Labor & Employment Law 2024 Annual Update

February 13, 2024 at 8:00am5:00pm
The Holiday Inn By the Bay

88 Spring Street
Portland, ME 04101

Join us Tuesday, February 13 at the Holiday Inn By the Bay for a full day of programming. Attendees will get insights into hot topics for employers, an update on labor and employment laws and regulations, and a look into best practices for the workplace.

Topics will include:

2023 Legal Year in Review: Join Verrill’s Elizabeth Johnston, Tawny Alvarez, and Rob Brooks for the 2023 year in review where they will discuss Maine’s 2023 legislative changes, recent federal and state court rulings that affect how we engage with employees, and 2023 administrative acts that you should keep at top of mind. This session will focus on how changes in the law (and how those laws are viewed by regulators) effect business owners and human resources professionals including updates on the Maine Human Rights Law (and Commission), religion in the workplace, and recent wage and hour rulings. This program will discuss not only the changes but also set forth best practices for employers in response to these changes.

Paid Family Medical Leave: Maine's Paid Family and Medical Leave program became law in October 2023. Although benefits won't begin being paid out until 2026, between now and then there is much for employers to prepare for and to understand. Maine's law will create challenges for businesses of all sizes that many have never faced. This presentation will take an in-depth look at exactly what the legislature passed, what will be required of Maine businesses, the challenges that those requirements will create and what choices businesses will need to consider before taxes begin to be collected in 2025.

Workers’ Compensation: A Look Back and a View Forward: This session will include a review of the relevant bills proposed and legislation passed by the Legislature impacting the workers’ compensation system, a review of Appellate Division decisions as well as Law Court decisions impacting the workers’ compensation system in Maine, and a discussion of trends to look for in 2024.

Responding to Remote Work Challenges: Remote work is not the future, it’s now, and it’s not going anywhere. Whether you have a fully remote workforce or a hybrid policy, employers throughout Maine (and the country) have accepted that remote work—for many positions—is the new normal. This “new normal” however creates and highlights a host of issues that are percolating in the courts, from accommodation requests and privacy concerns, to questions as to applicability of different laws and wage and hour challenges. In this session, join Verrill’s Emily Waddell and Tawny Alvarez as they discuss these (and other) issues that directly (and indirectly) stem from the remote work relationship.

Wage and Hour - Top 5 Mistakes and Class Action Implications: Small mistakes can have big consequences, and with class action litigation on the rise, it’s important to make sure your wage and hour policies do not put your organization at risk. In this session, Doug Currier and Liz Johnston will discuss five common mistakes employers make in their wage and hour practices and how those errors can create liability in a class action context. Doug and Liz will also discuss important areas of variance between Maine and federal wage hour law and identify strategies for staying compliant on both the state and federal level.

National Labor Relations Board Updates: The National Labor Relations Board issued significant decisions in 2023 impacting election procedures, nondisclosure agreements, social media policies and more. These rulings create a more challenging environment for employers to operate in – regardless of whether their employees are unionized or not. Join Rob Brooks and Emily Waddell to discuss the recent rulings, what they mean for your business, and the best path forward in these uncertain times.

This presentation will cover:
-Organizing trends and high-profile organizing efforts
-Takeaways from major collective bargaining negotiations (General Motors, Hollywood writers, UPS and Microsoft)
-Major Board decisions such as Cemex, Stericycle Inc., and McLaren Macomb
-The NLRB’s new election rules

Employee Benefits: SECURE 2.0 and ERISA Fiduciary Breach Litigation Trends: This presentation will review the key provisions of SECURE 2.0 and explain what employers should be doing now to prepare for the implementation of SECURE 2.0 requirements. The presentation will also summarize ERISA fiduciary breach litigation trends affecting retirement plans and key takeaways for retirement plan fiduciaries.

Managing Mental Health: Employer Responsibilities and Best Practices: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is cracking down on companies that discriminate against workers with mental health conditions. In its recently released Strategic Enforcement Plan, the EEOC indicated that it will focus on harassment, retaliation and other policies and practices impacting vulnerable workers, including workers with mental health-related disabilities. In this presentation, Erik Peters and Liz Johnston will review what employers need to know about their responsibilities to employees facing mental health challenges and offer tips on how to stay on the right side of the law.

Mock HR scenarios: Join Doug Currier, Beth Smith and Jeffrey Russell as they engage in a spirited mock Human Resources session, exploring various scenarios that bedevil and challenge HR professionals throughout the State on a daily basis. Interact with them as they explore solutions and participate in the Q & A session to share your best tips with your fellow HR professionals.

Registration is $175 each.

Parking, breakfast, lunch, and networking reception are included.

This event has been approved for 6.5 CLE credits and 6.5 SHRM credits.

Click here to register!