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.

Five Employment Law Traps For CFOs Tasked with HR Oversight

Overseeing human resources -- a hat that many CFOs wear -- may mean having to make crucial decisions about hiring and policy, performance management and discipline, and employee terminations. Such decisions may affect HR expenses and employee morale, and also may expose the company to the risk of expensive...
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Identifying and Handling a Hostile Work Environment

Employee claims of “hostile work environments” continue to make news both in Maine and on a national level, putting potentially embarrassing and damaging workplace and employee interpersonal issues into the public eye. But when do workplace issues rise to a level where a lawsuit might ensue? What steps can...
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Tip: Administrative Assistants Only Rarely Are Exempt From Overtime Pay

Office workers who perform secretarial, receptionist and other administrative tasks are often incorrectly classified as exempt from overtime pay because they receive a salary and have job titles such as "executive assistant." These employees; however, will not necessarily be found exempt from the requirement to pay overtime merely because...
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Overtime Update to Have Wide Reaching Effect on Employers

Today, September, 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to increase the salary threshold necessary to remain an exempt employee. The change is estimated to affect 1.3 million American workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Below is a synopsis of the facts embodying...
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EEOC Announces EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Data Collection WON'T Be Renewed

Yesterday, September 11, 2019, the EEOC announced that it will not seek to renew collection of EEO-1 Component 2 Data for 2019, 2020, and 2021. This does not impact employer's current EEO-1 obligations to file Component 2 Data due on September 30, 2019. In the publication the EEOC admitted...
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The Sharpie and Employment Litigation Documentation

The last week has been filled with news broadcasts, jokes, and general discussion of the use of a Sharpie to extend the path of movement of Hurricane Dorian in a map presented during a news broadcast given by President Donald Trump. What, you may ask, does this have to...
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Compromise Reached in Maine Workers’ Compensation Reform

Governor Mills has signed into law amendments to the existing Workers' Compensation Act that are the product of a bipartisan effort to avoid a series of proposed legislation that would have had the very real risk of dragging Maine back to pre-1992 status. With the election of a Democratic...
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Maine’s New Paid Leave Law: Employer Confusion

On May 28, 2019, Governor Mills signed into law the nation's first ever paid leave law requiring leave for any reason. The statute itself is uniquely brief, giving the impression that it is straightforward, but there are a host of important issues that the statute does not address. Below...
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Maine Employers Must Cease Seeking Compensation History

On April 12, 2019, Governor Mills signed into law LD 278 , "An Act Regarding Pay Equality." Under the new laws (5 M.R.S.A. § 4577; 26 M.R.S.A. § 628-A) employers may not "use or inquire about the compensation history of a prospective employee from the prospective employee or a...
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DOL’s Proposed Rule Making on Regular Rate of Pay

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division recently announced a proposed rule updating regulations governing what items are included in an employee's regular rate of pay. This constitutes the first update to the definition of the regular rate of pay in over fifty years. Under the Fair...
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Is Your Website Accessible to Disabled Online Job Seeker?

On March 22, 2019, a federal judge permitted an Ohio man's class action lawsuit to proceed against Ford Motor Company. The lawsuit alleges the company discriminated against disabled job applicants because its online job application wasn't fully accessible. In the past, experts have advised on the importance of having...
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I’m Sick - I Need Leave - But I Don’t Want To Use FMLA Leave

How many times have you heard, as a Human Resources professional, an employee make the statement: "I need leave, but I don't want to use my FMLA leave"? In many cases, our initial response is to educate the employee and help them understand that Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA...
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Breaking: DOL Unveils Proposed Changes to FLSA Overtime Pay Requirements

Yesterday, March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled a proposal to change the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it applies to non-exempt employees eligible for overtime. The proposed change increases the required weekly salary to maintain an exempt position from the current $455 per...
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Update on the 2019 Annual Employment Law Update

