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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, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in Hiring (12)


Season-ed Employees Need Not Apply 

Earlier this month the EEOC announced that it had reached a settlement with Seasons 52, national restaurant chain. The Florida-based restaurant chain has agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle a nationwide age discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Over 135 applicants provided sworn testimony that during interviews for positions at Seasons 52 across the country, managers asked them directly about their age or made age-related comments, stating that Seasons 52 hires younger people. The EEOC’s lawsuit sought relief for applicants aged 40 and over who were ultimately denied employment at Seasons 52.

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A Podcast Miniseries, HR Law 101: 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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PODCAST – The New Form I-9: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Common and Costly Mistakes

While you may be familiar with Form I-9s (since everyone that has hired an employee since 1986 should have them on file), you may not know that beginning on September 18, 2017, employers will be required to use a new I-9 Form. The changes were announced last month through a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publication. From small grammar and punctuation changes to an increased number of identification documents accepted in certain sections, many revisions were made.

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Nerds Develop Formula to Replace HR Managers

Here’s one from the too depressing to read before I’ve had my 5th cup of coffee file. Our friends at Bloomberg Business are reporting that an algorithm did a better job of selecting job candidates than real live human beings. Like you. And me.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (motto: 4% More Boring Than You Think We Are™) compared the tenure of more than 300,000 hires in low-skill service-sector jobs (like data entry and call center work) hired based on the algorithmic recommendations of a job test with individuals that humans hired. (The test asked the applicants a variety of questions and ran their responses through an algorithm, which then ranked the job candidates: green for high potential ones, yellow for moderate potential, and red for the lowest rated.)

Key takeaways:

  • Greens stayed at the job 12 days longer than yellows, who stayed 17 days longer than reds.

That may not sound like much, however, according to the article, the median duration of employees in these jobs is only about three months to begin with.

  • The more managers deviated from the test’s recommendations, the less likely candidates were to stay in their jobs.

An example: when recruiters hired a yellow instead of available greens, who were subsequently hired to fill other open positions, those greens stayed at the jobs about 8% longer.

  • The study also suggests that the individuals hired by humans were no more and in some cases, less productive that the algorithm’s recommended hires.

The actual study is available here - for $5.

It would be interesting to see if these results could be replicated for hires in more skilled industries. Until then, there’s only one sensible response to this automated takeover of the HR industry, and it ain’t another cup of coffee.


It's Not Just Hillary Clinton Who Has to Worry About Security Protocols

Last month, the FTC issued new “guidance” on data security for companies that collect, store, and use consumer data. This guidance “summarizes the lessons learned from more than 50 law enforcement actions the FTC has announced so far.” The full text of the FTC’s Start with Security: A Guide for Business can be found at Considering the implications that a security breach can result in, it is important that employers have in place policies and procedures that direct employees on how they should handle and use sensitive information.

The ten lessons to learn from FTC enforcement actions are summarized as follows:

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April Showers Brought May Flowers and A Host of Employment Action in New England

New England administrative agencies and courts have sprung into spring with a litany of action last week that will affect New England employers. Here’s the run-down:

Connecticut: Last week the Connecticut Assembly passed a measure that would bar Connecticut employers from requiring employees or applicants to provide access to personal online accounts. The bill is similar to those passed across the country and would make Connecticut the 21st state to adopt such legislation. This bill, S.B. 426, specifically would prohibit employers from requesting or requiring that passwords, user names, or any other access be granted to employers or require the applicant/employee to access the account in front of the employer or invite or accept an invitation from the employer to join a group. The bill has been sent to Governor Malloy for consideration. 

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