Taking Care of HR Business

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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Podcast: The Legal Perspective of Creating a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace

It's important to remind yourselves that human resource law is ever-changing and it takes acknowledging your organization's environment to be sure it is an inclusive and comfortable place for your employees. In this episode of Verrill Voices, employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez discusses how organizations with respectful and...
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This Week's Show: Space and Design in the HR World

Announcement: Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez now co-hosts the educational HR radio show, HR Power Hour with David Ciullo! On Saturday, January 11, Tawny interviewed Jeana Stewart, NCIDQ, LEED AP, and workplace studio leader of SMRT Architects and Engineers, for this segment of HR Power Hour. Jeana gives...
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Annual Employment Law Update: HR 2020 - Vision for the Future

Foresight is 2020 - join Verrill's Employment & Labor Group on Thursday, January 30 at The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel for a full day of programming highlighting the most significant changes for employers in 2019 and a look into what's to come in 2020, as well as hot topics...
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Wage and Hour Update for the New Year

With the New Year comes changes in many state and federal wage and hour laws. Do you operate in a state that has recently experienced a raise in the minimum wage? It is always best practice to check out your state’s Department of Labor website for the most up-to-date...
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2019 Wrap Up: 10 Points for Reviewing Executive Employment Agreements

As 2019 ends and 2020 begins, many executives and their employers may be entering into, amending and revising, or renewing employment agreements. It is important for both sides to get it right. An executive’s employment agreement will define expectations regarding role, responsibilities, and performance. It also will establish key...
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2019 Wrap Up: New Tech, New Issues

Over the past several years, technology has infiltrated more and more aspects of life—including the employment context. With new consumer and business products and platforms being introduced to the workplace on a daily basis, there are ever-growing opportunities to use tech to improve worker safety, optimize efficiency in the...
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2019 Wrap Up: Tis the season to be jolly...and anxious...and depressed

Mental Health and Employment Law now and in 2020
The last decade has brought with it a significant increase in the number of claims stemming from allegations of discrimination or retaliation as a result of mental health conditions. While we often see an increase in anxiety and depression around the holidays, the mental health of employees is an...
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Verrill’s Employment and Labor Wrap Up

As the year and decade come to a close, it is hard not to reflect on how the labor and employment landscape has changed in recent years. Economic forces, political shifts, and new technology are just some of the factors that have been at play in shaping policy and...
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A Webinar for Home Care Companies

Are you a home care company and wondering about wage and hour differences and electronic visit verification? In this webinar, Verrill's employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez and Masspay's HR Generalist Amanda Bridge discuss prevalent wage and hour violations, electronic visit verification, and serious implications for the home care...
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A Podcast Miniseries for Your HR Needs: HR Law 101

In case you missed it, here is a recap of our Verrill Voices podcast series, HR Law 101: Understanding the HR Basics, hosted by employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez. Each episode is intended to provide startup entrepreneurs and HR newcomers with a strong foundational knowledge of the laws...
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Certain Bonuses Must Be Included When Calculating Overtime Pay

Money Exchange
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally requires that nonexempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek be paid 1.5 times their “regular rate” for the hours above 40. Calculating overtime pay is simple if the employee receives only a basic hourly rate as compensation...
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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

Working Professional
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

Overtime pay graphic
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

Sharpie
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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Is Your Website Accessible to Disabled Online Job Seeker?

laptop
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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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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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...
Go