Last month, on January 31, Verrill Dana hosted its 2019 Annual Employment Law Update at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. The full-day conference provided employers and HR professionals with updates on recent legal developments in labor and employment law. Special guest speakers from Live + Work in Maine, Bath...
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Update on the 2019 Annual Employment Law Update

Last month, on January 31, Verrill Dana hosted its 2019 Annual Employment Law Update at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. The full-day conference provided employers and HR professionals with updates on recent legal developments in labor and employment law. Special guest speakers from Live + Work in Maine, Bath...
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New Episodes in our HR Law 101 Podcast Miniseries: Understanding the HR Basics

Whether you're the founder of a startup, new to HR, or are looking for a refresher on some of the basics, this podcast miniseries will provide you with the building blocks necessary to successfully achieve a healthy and compliant employer/employee relationship. In each episode, Verrill Dana labor and employment...
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On The Twelfth Day of HR, Verrill Dana Gave to Me…

…a stocking full of tip summaries! After a very musical few weeks, we've arrived at the final installment of our 12 Days of HR series. We hope that you've enjoyed singing along with us on our holiday-themed journey through various employment law issues—and learned a few things along the...
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12 Days of HR: Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot, Preparing for 2019 Should Not

We're halfway through December, which means that the New Year is right around the corner. January 1st always seems to inspire a host of new goals and aspirations for the year ahead, and if you are in human resources, we have some resolutions to consider as 2019 gets ready...
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12 Days of HR: All I Want For Christmas Is . . . A Side Hustle?

In recent years, "side hustles" have become an increasingly common phenomenon among employees in all industries to supplement income from a "traditional" job. A key attribute of side hustles is that they are self-managed, and there are seemingly endless opportunities—from tutoring to digital design services to creating online video...
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12 Days of HR: I’ll Be Home for Christmas—Because of Leave Under the FMLA

Employees often take time off around the holidays. In many cases, an employee's days off might be pursuant to a planned vacation or time with loved ones. However, an employee might request leave for a situation that would entitle them to leave pursuant to the federal Family and Medical...
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Firm Highlights

Publication/Podcast

Government Contractors and Employers of 100+ Employees Must File New EEOC Report by September 30, 2019

EEO-1 Component 2 Report Due by September 30, 2019 All employers that are required to submit an EEO-1 federal report—employers of 100 or more, or federal government contractors and first-tier subcontractors with 50 or...

Publication/Podcast

Building a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace

Blog

Identifying and Handling a Hostile Work Environment

Employee claims of “hostile work environments” continue to make news both in Maine and on a national level, putting potentially embarrassing and damaging workplace and employee interpersonal issues into the public eye. But when...

Matter

Discrimination Defense

We successfully defended a regional hotel chain against administrative claims of ADA and MHRA disability discrimination.

News

Verrill Attorney Elected Secretary of National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network Executive Board

(November 13, 2019) – Verrill attorney Elizabeth Connellan Smith was recently elected secretary of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN). Smith has been a member of the NWCDN since 2006, and was first...

Event

Maine Rural Water Association's 39th Annual Technical Conference and Tradeshow

Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez and Jim Cohen will be presenting at the Maine Rural Water Association's 39th Annual Technical two-day conference on December 10-20, 2019. The event will focus on offering educational...

Blog

Tip: Administrative Assistants Only Rarely Are Exempt From Overtime Pay

Matter

Discrimination Defense

We successfully defended a large aviation ground handling service company against claims of violation of the ADA and the FMLA—garnering summary judgment in their favor.

Blog

Five Employment Law Traps For CFOs Tasked with HR Oversight

Overseeing human resources -- a hat that many CFOs wear -- may mean having to make crucial decisions about hiring and policy, performance management and discipline, and employee terminations. Such decisions may affect HR...

News

Verrill Welcomes Employment Law Attorney Scott Connolly

(September 30, 2019) – Verrill is pleased to welcome employment law attorney Scott Connolly to the firm's Boston office. Leveraging his experience as both in-house and outside counsel to employers, Connolly guides clients through...