Ariel is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Wage & Hour Litigation Practice Group in Boston and the national chair of the Employment Litigation and Counseling Practice Group.  Mr. Cudkowicz’s principal area of concentration is in wage and hour matters, including federal and state wage and hour audits, and litigating collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and class actions under state wage and hour laws.  He has defended many clients in the retail industry in FLSA collective actions and in the hospitality industry in class actions challenging the distribution of tips and service charges under Massachusetts law.   Mr. Cudkowicz also provides advice to Fortune 100 and 500 corporations on compliance with Massachusetts and federal wage and hour laws.  He has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration, mediation, conciliation and summary and mini-trials encompassing most substantive areas of employment litigation.

On March 9, 2018, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (“CCC”) filed its much anticipated recreational marijuana Regulations with the Massachusetts Secretary of State.  According to the CCC, the Regulations are on track to be published in the Massachusetts Register on March 23, 2018.  The Regulations will become effective upon publication.  While the Regulations are comprehensive in many ways, for most employers the Regulations are most notable for what they lack, namely guidance regarding employer-employee rights and responsibilities.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Recreational Pot Regulations Offer Little Guidance To Employers

On May 23, 2017, in Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Co., a Rhode Island Superior Court issued a unique decision regarding employer obligations to medical marijuana users.  The Judge who penned the decision began his analysis by quoting a 1967 lyric from The Beatles’ song “With A Little Help From My Friends”: “I get high with a little help from my friends.”  In the 32-page opinion following this witty opening, the Court held that an employer’s refusal to hire an individual based on her medical marijuana use violated Rhode Island’s medical marijuana statute, and the employer’s conduct may have amounted to disability discrimination under the Rhode Island Civil Rights Act (“RICRA”). 
Continue Reading Refusal to Hire Medical Pot Users Just Got Riskier–At Least In Rhode Island

Now that Massachusetts has voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, employers that want to maintain drug-free workplaces, the new marijuana law raises a number of questions regarding employer rights and obligations.  In this client alert, we identify a number of issues facing employers in the wake of this new law and offer our initial reactions and insights.

To
Continue Reading Management Alert: Recreational Marijuana Use Becomes Legal in Massachusetts: Questions and Answers for Dazed and Confused Employers