Taking Care of HR Business

Verill Dana's Labor and Employment Law Blog

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…
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…
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…
How many times have you heard, as a Human Resources professional, an employee make the statement:  “I need leave, but I don’t want to use my FMLA leave”?  In many cases, our initial response is to educate the employee and help them understand that Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave is not bad and won’t be used against them in the future.  In fact, the primary purpose of the statute is to protect employees who…
Yesterday, March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor unveiled a proposal to change the FLSA as it applies to non-exempt employees eligible for overtime.  The proposed change increases the required weekly salary to maintain an exempt position from the current $455 per week to $679 per week (effective January 2020).  Currently, under federal law, the FLSA has a threshold of $24,000 per year for an individual to meet the salary basis test in…
Yesterday, March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) unveiled a proposal to change the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it applies to non-exempt employees eligible for overtime.  The proposed change increases the required weekly salary to maintain an exempt position from the current $455 per week to $679 per week (effective January 2020).  Currently, the FLSA has a threshold of $24,000 per year for an individual to meet the salary basis…
Last month, on January 31, Verrill Dana hosted its 2019 Annual Employment Law Update at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. The full-day conference provided employers and HR professionals with updates on recent legal developments in labor and employment law. Special guest speakers from Live + Work in Maine, Bath Iron Works, University of Maine at Augusta, and Southern Maine Community College joined us to give their perspectives on the industry.  The sold-out event drew in…
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.  Since…
After a year full of changes for employers paired with a new governor in Maine, Verrill Dana will reflect on recent legal developments in labor and employment law and what the new year might bring during its 2019 Annual Employment Law Update. The full-day conference will take place on Thursday, January 31 at The Westin Harborview Hotel in Portland. The all-day event will begin with a panel discussion of a 2018 labor and employment year…
…a stocking full of tip summaries!  After a very musical few weeks, we’ve arrived at the final installment of our 12 Days of HR series.  We hope that you’ve enjoyed singing along with us on our holiday-themed journey through various employment law issues—and learned a few things along the way.  To wrap up the festivities, here is a brief summary of the issues and tips that we’ve discussed over the past few weeks.  Be sure…