Maine News & Analysis

  • 5 employment policies to revise or add because of coronavirus

    If you're like most businesses, you're eager to reopen or return to "normal" operations as soon as possible. But before you reopen your offices and businesses—and perhaps while you have some extra time on your hands—it's a good idea to dust off and update your employment policies to account for the new coronavirus world we now live in. Here are some of the key policies you may want to think about.

  • Legal risks Massachusetts employers face as they resume operations

    With nonessential businesses resuming operations across the country, employers are facing difficult new issues as employees try to get back to work. Below are some of the legal pitfalls facing employers in Massachusetts.

  • Honoring your word: Rhode Island federal court upholds noncompete

    Although some observers may not applaud how noncompete agreements restrict labor, the courts will step in and enforce them if they're reasonable, as one employee recently learned.

  • Massachusetts is again named best state for working moms, but new challenges abound

    Back in August 2015, WalletHub analyzed state dynamics across key metrics to determine the best states for working mothers and ranked Massachusetts fifth on the list. In 2019, we moved up to the first spot. So what happened in 2020?

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    How to help employees working remotely. With the COVID-19 pandemic sending many people home to work, employees are facing new challenges. What can managers do to help? A blog post from The Workforce Institute at Kronos suggests three ways to help workers adjust. Set clear expectations: Make sure everyone is on the same page, Workforce Institute board member Chris Mullen writes in the post. Have an open dialog about what's expected, and be empathetic to employees during the adjustment. Keep communication channels open: There is no such thing as overcommunicating at this time, Mullen says. Communication will help avoid misunderstandings, build trust, and increase effectiveness. Check in with employees: Remote work can lead to feelings of isolation. Mullen suggests setting up a 30-minute weekly meeting with each team member to understand the employee's needs.

  • 500-day journey to the new normal at work

    I hope all of you are safe and secure, wherever you are working or sheltering. With our persistent joint efforts and with all the help we can get, we will get through the coronavirus crisis. When will America's workplaces return to normal? My short answer is, we will never return to the normal we remember, but with a lot of effort, we should reach a new stasis in 2022. One thing is certain: The workplace in 2022 will look far different than it did two months ago.

  • Federal Watch

    New DOL rule requires more union financial reporting. The U.S. Department of Labors (DOL) Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) announced a final rule in March requiring unions to file annual financial reports concerning their trusts. The rule requires all labor organizations with total annual receipts of $250,000 or more to file a Form T-1, under certain circumstances, for each trust of the type defined by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. Such labor organizations trigger the Form T-1 reporting requirements if, during the reporting period, theyeither alone or in combination with other labor organizationsselect or appoint the majority of the members of the trusts governing board or contribute more than 50% of the trusts receipts. Any contributions in accord with a collective bargaining agreement are considered the labor organizations contributions. The rule allows a union to voluntarily file the Form T-1 on behalf of one or more other unions if each of the unions otherwise would be obligated to individually file for the same trust.

  • HR Technology

    How well is your remote work plan working? When millions of workers took up working from home because of the coronavirus, they likely encountered at least a few snags, but software can smooth the way. A March 30 blog post from HR Tech Central looks at software that can make remote work more effective. What solutions are available? The post lists 11 different kinds of software to investigate to ease the transition from in-office to at-home work: collaborative whiteboard software, remote support software, audio conferencing software, video conferencing software, webinar software, screensharing software, remote desktop software, business instant messaging software, cloud content collaboration software, project management software, and task management software.

  • Offering COBRA coverage after employee theft depends heavily on the facts

    Q We fired an employee because of theft, and he is currently incarcerated. Do we have to offer COBRA due to these circumstances?

  • When business resumes, what you need to know about COVID-19 risk, liability

    Although social distancing is clearly working to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, everyone is anxious to get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. If and when the curves depicting the number of new confirmed cases and deaths begin to decline, economic and political pressures will mount on governors to lift restrictions. That will undoubtedly happen well before the risk of transmission reduces to zero and a vaccine is available. The restrictions also may be lifted before testing is available on a widespread basis.