New EEOC Know Your Rights Poster

New EEOC Know Your Rights Poster

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just released a new Know Your Rights: Workplace Discrimination is Illegal poster (dated October 20, 2022), which replaces the previous “EEO is the Law” poster.  Under federal law, most of these protected classes apply to workplaces with 15 or more employees (including part-time employees who work at least…

Pay Equity & Negotiation Issue
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Pay Equity & Negotiation Issue

Here’s a small survey that sums up the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma for women. An August 2022 Harvard study found men obtain better financial results through salary negotiation than women (link below). No surprise, because as noted below, most organizations will negotiate, but most women are not seen favorably if…

Five Reasons to Hire an Outside Workplace Investigator
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Five Reasons to Hire an Outside Workplace Investigator

When your organization receives an employee complaint of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, you have a legal duty to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation and take proper action to end the misconduct.   While some investigations can be done internally by the HR or legal department, organizations should hire an outside workplace investigator for the…

CROWN Act in 18 States Now
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CROWN Act in 18 States Now

The CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act and similarly named laws are spreading across our country to stop discrimination based on someone’s natural hair style and texture. These laws ban hair bias, which has affected millions of black people, particularly women and girls, in the workplace and schools. This discrimination…

Pay Secrecy and Salary History: What Not to Do.
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Pay Secrecy and Salary History: What Not to Do.

Let’s address one of the biggest employment elephants in the room: Wage discussions. If your organization is currently enforcing pay secrecy or asking candidates for their salary history, you need to immediately update your policies. Whether you have a section in your handbook, a stipulation in an offer letter, or you orally communicate your expectation…

End of the Road: Termination
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End of the Road: Termination

Deciding to terminate someone’s employment under any circumstances is complicated. The risk means employers must be thoughtful, fair-minded, and strategic. Termination on-the-spot without any investigation, conversation, or prior discipline often backfires. If the misconduct is severe, opt to suspend the employee pending an investigation, and carefully review all the evidence first. Make sure the organization…

Legal Update for Maine Employers
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Legal Update for Maine Employers

Maine’s New Fair Chance in Employment Labor Law Now in Effect AUGUSTA – Multiple updates to Maine labor law went into effect on Monday, October 18, 2021, including ‘An Act Relating to Fair Chance in Employment.’ This new law prohibits employers from inquiring about an individual’s criminal history on an initial employment application and from…

Leadership and Accountability

Leadership and Accountability

This EEOC checklist focuses on awareness and purposeful prevention of workplace harassment. How is your organization doing? The first step is to establish a culture of respect in which harassment is not tolerated. Check the box if the leadership of your organization has taken the following steps: ▢ Leadership has allocated sufficient resources for a harassment prevention…

NH Universal Best Practices
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NH Universal Best Practices

Effective May 7, 2021, New Hampshire’s updated COVID-19 Universal Guidelines (now called Universal Best Practices) take effect but remind us that we still need to take precautions and follow the same recommendations, including: Good planning and communication to staff and consumers Vaccination against COVID-19 Identifying and excluding people with symptoms of COVID-19 or risk factors…

Social Media Guidelines for Employers
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Social Media Guidelines for Employers

Legal decisions have shown that employers need a social media policy widely communicated to their employees to ensure clear expectations around appropriate social media content during work hours and off-the-clock.  A clear policy can reinforce discipline and termination decisions by employers as well as protect employers from other liability, such as FTC endorsement violations. The following…