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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. 

Thursday
Oct062011

Stop the Presses: NLRB's Notice Posting Deadline Delayed

Last month, we sent out an alert notifying you about the NLRB’s new notice posting rule. That rule required most employers to post notices on or before November 14, 2011, informing employees of their rights to organize, join, or assist unions. On October 5, the NLRB – in a surprising move – announced that it was pushing back the deadline for employers to post the notice. The new deadline is January 31, 2012.

Why the delay? Well, according to the NLRB the delay will “allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.” The NLRB did not announce any specific plans for “enhanced education” or “outreach to employers.” Additionally, there are no changes to the form or contents of the notice, and employers still must post in areas where they customarily post employee notices.

It is also worth noting that there are currently three (3) pending lawsuits challenging, among other things, the NLRB’s authority to issue the notice posting rule. Although the NLRB’s announcement did not mention these lawsuits as a factor, the delay will give judges in those cases more time to evaluate the issues and make rulings. If the plaintiffs in those cases prevail, the notice posting rule could be blocked before taking effect.

Friday
Sep302011

Employers Must Notify Employees of Their Right to Unionize

In December 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) proposed a rule that would require most employers to post notices informing their employees of their rights under the NLRA. The NLRB recently finalized this so-called “notice posting rule” and employers subject to the NLRA must post the notice – in places where they typically post other workplace notices – by November 14, 2011. Additionally, if an employer typically posts employee notices regarding personnel rules or policies on an intranet or internet site, it will be required to post the NLRB’s notice on those sites as well. A copy of the notice may be obtained on the NLRB’s web-site (http://www.nlrb.gov/).

The notice itself states that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer, and to refrain from any of these activities. It also provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct and instructs employees how to contact the NLRB with questions or complaints.

The notice posting rule is one of several new rules handed down by the NLRB in the last year, all of which encourage (and in some cases make it easier for) employees to form and join unions. 

Tuesday
Sep202011

Coming to a Workplace Near You: Five New Rules Every Non-Union (and Union) Employer Must Know

On Tuesday, September 20, John Krampf and Matt Bahl delivered a webinar about new rules proposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Among the topics discussed in the program was how the NLRB's new rules have made it easier and faster for employees to unionize.

Tuesday
Sep132011

Facebook Fired?

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) has recently offered guidance, including fourteen case summaries, on when an employer can lawfully fire an employee for her Facebook or other social media postings.  At issue in the cases filed by the Board is whether or not the content of an employee’s social media posting for which she is fired amounts to concerted protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug152011

An Over-the-Counter Remedy for the Health Risk Assessment Headache

The following article was originally published on the Verrill Dana Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation group's blog EmployeeBenefitsUpdate.com.

A number of clients have recently asked a relatively simple question: Can they require an employee to take a health risk assessment (“HRA”) as a condition of participation in a wellness program or group health plan? This question seems simple enough. Nevertheless, the answer involves unraveling a complex web of federal and state privacy, discrimination, and disability-related laws – and that’s just the beginning! Parsing through these laws will give even the most savvy HR professional a headache. This post offers an over-the-counter remedy for that headache by describing some basic principles that employers can follow to determine what they can and cannot do in designing HRA incentives. But first a bit of background about HIPAA, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADAAA”), and a recent case that appears to help.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug112011

To Exempt or Not to Exempt?...and Other Employee Classification Questions

On August 10, 2011, Anne Birgel Cunningham and Matt Bahl, attorneys in Verrill Dana’s Labor & Employment Group, led this workshop, which included a review of the various laws and regulations impacting how you pay and classify your workforce.

To view slides from this presentation click here.