Blog Posts: Taking Care of HR Business

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Human resource professionals, supervisors, and company executives alike face a constantly changing and evolving legal landscape. Verrill's Taking Care of HR Business blog is here to keep you up to date on the newest and most important legal developments for employers.

Should You Be Paying Overtime to Your Office Staff?

Office workers who perform receptionist, secretarial, and other administrative tasks often are incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime pay because they receive a salary and have job titles such as "executive assistant." However, such employees will not necessarily be found exempt from the requirement to pay overtime merely because...
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Double Check: COVID-19 Policy

While in March of 2020 , I believe many individuals hoped that by July of 2022 we would no longer be concerned with COVID-19 Policies, such, unfortunately, is not the case. Yesterday , the EEOC updated its long-standing guidance, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the...
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What Employers Need to Know About Access to Reproductive Care After Dobbs

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization , No. 19-1392 (June 24, 2022) overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, has led to a host of different responses from employers across the country—specifically those with employees in states that now ban...
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How to Break Up With An Employee: 10 Tips for Avoiding Claims and Liability

As with other types of relationships, breaking up with an employee is seldom easy. And employee terminations result in more lawsuits than any other employment action. Employers should keep the following 10 tips in mind when handling employee terminations in order to reduce the risk of legal claims and...
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Supreme Leak: NLRA Rights

For blog followers, you likely saw last week’s post reminding you to revisit your confidentiality policies in the wake of the leaking of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, as well as our follow-up piece concerning religious rights at work and steps to take...
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Supreme Leak: Religion at Work

Over the last year, our society has navigated COVID-19 and rules concerning vaccination and masking. As a society and on this blog, we have discussed regularly the role religious freedoms play in the work environment—under the Constitution, Title VII, and state law. Today, however, it’s time to re-visit the...
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“Mug-shots”: Are Employees’ risky beverage containers a cause for concern?

Prior to (and more so during) the pandemic, many individuals who found themselves working from home were limited in ways to express their uniqueness, their personalities, the things that made them, well, them. It started with fun backgrounds. Waves in the distance, a meeting in outer space, your favorite...
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2021 LexisNexis “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”

I just read a wonderful resource for anyone who has dealings with any aspect of workers’ compensation law. “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”, the 2021 LexisNexis volume co-authored by Thomas A. Robinson and National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network member firms contains well-written articles on multiple topics in the workers&rsquo...
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Limiting Harassment Claims When Returning to IRL Engagement

It is April 2022 and after 2 years of pandemic-related in-person meeting restrictions (also known as meeting In Real Life (IRL)), we are seeing increases in employers permitting work-related travel. That, coupled with requirements for partial or full-time return to the office means that we are seeing an increase...
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More Madness: Catch Up With NCAA Happenings

While there’s no denying March Madness brings the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) considerable attention, the Association has been the subject of significant press over the last year for several hot-button employment-related issues. First, there has been ongoing discussion concerning name, image, and likeness (NIL) issues. In February 2021...
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HR 2116 and What You Need to Know About Hairstyle Discrimination

On March 18, the United States House of Representatives passed HR 2116 by a vote of 235-to-189. The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (a/k/a CROWN Act) , would restrict discrimination on the basis of hair texture or style in Federally Assisted Programs, Housing Programs...
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BREAKING: The Supreme Court Blocks OSHA COVID Vaccine/Testing Rule (NFIB v. OSHA) and Allows the Healthcare (Medicare/Medicaid) Vaccine Rule (Biden v. Missouri) to Take Effect

In NFIB v. OSHA , the Court focused its decision on OSHA’s emergency temporary standards which require the Secretary to show (1) “that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and (2) that...
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Attention Portland Employers: Updates on Mask Mandate, Hazard Pay

On Monday, Portland City Councilors took two significant actions that affect employers in Portland, Maine. First, the Council repealed an emergency order from March 2020, eliminating the hazard pay provision set forth in the city’s minimum wage ordinance. Second, the Council enacted a city-wide indoor mask mandate affecting most...
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2021 Employment Law Update: Part 12 – Tips and Trends for 2021 and 2022

In 2021, due to the ongoing pandemic, the Employment & Labor Group hosted their monthly Annual Update seminars virtually this year. For the final presentation of the series, five Verrill attorneys provide us with short video segments, detailing some of the top trends of 2021 and ways companies and...
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Myth Buster: Employers, Vaccine Information, and HIPAA

