Biography

Your culture defines your business, and Tawny prides herself on helping clients comply with the law while simultaneously creating an amazing place to work.

She centers her practice on the understanding that the employment landscape is ever-changing and organizations do not have the time or resources to keep abreast of all these changes—from medical (and recreational) marijuana's effect on drug testing to the effect of social networking in the workplace, including the effect of the use of mobile devices on wage and hour issues. In this evolving landscape, Tawny recognizes that for companies to remain profitable and successful they must be proactive, not merely reactive, to these issues.

As many of these issues are swiftly evolving, Tawny prides herself on keeping current on these developments in the workplace and is skilled at crafting cost-effective solutions for adapting to them. She sensibly recognizes that one-size representation does not fit all, and focuses her practice on providing creative, cost-effective, and individualized labor and employment counseling and representation to clients while maintaining the culture that they have worked so hard to construct.

Tawny has represented diverse clients in a broad range of industries, from small family-owned businesses and non-profits to Fortune 100 companies across the country. In each situation, she recognizes that each company's culture and employment needs are distinct and crafts her practice to provide solutions that take these individualized needs and cultures into account. She frequently advises clients and defends them in court and before administrative bodies throughout the Northeast with issues including:

  • Wage and hour
  • Whistleblowing
  • Harassment/discrimination/retaliation (FMLA, ADA, FCA, FLSA, OSHA, USERRA, GINA, and ADEA)
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Employment agreements (including breach of separation agreements and restrictive covenant agreements, such as non-competes and non-solicitation)
  • Drug testing
  • Supervisor liability
  • Social media and technology in the workplace

Tawny's experience working with judges across the country at the trial and appellate levels provides her with a unique level of insight as to the ins and outs of state and federal litigation. Outside the adversarial setting, she counsels clients on best practices to minimize potential litigation with current and former employees including preparing separation agreements and drafting and revising policy handbooks.

Tawny serves as editor of Verrill's Employment & Labor Group blog, Taking Care of HR Business, and regularly presents to employers, human resources professionals, and peers on trending issues, best practices, and industry-specific concerns. Tawny created the HR Law 101 Series to provide individuals who are new to human resources with guidance on best practices regarding issues that frequently develop.

She also co-chairs the firm's Food & Beverage Group. Using the same mindset—that one size does not fit all—she enjoys helping small and large companies in the food and beverage community stay in compliance with state and federal regulations while simultaneously maintaining a culture that works for the organization. She represents retail and manufacturers that produce wine, beer, ice cream, and other specialties, as well as restaurants and bars throughout the Northeast.

Outside the office, Tawny enjoys reading fiction; exploring art museums and the Maine coast; experiencing Portland's myriad drinking, dining, and cultural options; traveling; and spending time with her daughter.

Services/Industries

Education

  • Pace University School of Law  (J.D., magna cum laude)
  • Thomas College  (B.S., summa cum laude)

Public Service

  • Board of Directors, Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)
  • Steering Committee, Portland Museum of Art Contemporaries
  • Membership & Programming Committee, United Way Greater Portland Brick and Beam Society

Bar Admissions

  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Iowa

Memberships

  • Board Member, Manufacturers Association of Maine

Honors

  • Received Katahdin Counsel Recognition for pro bono efforts (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch under Labor and Employment Law – Management
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in New England Super Lawyers© under Employment & Labor

To learn more about third-party ratings and rankings, and the selection processes used for inclusion, click here.

Clerkships

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Hon. Thomas I. Vanaskie
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Northern District of Iowa, Hon. Thad J. Collins
  • Iowa Judicial Branch, District Court

Court and Other Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court – District of New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Firm Highlights

Publication/Podcast

Return to Work Plan Outline

Your return to work plan is going to be dependent on your industry, your work culture, whether you completely shut down or decreased operations during the pandemic, and the design of your workplace. At...

News

Nearly 80 Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers® 2021, Including a Dozen Named Lawyers of the Year

(August 24, 2020) – Nearly 80 Verrill attorneys were recognized as "Best Lawyers" by Best Lawyers® 2021 , including 12 attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year,” a distinguished recognition for only a single lawyer...

Matter

Wage & Hour

Forcing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide clarity as to exemptions under state wage and hour laws, we successfully achieved summary judgment in a class action brought against a national explosives company.

Publication/Podcast

Webinar Materials: Avoiding Risk & Litigation in the COVID-19 Work Environment

On May 28, Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez and MassPay's Paul Carelis presented "Avoiding Risk & Litigation in the COVID-19 Work Environment" and discussed unknowns and liabilities for businesses when returning to work begins. Our...

Matter

Discrimination Defense

We successfully defended a regional hotel chain against administrative claims of ADA and MHRA disability discrimination.

Blog

This Week's Show: Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping

On Saturday, October 17, 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 combating race and sex stereotyping...

Publication/Podcast

Webinar Materials: Legal Developments Every Hospital Should Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 18, Verrill attorneys Tawny Alvarez and Kate Healy presented "Legal Developments Every Hospital Should Know During the COVID-19 Pandemic" with MHA. This webinar provided Maine Hospital Association members with insights into the...

Blog

Getting Ready for Election Day: Employee Voting

Matter

Discrimination Defense

We successfully defended a large aviation ground handling service company against claims of violation of the ADA and the FMLA—garnering summary judgment in their favor.

Blog

What Employers Need to Know About The Families First Coronavirus Response Act - An Animation

Navigating the ins and outs of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) can be difficult for employers. This animation seeks to illustrate some of the most important takeaways. Transcript: Hi, I'm Tawny, a...