Blog Posts: Taking Care of HR Business

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Human resource professionals, supervisors, and company executives alike face a constantly changing and evolving legal landscape. Verrill's Taking Care of HR Business blog is here to keep you up to date on the newest and most important legal developments for employers.

Supreme Leak: NLRA Rights

For blog followers, you likely saw last week’s post reminding you to revisit your confidentiality policies in the wake of the leaking of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, as well as our follow-up piece concerning religious rights at work and steps to take...
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Supreme Leak: Religion at Work

Over the last year, our society has navigated COVID-19 and rules concerning vaccination and masking. As a society and on this blog, we have discussed regularly the role religious freedoms play in the work environment—under the Constitution, Title VII, and state law. Today, however, it’s time to re-visit the...
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“Mug-shots”: Are Employees’ risky beverage containers a cause for concern?

Prior to (and more so during) the pandemic, many individuals who found themselves working from home were limited in ways to express their uniqueness, their personalities, the things that made them, well, them. It started with fun backgrounds. Waves in the distance, a meeting in outer space, your favorite...
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Limiting Harassment Claims When Returning to IRL Engagement

It is April 2022 and after 2 years of pandemic-related in-person meeting restrictions (also known as meeting In Real Life (IRL)), we are seeing increases in employers permitting work-related travel. That, coupled with requirements for partial or full-time return to the office means that we are seeing an increase...
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HR 2116 and What You Need to Know About Hairstyle Discrimination

On March 18, the United States House of Representatives passed HR 2116 by a vote of 235-to-189. The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair Act (a/k/a CROWN Act) , would restrict discrimination on the basis of hair texture or style in Federally Assisted Programs, Housing Programs...
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HR Power Hour with Robert Brooks- What's Covered? COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

On this episode of HR Power Hour, join Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez as she talks to fellow Verrill labor and employment attorney Robert Brooks , about vaccine mandates at work. This episode discusses how the government has authority to mandate vaccines at work, how to implement a vaccine mandate...
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HR Power Hour with Humza Khan – First Five Steps for DE&I

On this episode of HR Power Hour, join Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez as she talks to Humza Khan, founder of Inclusion Maine, about all things diversity, equity and inclusion. This episode discusses the foundation of building a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program and the first five steps any organization...
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This Week's Show: Beth Smith – What’s Covered? Workers’ Compensation 101

On Saturday, August 7, Tawny Alvarez, Verrill attorney and co-host of HR Power Hour, interviewed fellow Verrill attorney Elizabeth Smith for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Beth discuss pre-existing injuries, emotional wellness, stress, a skiing accident—are they covered by workers’ compensation? Beth has...
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This Week's Show: COVID-19 and Return to Work

On Saturday, July 10, Tawny interviewed Emily Waddell, Associate Attorney in Verrill's Employment & Labor Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Emily discuss returning to work and COVID-19. Emily provides tailored legal solutions to support her client’s human capital and organizational objectives...
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This Week's Show: Wellness for Modern Teams

On Saturday, June 26, Tawny interviewed Mike Vien, CEO and Co-founder of Wallit, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Mike discuss wellness for modern teams. Mike Vien is the CEO and co-founder of Wallit, an enterprise wellness platform for modern teams. For more...
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OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare Settings

Earlier today (June 10, 2021), OSHA issued COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) Subpart U applicable to healthcare settings. While OSHA has indicated that future guidance may be provided for other industries, today’s guidance is limited to the healthcare setting. The first question: Does the ETS apply to your organization...
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Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Forms

As many readers know, on May 28, 2021, An Act Providing for Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave was passed. The Act creates a fund for the Commonwealth to reimburse eligible employers who provide employees with COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave. This statute provides that between May 28, 2021...
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This Week's Show: Change Leadership

On Saturday, June 5, Tawny interviewed Mary Axelsen, WeMaax Consulting Founder & CEO, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Mary discuss CARE Change Framework and the work that WeMaax Consulting does in the Change Leadership arena. Mary comes with 20 years of experience...
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Public Accommodation Laws and Vaccination Inquiries

Last week, the EEOC provided updated COVID-19 guidance to employers on vaccines and vaccine incentives in the employment realm. One area, however, in which the agencies has been silent is in the public accommodation space and what organizations can/must/should do to protect themselves and their employees from claims of...
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ICE Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility

Those responsible for employee onboarding can breathe a sigh of relief after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week announced that they would extend flexibilities that were instituted last year as a result of COVID-19. Specifically, the announcement extends the agency’s previous rules until August 31, 2021. The rule...
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This Week's Show: Identifying Impairment in the Workforce

On Saturday, May 29, Tawny interviewed Scot Mattox, CEO of Dirigo Safety, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Scot discuss identifying impairment in the workforce. Scot Mattox retired in September 2013 as a Sergeant with the Portland Police Department after 26 years in...
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This Week's Show: What is Covering?

