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Keeping it Legal: The Ins and Outs of Employment Law

by Abbie McGilvery

Online Series presented by Leslie Kimball

Conveniently scheduled from 1:00-2:30pm on the third Friday of each month (except June, July, August, and December), this online series prepares management to adopt and implement good employment practices, consistent with legal requirements, which will help achieve a stable, skilled and (we hope) happy workforce.

The most important resource that any nonprofit possesses is the “human capital” of its staff, and managing employees with legal compliance and sensitivity is a cornerstone of success. While almost all nonprofits have employees, most do not employ a Human Resources professional.  In this series of workshops the employment issues commonly confronted by managers of nonprofit organizations are covered.  In addition to an overview of the law, some sessions include practical tips and best practices from a human resources professional.

Who Should Attend:  Board members, executive directors, and human resources managers

Cost: $35 per course for members, $70 per course for non-members

*January 20, 2012:  Employment Law Basics.  In this session, a broad overview is given of the cornerstones of employment law, including  the presumption that employment is at-will, anti-discrimination laws, employee v. independent contractor status and  introduction to wage and hour basics. *This first session is a prerequisite for all subsequent sessions.  The session will be recorded so that those not able to attend will be able to hear this content.  All other sessions in the series will be built upon the fundamentals learned in this presentation.

February 17, 2012:  Complying with Disability Discrimination Laws. One of the trickiest areas of employment law is the area of disability discrimination.  In this session, the term “disability” will be discussed (it is surprisingly broad), as well as the legal obligations of the employer to a disabled applicant or employee. Those obligations include engaging in an “interactive process”  to determine whether an employee can perform “the essential functions” of a job with or without  a “reasonable accommodation.”

March 16, 2012:  Effective Hiring. The most critical stage of the employment process, hiring decisions have long-lasting consequences.  Good hiring decisions help make management’s job easier.  Bad hiring decisions can be a nightmare for management, costly both in terms of money and time.  Learn practical tips from a Human Resources professional on how to attract the best candidates and evaluate  those candidates.  Also learn about legal considerations in the hiring process, including appropriate areas of inquiry, the importance of job descriptions and documentation.

April 20, 2012:  Managing Employee Performance.  The employer’s job does not end once an employee is hired.  Properly managing good employees is important for employee development and good employee morale.  Properly managing poor performers is critical to a well-run working environment and minimizes legal risk if adverse action is taken against the employee.  A Human Resources professional and lawyer share their advice.

May 18, 2012:  Leaves. Many employers are perplexed by the challenges created when one or more employees desire to take a leave.  What types of leaves are mandated by law? What is the importance of personnel policies?  How does an employer deal with an employee it suspects is abusing leave policies?  When can an employer terminate an employee that is out on leave?

September 21, 2012:  Wage and Hour Basics.  An employer can face significant legal risks if not in compliance with the State and Federal wage and hour laws.  When is an employee exempt from the overtime pay requirements?  When and at what rate must overtime be paid? What are the record-keeping requirements?  When can an employer take deductions from an employee’s paycheck?  When must an employer provide breaks, and is it required to compensate employees during those breaks?  These are just some of the issues addressed in this session.

October 19, 2012: Termination. How terminations are handled may impact the legal risk associated with an impacted individual employee as well as affect the morale of the entire workforce.  Terminations for poor performance and misconduct, as well as reductions in force will be covered.  A Human Resources Professional will discuss the practical aspects and a lawyer will discuss the legal issues to be considered before termination decisions are made.

November 16, 2012:  Post Termination.   Several legal issues may arise after an employee is terminated, such as requests for references and unemployment insurance. In this session we address under what circumstances a reference should be provided, what information it should contain and who from the employer should have authority to give such references. The basics of the State’s unemployment system will be covered, including when it does and does not make sense for an employer to contest a claim.

January, 18, 2013:  Employee Handbooks.  Throughout the series of workshops, appropriate personnel policies are mentioned in almost every session.  The importance of a good handbook is discussed, as well as important policies to be contained in a handbook and consistent application of those policies. This discussion also allows for a recap of major points raised throughout the entire series.

For more information please contact Abbie McGilvery by email.

3 thoughts on “Keeping it Legal: The Ins and Outs of Employment Law

Kristin says:

Will this series be offered again? I have a new HR person who could greatly benefit from this type of personal growth


At this point we do plan to offer this series again next year but there are no definite plans yet. I will certainly keep your request in mind.

Mark Hews says:


We do plan to offer this series again next year but there are no definite plans yet. I will certainly keep your request in mind.

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