Taking Care of HR Business

A blog from the attorneys of Verrill

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

That's right—with the kids jinglebelling and everyone telling you to be of good cheer, we can safely say that the holiday season is here. In years past, Verrill Dana's Labor & Employment Practice Group has celebrated by sharing festive labor and employment lessons based on the "Twelve Days of...
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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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FMLA, Disability, & Sick Leave Management: A Panel Discussion

Join the Maine Employee Benefits Council (MEBC) on Wednesday, October 17 for a panel discussion on the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), disability, and sick leave management. Panelists will discuss federal and state specific paid leave laws, examine the requirements for Maine employers who have employees in the particular...
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NLRB Rules Company’s Moonlighting Ban is Unlawful

An NLRB administrative law judge has ruled that it is illegal for companies to ban employees from moonlighting without permission. In the case Nicholson Terminal & Dock Co. and Steve Lavender, NLRB Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth M. Tafe ruled that the company was unlawfully maintaining a handbook rule prohibiting...
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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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Understanding Your Sexual Harassment Training Duties

Multiple states (and some cities) have sexual harassment requirements for certain employers. Currently California , Connecticut , and Maine have training requirements in place and New York's training requirement will take effect later this year. Even if your state does not, however, require training, best practices would be to...
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Dear Byron: Emojis at Work

[Letter to Byron D. Verrill, who in 1862 began the law practice known today as Verrill Dana, LLP] Dear Byron D. Verrill The other day an employee asked me what our policy is on emoji use in the office. We don't have a policy. Should we have a policy...
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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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NCCI Maine Advisory Forum 2018

On Thursday, March 22, 2018, Attorney Beth Smith attended the morning session of the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) State Advisory Forum for Maine, held in Portland, Maine. Justin Moulton and Jim Davis hosted on behalf of NCCI, and there were roughly thirty attendees. The session opened with...
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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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Time is Running Out – New Disability Claims Procedures Take Effect April 2, 2018

It has been a long time coming, but the Department of Labor's final rule regarding disability benefit claims procedures (the "Final Rule") will finally take effect on April 2, 2018. Employers need to determine which of their ERISA plans will be subject to the Final Rule and implement the...
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Massachusetts Equal Pay Act: 6 Things Employers Need to Know

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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Is Hiring a Full-Time Interpreter a Reasonable Accommodation?

Maybe. The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut issued a ruling on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment in Cadoret v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. on February 9, 2018, holding there was a genuine issue of material fact as to whether hiring a full-time American Sign Language interpreter...
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Podcast: What Employers Need to Know about Non-Compete Agreements

As issues of covenants or agreements to not compete become increasingly prevalent in employer/employee relationships, attorney Calvin Woo discusses what employers need to know about non-compete agreements in this Verrill Voices podcast. As Calvin explains at the start of the podcast, non-compete agreements are a form of restrictive covenants...
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When Employees Speak Out

On Saturday, January 6, labor and employment attorney Tawny Alvarez joined David Ciullo for a segment of HR Power Hour on News Talk WLOB radio. On the show, Tawny discussed what employers can and cannot do when employees speak out. Further, she explains the difference between free speech in...
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Searching for Answers: Ex-Google Employees File Suit

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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The Walking Dead Producer Walks into Serious OSHA Fines after Death on Set

The company that produces The Walking Dead television series was recently fined $12,675.00 after an OSHA investigation following the fatal July 12, 2017 fall of stuntman John Bernecker. Specifically, Mr. Bernecker fell approximately 20 feet onto a concrete floor, resulting in his death, while performing a stunt. OSHA relied...
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On Air with Ken and Matt: An Employment Law Update

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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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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