Maine News & Analysis

  • Job interview personality tests: Do they pass or fail legal scrutiny?

    A growing number of businesses now require job applicants to take a personality test as part of the hiring process. The tests may include the Myers-Briggs or the DISK assessment, which are both designed to measure certain personality traits. From a legal perspective, the tests are permissible in most cases, but there are a few legal land mines to be aware of.

  • Maine employment law: what's new and what's ahead

    The new year has arrived, and with it, some important changes to Maine employment law have recently gone into effect. Meanwhile, the legislature is currently debating several key bills that, if passed, could have significant ramifications on Maine businesses. Read on to get caught up on the latest happenings in Augusta.

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?

  • Minimum wage increases heat up the competition for hourly workers

    It's no news to most anyone with experience in federal wage and hour laws that they tend to lag far behind the times. The federal minimum wage—which has stood at $7.25 going on 10 years now—certainly falls into that category. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator, today's equivalent of the 1978 minimum wage (which was $2.65) would be $10.72. According to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, if the rate had risen at an appropriate pace since 1968, it would be close to $20.

  • Should you be an HR leader?

    Whether you are a salesperson or a CFO, you should be thinking about the people in your organization. You may think, "I'm in sales, why should I care about the people in my organization?" or "I'm the CFO, numbers are my thing, not people," but you are dead wrong. It's part of your job to think about your organization and its employees.

  • Agency Action

    EEOC announces increases in outreach, enforcement for 2018. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted increases in its 2018 outreach and enforcement actions as it released its annual Performance and Accountability Report in November 2018. Highlights in the report include the launch of a nationwide online inquiry and appointment system as part of the EEOC's Public Portal, which resulted in a 30 percent increase in inquiries and over 40,000 intake interviews. The report also noted that the EEOC's outreach programs reached 398,650 individuals, providing them with information about employment discrimination and their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

  • Why employee engagement must be a priority, not an option

    When it comes to your workplace, do you know how many members of your team are truly engaged? On average, U.S. companies have an engagement level of 32%. Basically, one out of three of your team members is engaged. Studies suggest that disengaged employees cost the U.S. economy between $400 billion and $600 billion a year!

  • Workplace Trends

    Turnover hits all-time high. Research from Salary.com indicates that total workplace turnover in the United States hit an all-time high in 2018, reaching 19.3%. That's nearly a full percentage point from 2017 and more than 3.5% since 2014. The report contains data from nearly 25,000 participating organizations of varying sizes in the United States. By industry, hospitality (31.8%), health care (20.4%), and manufacturing and distribution (20%) had the highest rates of total turnover. Utilities (10.3%), insurance (12.8%), and banking and finance (16.7%) had the lowest. By area of the country, the South Central region (20.4%) and the West (20.3%) had the highest rates of total turnover. The Northeast (17.3%) had the lowest rate of total turnover in the country.

  • Tips for tip credits from the latest DOL opinion letter

    Employees making more than $30 a month in tips are considered tipped employees by federal and state law. Employers can take tip credits, which allow tips to count toward the minimum wage earned by the employees. The combination of wages, tips, and the tip credit must result in employees being paid at least the minimum wage per hour for any hour of tipped work.

  • Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

    When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.