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.

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Third-Party Intervention Training

This is the fifth post in a 12-part series on how companies can show support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing company policies and practices. This post focuses on the importance of third-party intervention training for employees and managers so that they have tools and resources to...
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This Week's Show: Mental Resiliency in the Workplace

On Saturday, June 27, Tawny interviewed Kate Simpson, Co-author and Developer of Take Two: A Journal of New Beginnings , for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Kate and Tawny discuss building resilience at work, specifically how the Take Two journal came about and how it...
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This Week's Show: Overcoming Intercultural Issues in the Workplace

On Saturday, May 16, Tawny interviewed Liz Greason, Co-Owner of Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants, LLC, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Liz and Tawny discuss overcoming intercultural issues in the workplace. She lived in the Middle East for many years, where she taught students from...
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This Week's Show: Learning From Your Failures

On Saturday, June 13, Tawny interviewed Robert Baldacci, MPA of Baldacci Consulting, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Robert and Tawny discuss his history and learning from failures. Bob brings a successful 30 year career in real estate, development and corporate finance. He has held...
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This Week's Show: Don't Forget General Obligations When Focusing On COVID-19

On Saturday, May 9, 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 the importance of not forgetting employers' general obligations in the midst of COVID-19. A regular contributor to Verrill’s Taking Care...
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Can I Require Employees to be Tested for COVID-19 Before Entering the Workplace?

Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published guidance in response to this question and the agency’s answer was yes—“an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus.” (See Q. A.6). The EEOC noted that under...
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This Week's Show: Intellectual Property for HR Professionals

On Saturday, April 18, Tawny interviewed Kelly Donahue, Partner in Verrill's Intellectual Property Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Kelly and Tawny discuss intellectual property for HR professionals, including delving into trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, and patents. Kelly assists small and large businesses in...
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This Week's Show: The FFCRA and CARES Act

On Saturday, April 4, 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 the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic based on information currently available. Topics covered include recent CARES Act and FFCRA...
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Hiring During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Can Do

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, business—and hiring—must go on. As the EEOC continues to update its guidance regarding employment practices during the pandemic, here are common questions regarding how to implement legally-sound hiring practices while protecting your workplace. Q: May I screen job applicants for COVID-19, and if so...
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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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This Week's Show: Maintaining a Strong Culture as Your Organization Grows

On Saturday, March 7, Tawny interviewed Sean Riley, President and CEO of Maine Course Hospitality Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. In this episode, Sean discusses that Maine Course's purpose is to positively impact lives. He speaks of the company's purpose and values every chance he gets...
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This Week's Show: Verrill's 2020 Annual Employment Law Update

On Saturday, February 22, HR Power Hour published our live interviews at our 2020 Annual Employment Law Update, asking attendees about the all-day event, HR concerns they have for the coming year, and more. Tawny interviewed Eric Altholz, Partner in the Employee Benefits Group at Verrill. She talked to...
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This Week's Show: Top 5 OSHA Mistakes Employers Make

On Saturday, February 8, Tawny interviewed Mat Todaro, Partner in Verrill's Environmental & Land Use Practice Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Mat details the top 5 OSHA mistakes that employers typically make. Mat works closely with clients in many areas, including assisting them...
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Podcast: The Legal Perspective of Creating a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace

It's important to remind yourselves that human resource law is ever-changing and it takes acknowledging your organization's environment to be sure it is an inclusive and comfortable place for your employees. In this episode of Verrill Voices, employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez discusses how organizations with respectful and...
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This Week's Show: Space and Design in the HR World

Announcement: Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez now co-hosts the educational HR radio show, HR Power Hour with David Ciullo! On Saturday, January 11, Tawny interviewed Jeana Stewart, NCIDQ, LEED AP, and workplace studio leader of SMRT Architects and Engineers, for this segment of HR Power Hour. Jeana gives...
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Annual Employment Law Update: HR 2020 - Vision for the Future

Foresight is 2020 - join Verrill's Employment & Labor Group on Thursday, January 30 at The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel for a full day of programming highlighting the most significant changes for employers in 2019 and a look into what's to come in 2020, as well as hot topics...
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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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2019 Wrap Up: Tis the season to be jolly...and anxious...and depressed

Mental Health and Employment Law now and in 2020
The last decade has brought with it a significant increase in the number of claims stemming from allegations of discrimination or retaliation as a result of mental health conditions. While we often see an increase in anxiety and depression around the holidays, the mental health of employees is an...
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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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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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EEOC Announces EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Data Collection WON'T Be Renewed

Yesterday, September 11, 2019, the EEOC announced that it will not seek to renew collection of EEO-1 Component 2 Data for 2019, 2020, and 2021. This does not impact employer's current EEO-1 obligations to file Component 2 Data due on September 30, 2019. In the publication the EEOC admitted...
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The Sharpie and Employment Litigation Documentation

Sharpie
The last week has been filled with news broadcasts, jokes, and general discussion of the use of a Sharpie to extend the path of movement of Hurricane Dorian in a map presented during a news broadcast given by President Donald Trump. What, you may ask, does this have to...
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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...

Blog

This Week's Show: Mental Resiliency in the Workplace

On Saturday, June 27, Tawny interviewed Kate Simpson, Co-author and Developer of Take Two: A Journal of New Beginnings , for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Kate and Tawny discuss...

Matter

Discrimination Defense

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

Blog

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Third-Party Intervention Training

This is the fifth post in a 12-part series on how companies can show support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing company policies and practices. This post focuses on the importance of...

News

Tech traps for companies: What employers need to know

New technologies continue to invade the workplace, from biometrics to artificial intelligence. With the benefits come legal concerns for employers. In the latest issue of Mainebiz , employment and labor attorneys Tawny Alvarez and...

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...

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...

Blog

OSHA Publishes Return-to-Work Guidance; Reminder to be Mindful of Employee Medical Record Retention

OSHA has published Guidance on Returning to Work to assist employers in understanding their obligations under OSHA as they continue the process of re-opening and returning employees to work. Employers should review this document...

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.

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.