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

Honors

  • Recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business under Labor & Employment
  • Received Katahdin Counsel Recognition for pro bono efforts (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • 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

Blog

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...

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.

News

Advice from Women Leaders of Verrill

Publication/Podcast

Building a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace

Publication/Podcast

Summer Break - Massachusetts Employers Get Extension on Paid Family and Medical Leave Implementation

Those closely following the timeline for implementation of Massachusetts's new Paid Family and Medical Leave, are aware that on July 1, 2019, employers were required to begin to make payroll deductions for the paid...

Matter

Discrimination Defense

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

Publication/Podcast

What Maine Employers Need To Know About Changes In Personnel Practices Following This Legislative Session

In late June, labor and employment attorney Tawny Alvarez and Division Leader Paul Carelis of MassPay partnered to deliver a discussion on the latest laws and regulations that were enacted during Maine's most recent...

Event

Maine Rural Water Association's 39th Annual Technical Conference and Tradeshow

Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez and Jim Cohen will be presenting at the Maine Rural Water Association's 39th Annual Technical two-day conference on December 10-20, 2019. The event will focus on offering educational...

Blog

Tip: Administrative Assistants Only Rarely Are Exempt From Overtime Pay

Blog

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...