Attorney Blog

OSHA Issues New Direction on Workplace Inspections Targeting COVID-19 Issues

On March 12, OSHA issued a Direction, effective immediately, which describes policies and procedures for its implementation of a National Emphasis Program (NEP).  A NEP is a temporary enforcement initiative with the stated purpose of ensuring “that employees in high hazard industries or work tasks are protected from the hazard of contracting” COVID-19.   The Direction …

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Maine’s New Earned Paid Leave Law: The Basics That You Need to Know

Maine’s new “Earned Paid Leave” law (26 M.R.S. § 637) took effect on January 1, 2021.  The law requires certain businesses to provide paid time off benefits to their employees, subject to various conditions. Here is a brief overview of the new law. Which businesses does it apply to? Any business that employs more than …

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New OSHA Guidance on COVID-19 Workplace Measures Issued January 29

Readers will recall that we reported that the Biden Administration had instructed OSHA to issue a revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These guidelines were published on Friday. As stated by OSHA, the guidance “is intended to inform employers and workers in most workplace settings outside of healthcare to help them identify …

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Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses

In late December, Congress passed the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act), which provides $284 billion in new funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and makes significant changes to the PPP loan forgiveness process, including a streamlined forgiveness process for loans of up to $150,000. Here are …

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The Penobscot County Bar Association’s 2021 Law Day Contest

The Penobscot County Bar Association is now accepting essays and artwork from high schoolers in Penobscot County on the topic of ADVANCING THE RULE OF LAW NOW. First-place winners in each category will win a $500 cash prize, and second place winners will win a $250 cash prize! The Penobscot County Bar Association presents 2021 …

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DOL Issues Information About Certain Workplace Posting Requirements

We have previously talked about various posting requirements for Maine employers.  These include posters that meet DOL requirements, as well as those required by other federal and state laws.  There are specific requirements for postings in terms of where they are found, how they are disseminated, and who has to have access to them.  This …

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No Extension of FFCRA Leave into 2021, Sort of

As you know, the FFCRA provided qualifying employees with two different forms of leave.  The first was paid sick leave in two different categories: 1) up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate where an employee is unable to work because of quarantine and/or the employee is experiencing COVID-related symptoms …

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COVID Vaccinations and the Workplace

The recent approval of a vaccine brings hope, but also raises a lot of questions for employers including whether the vaccinations can be mandatory and what ramifications could result from making it mandatory.  Some (but not all) of the important issues include workplace safety/OSHA obligations, workers’ compensation, and disability and religious accommodation.   The following is …

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