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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at hrlawupdate@verrilldana.com, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Wednesday
Jun122019

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 leave.   Did you see the “were,” in that last sentence.  That is not a typo.

Yesterday, Governor Charlie Baker, Senate President Karn Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced an agreement that the taxes which were supposed to kick in on July 1, will be delayed until October 1, 2019.  While employers still need to be mindful of the steps to take to comply with this new law, there is now more time for employers to communicate this change with employees as well as understand the duties and requirements that are in effect as a result of the new statute. 

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Tuesday
Jun112019

Our Most Recent Episodes in our HR Law 101 Podcast Miniseries: 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 attorney Tawny Alvarez informs listeners of the nuances and pitfalls of common areas of HR law, beginning the series by addressing the basics of hiring. 

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Tuesday
Jun112019

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

On June 26, 8:00-9:30 AM, we are hosting 'What Maine Employers Need To Know About Changes In Personnel Practices Following This Legislative Session' in our Portland office. During this in-person seminar, Verrill Dana and MassPay are partnering to deliver a discussion about the latest laws and regulations that were enacted during Maine’s most recent legislative session that apply to the employer/employee relationship.  Verrill Dana's labor and employment attorney Tawny Alvarez and MassPay's HR Generalist Amanda Bridge's in-depth discussion will focus on how to effectively implement changes as a result in legislative updates and changes regarding leave laws, pay equity, workers’ compensation and much more.

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Monday
Apr152019

Maine Employers Must Cease Seeking Compensation History

On April 12, 2019, Governor Mills signed into law LD 278, “An Act Regarding Pay Equality.”  Under the new laws (5 M.R.S.A. § 4577; 26 M.R.S.A. § 628-A) employers may not “use or inquire about the compensation history of a prospective employee from the prospective employee or a current or former employer of the prospective employee unless an offer of employment that includes all terms of compensation has been negotiated and made to the prospective employee, after which the employer may inquire about or confirm the prospective employee’s compensation history.”  Each violation of the statute will amount to a fine of between $100 and $500 and the affected employee/applicant can file a civil action seeking compensatory damages.  There are exceptions to the statute, allowing employers to seek information after all the terms of compensation have been negotiated, if state or federal law requires disclosure, or if the “employee or prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed compensation history information, without prompting by the employer or employment agency, the employer or employment agency may seek to confirm or permit a prospective employee to confirm such information prior to an offer of employment.”

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Monday
Apr012019

DOL’s Proposed Rule Making on Regular Rate of Pay

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently announced a proposed rule updating regulations governing what items are included in an employee’s regular rate of pay.  This constitutes the first update to the definition of the regular rate of pay in over fifty years. 

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers must pay nonexempt employees an overtime rate of at least one and one-half the employee’s regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of forty per week.  Regular rate of pay is not always the employee’s hourly rate of pay, but instead, “regular rate of pay” is a legal term of art.  Under the current rules, there has been many questions concerning what benefits need to be included in the calculation of the regular rate.  The new rule clarifies that the following items are excluded:

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Monday
Apr012019

Is Your Website Accessible to Disabled Online Job Seeker?

On March 22, 2019, a federal judge permitted an Ohio man’s class action lawsuit to proceed against Ford Motor Company.  The lawsuit alleges the company discriminated against disabled job applicants because its online job application wasn’t fully accessible.  In the past, experts have advised on the importance of having a well-designed website for marketing purposes, but this case may make the “well designed” nature of a website important not just for aesthetic purposes, but also from an accessibility standpoint.

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