once these areas are identified a clear and concise implementation process should be commenced to improve the HR processes.  Once these policies and procedures are in place they should be adhered to.

Employee Rights:

Employees do know their rights and if they don’t there is a wealth of information about these rights on the internet.  There are also many attorneys that would be thrilled to take on many of these cases on “contingency” which means the employee has a “gun for hire” at no cost to them.  The attorney is confident enough in the case that he/she will represent the employee on a percentage of the settlement.  This can be very painful for the employer as they have to pay for their own legal representation which can cost an employer thousands of dollars and settlements can be in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

HR Boot Camp:

We recommend proper training as a key ingredient to effective prevention of unnecessary litigation in the workplace.  Sexual Harassment Training on a yearly basis is vital to teaching your employees of what to do what not to do in the workplace.  We provide to our clients a HR Boot Camp which teaches all supervisors of employees the key components to effective management of employees thus helping prevent unnecessary litigation in the workplace.


What is EPLI?  It is Employment Practice Liability Insurance.  This is the only liability insurance that will protect an employer from lawsuits in the workplace as discussed in this article.  Without this insurance the employer stands alone in claims made against them.  We recommend this insurance to all of our clients so if they are sued by an employee the insurance company will provide legal and financial support in any claims.  In order to secure this insurance however, your HR House must be in order and the insurance company will require proof from you that it is.

Who  is HR Knowledge, Inc.:

HR Knowledge is a provider of integrated HR, payroll and benefits services. Our offices are located in the Boston, MA metro area and we service companies throughout the United States.  This article has been written by Jeffrey C. Garr, CEO at HR Knowledge, Inc.

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