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The In-House Advisor Published by Shepard Davidson & Renee Inomata

Category Archives: Hiring

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3 Practical Challenges for Employers Created by Legalized Marijuana

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discipline & Performance Management, Hiring, Supervisor Training

When Massachusetts voters legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes four years ago, the impact on most employers was limited to clarifying that “legal” marijuana use was still generally prohibited in the workplace. Now, Massachusetts has legalized limited use of recreational marijuana. Although the recreational marijuana use law also provides that employers may prohibit… Continue Reading

Consider Liquidated Damages to Deter Employees From Misappropriating Company Information

Posted in Confidentiality, Contracts, Hiring, Liquidated Damages

It is not unusual for employment agreements to mandate that when an employee leaves a company, whether voluntarily or by termination, he or she must return all company information. As the employer in EventMonitor v. Leness recently learned, however, relying on the courts to enforce such an obligation is risky, at best.

Give Employees a Chance to Explain Before Terminating Them

Posted in Contracts, Discipline & Performance Management, Hiring, Pre-Litigation Considerations

As regular readers of this blog know, a day that is scheduled to be filled with relatively routine and non-controversial matters can get turned upside and require immediate action without any advance notice. One such situation occurs when information comes to light that an employee is unfit to continue in his or her current position… Continue Reading

Four Workplace Issues In-House Counsel Should Consider in a Business Improvement Plan

Posted in Contracts, Hiring, Separations, Layoffs & Terminations

Last week I had the pleasure of being a panelist at the Association for Corporate Growth (Boston) and the Turnaround Management Association (Northeast) joint conference on “Challenges and Opportunities in US Manufacturing.” A theme common to all of the speakers was the need to address workforce issues, whether with respect to training, engagement or transition. … Continue Reading

Hiring/On-boarding Checklist

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Wage & Hour

For entrepreneurs starting a new business, the focus often is on developing the products or services being offered by the business and, maybe, financing for getting (and keeping) the business off the ground. Yet, regardless of whether the business offers products or services, no business can succeed without people. Therefore, setting up proper intake systems for… Continue Reading

6 Tips for Drafting Offer Letters

Posted in Contracts, Hiring

Just as in romance, employer-employee relationships often are at their best in the courting stage.  During the after-glow of an initial hire, many employers wish to make new employees feel welcome by sending confirmatory offer letters.  Yet, in that warm and fuzzy moment, employers also should keep in mind that they may be binding themselves… Continue Reading

5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 3

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement, Discrimination, Hiring, Miscellaneous Employment, Privacy & Data Security

In Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed four steps that I recommend employers follow in using criminal records.  Here in Part 3 and the last part of this series, I address the process of the handling of the documents.  Step 5:  Handling Documents with CORI Criminal records information obtained from any source is confidential, and employers… Continue Reading

5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 2

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement, Discrimination, Hiring, Miscellaneous Employment, Privacy & Data Security

In my prior blog post, I provided the first two steps for an employer to obtain and use CORI in Massachusetts based on the new CORI regulations issued on May 25, 2012.  This post addresses the next two steps in this process. These blog posts also address when an employer conducts its own CORI checks. … Continue Reading

5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 1

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Discrimination, Hiring, Miscellaneous Employment

Massachusetts enacted broad reforms to its Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) laws in August 2010.  These reforms emphasize existing non-discrimination requirements and provide new requirements for accessing records through the on-line system (“iCORI”), as well as using and maintaining criminal records.  The first part of the CORI reform laws became effective in November 2010, requiring… Continue Reading

Unpaid Interns: When Are They Permitted?

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

As summer internship season approaches, employers should carefully institute internship programs which comply with the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The Test. In the case of “for-profit” companies, unpaid internships must meet the strict criteria of the FLSA.  Specifically, as stated in U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) FLSA Fact Sheet #71 unpaid… Continue Reading

How to Deal With the New Massachusetts Transgender Law

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Discipline & Performance Management, Discrimination, Harassment, Hiring, Supervisor Training

With the new year, Massachusetts employers must add “gender identity” to the list of classes entitled to protection from employment discrimination and retaliation.   What was touted as the “transgender rights” law in Massachusetts is, in fact, a “gender identity” law.  The Massachusetts transgender rights law defines “gender identity” as: [A] person’s gender-related identity, appearance or… Continue Reading

Three Employment Claims to Avoid in 2012

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Hiring, Labor Relations, Miscellaneous Employment, Separations, Layoffs & Terminations, Supervisor Training, Wage & Hour

Most employment claims can be avoided by simply being aware of what the law requires.  Here are three recurring issues which plaintiffs’ class action attorneys and government agencies are targeting across the country and which can be easily avoided by taking action now. 1.  Misclassification of Workers as Independent Contractors The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)… Continue Reading