What your business needs to know about Heartbleed


By now you’ve probably heard of the creatively-named “Heartbleed” bug.  Heartbleed, which has its own slick logo courtesy of the organization that discovered the bug, is a flaw in certain versions of SSL (the encryption protocal used by most websites worldwide to protect information like passwords and account names).  Disturbingly, the bug has been present for over two years, though it only recently came to light.  There’s a good chance your business has either been vulnerable itself, or has transmitted information to a vulnerable third party site within the past two years.  Here’s a helpful (but non-exhaustive) list of affected sites.

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Maine Business and Consumer Court: Non-Compete Agreements Must be in Writing


Non-compete agreements must be in writing and signed.  That may seem obvious to most business owners, but not to the owner of a Jefferson, Maine auto titling business, who recently sought an injunction against the business run by her former assistant on the basis of a non-compete agreement.  Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the assistant never signed the agreement.  The assistant filed a motion for summary judgement, and the Maine Business and Consumer Court granted it, ruling that “agreements not to compete are within the Statute of Frauds” and thus required to be in writing.

This plaintiff’s painful lesson is valuable to all business owners: if you want to hold your employees to contracts, especially after they no longer work for you, those contracts had better be in writing.


Medical Marijuana Law’s Effect on Employers’ Drug Policies Still Hazy


In light of the protections Maine’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MMUMA) affords to qualifying patients, many employers are left wondering how the law impacts them.  And while medical marijuana use is legal in Maine, possession and use of the drug still violates federal law.  In this complex legal environment, employers must use caution in making employment decisions based on their employees’ medical marijuana use.

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Beware of Policies That Ban Employees from Discussing Pay

Tightened 100 dollar roll.


A common component of a company handbook is a policy prohibiting employees from discussing wages and benefits with coworkers.  Such policies often warn employees that violators will be disciplined up to and including termination.  Employers should be cautious about including this kind of language in their personnel materials, because such limitations may run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

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