Taking Care of HR Business

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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Category: Discrimination

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Third-Party Intervention Training

This is the fifth post in a 12-part series on how companies can show support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing company policies and practices. This post focuses on the importance of third-party intervention training for employees and managers so that they have tools and resources to...
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This Week's Show: Title VII Protects Sexual Orientation

On Saturday, July 11, Tawny interviewed Benjamin Ford, Partner in Verrill's Employment & Labor group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Ben and Tawny discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision, specifically how Title VII protects sexual orientation. Ben learned firsthand that the best product...
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To Test or Not to Test: Employer Considerations Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Q: I am concerned about employees coming to work with a fever—can I test employees’ temperatures before allowing them to work to avoid spreading the coronavirus? Verrill’s View: Maybe—but there are many factors to consider. Generally, taking an employee’s temperature would be a restricted medical examination, but employers may...
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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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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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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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Diversity Initiatives Versus Affirmative Action

We talk a lot about the importance of diversity in the workforce: Having a diverse group of employees. The ability to choose from a diverse group of applicants. Making a job attractive to diverse candidates. While some employers may be required under federal law to track and maintain a...
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A Podcast Miniseries, HR Law 101: 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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Dear Byron: Let's Talk About Prior Salary

[Letter to Byron D. Verrill, who in 1862 began the law practice known today as Verrill Dana, LLP] Dear Byron D. Verrill: When I'm interviewing applicants for a new position is it okay for me to ask about prior or current salary at other employers? Thanks, Hugh Gotthis Dear...
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Massachusetts Equal Pay Act: 6 Things Employers Need to Know

Gender equality
In the latest episode of Verrill Voices, labor and employment attorney Tawny Alvarez discusses best practices for complying with the upcoming amendments to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), which was initially passed in order to establish pay equity among employees of different genders. Within the podcast Tawny covers...
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Can the Inclusion Rider Exist In and Out of Hollywood?

Frances McDormand ended her Oscar acceptance speech with two words: Inclusion Rider. She forced the audience, the public, and the press to ask, "What's an inclusion rider?" She later informs curious minds that there has always been a rider available to individuals (likely A-list actors/actresses) who negotiate, ask for...
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Searching for Answers: Ex-Google Employees File Suit

Google Magnifying Glass
Yesterday, James Damore, the engineer who authored the Google Memo , which set forth his view on gender bias and diversity in technology, and who was later fired, filed a class-action lawsuit in the Santa Clara Superior Court in California. Joining him in the suit is fellow ex-employee, David...
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Podcast: Employment Policies in the Trump Administration

In this Verrill Voices podcast, labor and employment attorneys Tawny Alvarez and Richard Moon discuss recent administrative and legislative developments, how they affect employers generally. More specifically, they discuss the current position in which the Department of Justice and the EEOC are taking separate and distinct positions on the...
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Podcast: Affinity Groups in the Workplace

While affinity groups can be a great marketing tool for employers to attract and retain workers, as well as to foster new ideas, they can also create a great deal of legal liability. For some background, affinity groups are generally formalized groups that share similarities of some sort, whether...
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Connecticut Pay Equity Bill Moves Forward

Earlier this week, bill HB5591 , which has been touted as legislation that will help to close the gender pay gap between Connecticut employees, cleared the House of Representatives with a vote of 139-9. The bill, unlike the Massachusetts law that goes into effect next year, does not include...
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Seventh Circuit Holds Sexual Orientation Bias Exists Under Title VII

Earlier this week, the Seventh Circuit in an en banc (all members of the court participating as opposed to only three) decision held that Title VII's ban on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. The 8-3 ruling represents the first federal court of appeals ruling to find...
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While There WAS No "I" in Defendant, There Is Now: New Hampshire Supreme Court Finds Individual Liability in State Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Retaliation Statutes

Earlier this week the New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a decision in EEOC v. Fred Fuller Oil Company, Inc. , finding that New Hampshire's anti-discrimination statute imposes individual employee liability for aiding and abetting in discrimination in the workplace and that New Hampshire's anti-retaliation statute similarly imposes individual employee...
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