With the nation’s ongoing focus on COVID-19 vaccinations, you may be hearing information—and misinformation—about your obligations under HIPAA, the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. In this segment of Myth Busters , we address some common misconceptions about HIPAA and its applicability to employers and employee health information...
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HR Power Hour with Robert Brooks- What's Covered? COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

On this episode of HR Power Hour, join Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez as she talks to fellow Verrill labor and employment attorney Robert Brooks , about vaccine mandates at work. This episode discusses how the government has authority to mandate vaccines at work, how to implement a vaccine mandate...
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HR Power Hour with Humza Khan – First Five Steps for DE&I

On this episode of HR Power Hour, join Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez as she talks to Humza Khan, founder of Inclusion Maine, about all things diversity, equity and inclusion. This episode discusses the foundation of building a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program and the first five steps any organization...
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What Does The Proposed Federal Minimum Wage Mean For My Business?

On July 22, 2021 the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule titled “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors” [1] formalizing the Biden Administration’s Executive Order 14026. The rule calls for federal contractors to pay their workers $15/hour and tipped workers $10.50/hour beginning on January 30, 2022. Both...
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Employers Check Your Handbooks: New NLRB General Counsel Sets Course

On August 12, 2021 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Abruzzo published her first memo setting forth the NLRB’s priorities. The memo identifies recent cases where the Board overruled past legal precedent in addition to noting several areas as requiring careful examination. One of the doctrinal shifts the...
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Federal Vaccine Mandates – What We Know and What We Don’t

On September 9, President Biden announced plans to require that federal workers, federal contractors, and employees of employers with 100 or more employees are vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force have been tasked with drafting regulations...
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This Week's Show: Beth Smith – What’s Covered? Workers’ Compensation 101

On Saturday, August 7, Tawny Alvarez, Verrill attorney and co-host of HR Power Hour, interviewed fellow Verrill attorney Elizabeth Smith for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Beth discuss pre-existing injuries, emotional wellness, stress, a skiing accident—are they covered by workers’ compensation? Beth has...
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Connecticut Employers Take Note – Cease Seeking Past Pay Information

Big changes are coming to Connecticut employers and with it, many organizational hiring practices with the passage of HB Number 6380. HB Number 6380 limits the disclosure of wage information from past positions. Currently, Connecticut employers are prohibited from asking (or directing a third party to ask) about an...
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This Week's Show: New Tools to Coach, Counsel, and Cheer

On Saturday, July 17, David Ciullo, co-host of HR Power Hour, interviewed Christopher Lee, the Chief Human Resources Officer for William & Mary, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, David and Chris discuss how Leaders need new tools to coach, counsel, and cheer their teams...
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Firm Highlights

News

77 Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers® 2023, Including Six Named Lawyers of the Year

Publication/Podcast

Massachusetts Employee Fired For Submitting PIP Rebuttal Protected By Public Policy

In a recent decision, Terence Meehan v. Medical Information Technology, Inc. , the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that an employer cannot terminate an employee for exercising the right to file a rebuttal to...

Publication/Podcast

Massachusetts Employers Beware: Any Late Wage Payment Means Liability for Triple Damages

Event

Annual Update: Part 1 - 2022 Legal Year in Review (2nd Session)

Blog

Should You Be Paying Overtime to Your Office Staff?

Office workers who perform receptionist, secretarial, and other administrative tasks often are incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime pay because they receive a salary and have job titles such as "executive assistant." However, such...

Blog

Double Check: COVID-19 Policy

While in March of 2020 , I believe many individuals hoped that by July of 2022 we would no longer be concerned with COVID-19 Policies, such, unfortunately, is not the case. Yesterday , the...

News

Verrill Attorney Elizabeth Connellan Smith Elected President of National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network

Publication/Podcast

Federal Vaccine Mandates: How to Respond to Ever-Changing Court Rulings

OSHA’s ETS, CMS’s Mandate, Federal Contractor Mandates, each of these federal vaccine policies have experienced legal challenges over the course of the last two months. On January 11, 2022, Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez on...

Blog

What Employers Need to Know About Access to Reproductive Care After Dobbs

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization , No. 19-1392 (June 24, 2022) overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, has led to a host of...

Event

Annual Update: Part 1 - 2022 Legal Year in Review (1st Session)

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