On Saturday, May 15, Tawny interviewed Elizabeth Johnston, Associate in Verrill's Employment & Labor Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Liz and Tawny discuss what it means to cover in the workplace, as well as HR best practices for diversity and inclusion. A regular...
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COVID-19 Vaccination Policies: Top 4 Legal Concerns

There are many unresolved legal questions to consider when it comes to COVID vaccination employee policies. Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez and MP’s HR consulting team have compiled key advice for reducing legal risk when it comes to COVID vaccination. To learn about four major areas of legal...
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Are You Paying Attention to your Classifications?

DOL Scraps Trump-era Interpretative Letters and 60,000 U.K. Uber Drivers Entitled to Worker Benefits It has been a big day for changes on the worker classification front. In the last 24 hours, Britain’s highest court found that Uber drivers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime and the U.S...
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This Week's Show: Why Location Matters in DEI Initiatives

On Saturday, February 6, Tawny interviewed James Dinkle, Executive Director of Kennebec Regional Development Authority, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Tawny and Jim discuss why location matters in DEI initiatives. Jim Dinkle is the Executive Director of the Kennebec Regional Development Authority in Oakland...
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This Week's Show: Maintaining Mental Health at Work

On Saturday, November 21, Tawny interviewed Lindy Graham, LCSW and Founder of Wellspace Maine, and Celine Frueh, Human Resources Director of Allagash Brewing Co., for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Lindy, Celine, and Tawny discuss maintaining mental health for your employees, especially during this time...
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This Week's Show: COVID 19 and Workers’ Compensation

On Saturday, January 16, Tawny interviewed Elizabeth Smith, Counsel in Verrill's Employment and Labor Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Beth and Tawny discuss what COVID-19 means for workers' compensation Beth has litigated numerous employment and labor law matters in the course of her...
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This Week's Show: Helping Employees Meet New Year’s Resolutions

On Saturday, January 9, Tawny interviewed Shelby Turcotte, Author and Personal Trainer of Shelby Trained, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Shelby and Tawny discuss how employees can meet New Year's resolutions. Shelby is an author, performance consultant, and owner of Shelby Trained – a...
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This Week's Show: Maine Election Results’ Impact on Business

On Saturday, November 21, Tawny interviewed Mike Saxl, Counsel at Verrill and Managing Principal of Maine Street Solutions, and Robert Reynolds, Government Relations Specialist of Maine Street Solutions, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Mike, Robert, and Tawny discuss Maine's election results and its impact...
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Firm Highlights

Blog

More Madness: Catch Up With NCAA Happenings

While there’s no denying March Madness brings the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) considerable attention, the Association has been the subject of significant press over the last year for several hot-button employment-related issues. First...

Blog

2021 LexisNexis “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”

I just read a wonderful resource for anyone who has dealings with any aspect of workers’ compensation law. “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”, the 2021 LexisNexis volume co-authored by Thomas A. Robinson and National...

Publication/Podcast

Federal Vaccine Mandates: How to Respond to Ever-Changing Court Rulings

OSHA’s ETS, CMS’s Mandate, Federal Contractor Mandates, each of these federal vaccine policies have experienced legal challenges over the course of the last two months. On January 11, 2022, Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez on...

Blog

News of Supreme Court Leak is a Good Reminder to Revisit Confidentiality Policies

If you have been on social media today (or yesterday) or picked up a newspaper or listened to the radio or watched television—really if you have consumed news in any format, you likely are...

Blog

Limiting Harassment Claims When Returning to IRL Engagement

It is April 2022 and after 2 years of pandemic-related in-person meeting restrictions (also known as meeting In Real Life (IRL)), we are seeing increases in employers permitting work-related travel. That, coupled with requirements...

Publication/Podcast

Can Nonprofits Require COVID-19 Vaccines?

On June 10, employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez spoke with Maine Association of Nonprofits for its blog post "Help Desk FAQ: Can Nonprofits Require COVID-19 Vaccines?" As MANP continues to receive questions from...

Blog

Supreme Leak: Religion at Work

Over the last year, our society has navigated COVID-19 and rules concerning vaccination and masking. As a society and on this blog, we have discussed regularly the role religious freedoms play in the work...

Publication/Podcast

Breaking: OSHA Releases Emergency Temporary Standard for Employers with 100 or More Employees

Blog

“Mug-shots”: Are Employees’ risky beverage containers a cause for concern?

Prior to (and more so during) the pandemic, many individuals who found themselves working from home were limited in ways to express their uniqueness, their personalities, the things that made them, well, them. It...

Blog

Supreme Leak: NLRA Rights

For blog followers, you likely saw last week’s post reminding you to revisit your confidentiality policies in the wake of the leaking of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health...

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