Search
RSS
Subscribe

Enter your email address to receive new posts in your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Share

Like what you see? Share!

Twitter
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. 

Entries in Best Practices (57)

Thursday
May102018

Understanding Your Sexual Harassment Training Duties

Multiple states (and some cities) have sexual harassment requirements for certain employers.  Currently California, Connecticut, and Maine have training requirements in place and New York’s training requirement will take effect later this year.  Even if your state does not, however, require training, best practices would be to institute yearly sexual harassment training for all employees.

If you’re currently completing in house training without the use of an outside entity, or counsel, consider updating your current practices to include multiple formats of training—video, written material, quizzes, etc.  There are a multitude of publically available resources including this video, “The Coworker” produced by David Schwimmer, which can operate to start a dialogue as to what sexual harassment looks like and what aspects of the behavior—individually and collectively—is improper. [Trigger warning: this video does include examples of sexual harassment which may be disturbing to viewers.] 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr092018

(PODCAST) Managing Communications in the Wake of #MeToo

Workplaces across the country are changing in response to the widespread #metoo movement. During the 8th Annual Mainebiz Women’s Leadership Forum on April 12, 2018, panelists will discuss how to manage the workplace in the wake of #metoo and the role that business leaders play in taking action to create a positive environment for their workers. Serving on the panel is Judy Katzel, Founder and President of KDK Consulting and Chief Communications and Development Officer of Catholic Charities Maine.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan182018

Oops, Wrong Button. Do We Discipline for the Mistake or the Effect of the Mistake?

In the wake of last week’s “oops,” when a Hawaii civil defense employee sent out an Emergency Alert to those on the island which stated: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII.  SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL” it’s a good time to discuss disciplinary issues in the workplace—both for mistakes and for blatant conduct.

Here we find ourselves with a situation in which an employee, attempting to send out an internal test alert on Saturday morning accidently chose the option “Missile alert” from a drop-down menu, as opposed to “Test missile alert.”  It took 38 minutes for the error to be corrected and in the meantime panic across the island ensued.  The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has publicly stated it is working to fix the problem regarding how easy it was to make the mistake.  Currently, the employee who pressed the button has been temporarily reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb022017

The New (Improved?) I-9 Form

On January 22, 2017, employers must use an updated version of the Form I-9, making the previous I-9 form (dated March 8, 2013) obsolete.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued the new version on November 14, 2016.  The core requirements of the Form I-9 remain unchanged, but there are substantive changes including:

  • Increase in guidance in the instructions as to how to complete the form from six pages to fifteen pages
  • Changes to Section 1 (the portion completed by the employee):
    • An employee can no longer leave a space blank, but instead must enter “N/A” in each field that previously would have been blank
    • Foreign nationals can now provide an alien registration number if they are authorized to work in the U.S. or provide a Form I-94 admission number or foreign passport number.
    • Requires employees to affirmatively answer that they did not use a preparer or translator.
  • Changes to Section 2 (the portion completed by the employer):
    • Employer is required to enter the corresponding number of the employee’s attestation of citizenship or immigration status from page 1.
    • Space for the employer to make notes or record additional information.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan192017

Are Your Employee Technology Policies from the Dark Ages?

With technology advancing at the current rate, the dark ages referenced isn’t ten or fifteen years ago, but instead, two or three.  If your capacity for reviewing policies and practices at the beginning of the year is limited, working with your information technology department and crafting up-to-date and relevant policies and practices related to technology in the workplace should be at the top of your list.

Activity tracking devices, smart glasses, and other employee efficiency tracking devices no longer serve as the baseline for technology in the workplace.  Last year, Sony filed a patent for a “smart” contact lens which will record images to an internal storage device so that users can “easily and quickly access” recordings.  How could this new technology effect your current confidentiality provisions?  Or, if you still have guidelines prohibiting recordings in the workplace (see the NLRB’s view on that here), what effect will these contacts have on your current policies?

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan182017

EEOC's Five Core Principles for Preventing and Addressing Harassment

Last week the EEOC released proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment with a Press Release noting that the proposed Guidance is available for input until February 9, 2017.  Information on how to provide feedback on the Guidance is available here.  Whether one chooses to provide feedback or not, however, the proposed Guidance and related documents are filled with helpful information.

The Press Release notes that between fiscal years 2012 and 2015, the “percentage of private sector charges that included allegations of harassment increased” annually to over 30% of all charges filled with the EEOC.  In fiscal year 2015 alone, the EEOC received 27,893 private sector charges that included allegations of harassment while federal employees filed 6,741 complaints.

Click to read more ...