Taking Care of HR Business

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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Category: Wage and Hour

Getting Ready for Election Day: Employee Voting

Election Day is right around the corner. While many employees may choose to vote by mail, chances are you may have employees requesting time away from the workplace (or a remote work set-up) to vote in person. Now is a better time than ever to brush up on employers&rsquo...
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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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COVID-19: Updated FAQs

Employers across the country are struggling with how to support their employees and their customers, and also to keep their business afloat, as the cry for social isolation to curb the spread of the novel COVID-19 (coronavirus) grows stronger. There are a lot of complicated issues that we are...
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The Coronavirus: FAQs for Employers

We’ve been here before. Remember the H1N1 outbreak of 2009? That little bug originated outside of Mexico City. As the virus spread, governments issued travel warnings and schools were on notice to be extra vigilant. There was even a quarantined cruise ship and a run on surgical masks. Sound...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Unpaid Labor: Focus Shifts from Hollywood to Baseball to Church

In the past we have focused a lot on volunteer labor. The fact that generally an individual cannot "volunteer" to work for a for-profit business. The days of unpaid internships where someone volunteers their time to gain valuable experience has long since passed with the necessity that the individual...
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Does Massachusetts’s Pay Equity Law Change the Game?

On July 1, 2018, Massachusetts Pay Equity law takes effect requiring all employers to pay men and women equally for comparable work—a phrase that is different from many similar statutes that have gone into effect over the course of the last few years. What are the key points that...
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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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On Air with Ken and Matt: An Employment Law Update

HR Puzzle
In case you missed it, labor and employment attorneys Benjamin Ford and Tawny Alvarez were live on air in the Newsradio WGAN studio on the morning of Friday, December 22, discussing the firm's upcoming 2018 Annual Employment Law Update on January 25 in Portland. The morning news segment with...
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Full-Day Conference to Address Labor & Employment Changes from the New Administration

The first year of the Trump administration has brought significant changes – many of which directly affect employers. On Thursday, January 25, Verrill Dana will host a full-day Annual Employment Law Update at The Westin Harborview Hotel to explore these changes and how to address them. "Employers need practical...
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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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FLSA Exempt Salary Adjustment Update

On Thursday, Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas issued an order concluding that the Department of Labor's amendments to the FLSA—increasing the minimum salary threshold from $23,660 annually to $47,476.00 in order to qualify as exempt—were invalid. Specifically, the Memorandum Opinion and Order found the plaintiffs...
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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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