The Greater Merrimack Valley

Human Resource Association
An affilliate of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)

serving the professional, advancing the profession: educational programs, legislative updates and networking.



Upcoming events

    • 01 Feb 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham Street, 2nd Floor, Methuen, MA 01844
    Thursday, February 1, 2018


    NEW LOCATION:   Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham St., Methuen, MA 01844 (2nd Floor) 

    Topic: “Responding to Sexual Harassment Complaints in the Post-Harvey Weinstein World”

    In July 2016, Gretchen Carlson filed a complaint against Roger Ailes of Fox News, her then employer.  Two months later, the case settled for a whopping $20 Million.  Traction was developed, and the #MeToo movement started when claims surfaced against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.  In December, Time magazine recognized the so-called “silence beakers,” collectively, as its “Person of the Year.”  Time’s editor-in-chief described what has happened as "the fastest-moving social change we've seen in decades."  And for good reason – a recent Gallup poll revealed that 69% of Americans characterize sexual harassment as a “major problem” today.

     In this new era, what’s HR to do?  Plenty.  Careful thought and deliberating are key.  Updated policies and procedures are important too, as they are the guideposts on how to respond.  This program will focus on the following:

    • Understanding the legal obligations for employers when faced with sexual harassment complaints
    •  Balancing the rights of the complaining party and person accused, ensuring a fair and equitable process from the outset of an investigation
    • Focusing on policies, and how investigators are to make fact-based determinations of what occurred using the appropriate standard of proof
    • Discussing best practices in workplace investigations
    •  Recognizing the conundrums that arise, as no two complaints are alike.
    •  Developing an action plan to implement preventative strategies to be well-positioned when allegations of sexual harassment arise.


    Julie A. Moore, Esquire, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is president and founder of Employment Practices Group in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She founded EPG in 1998 to work with organizations on best practices of human resource management, consistent with the law and industry standards. Julie has been practicing law for 25 years in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She consults and advises on employment law and human resources issues; is retained as an independent investigator for alleged harassment and misconduct; drafts policies, procedures and handbooks; and represents employees and employers in workplace matters. Julie is frequently retained to offer expert witness testimony on workplace issues. She conducts in-house seminars for employers and speaks at employment seminars locally offered by the New Hampshire Bar Association, the Massachusetts Bar Association, and many HR trade organizations.  She has spoken on a national platform for the American Bar Association, the Association of Workplace Investigators,the National CLE Conference in Colorado, BLR, and others. Julie has written many publications in legal and trade journals. She earned her B.A. degree from Boston College, summa cum laude, and her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School, cum laude. Julie is a member of the American, New Hampshire (past chair, Labor & Employment Law Section) and Massachusetts Bar Associations. She is a former board member and conference chair for the Association of Workplace Investigators, board member and program chair for the Greater Merrimack Valley Human Resources Association, and member of the Society for Human Resources Management. She has the two highest HR certifications available:  SPHR and SHRM-SCP. In 2013, Julie was nominated by her peers and inducted as a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Attorneys. She is also in her second 3-year term as an appointed member of the Town of Wellesley Human Resources Board, currently serving as Vice Chair, overseeing a staff of five employees.


    Marcie Vaughan, Esq. joined Employment Practices Group in 2012.  She conducts independent workplace investigations into complaints of misconduct, ranging from discrimination and harassment based on protected categories, to bullying, to allegations of retaliation, fraud, mismanagement and misappropriation.  She also advises parties in workplace disputes involving harassment, discrimination, disability accommodation, and retaliation issues, as well as provides guidance on compliance matters, performance management, hiring and firing, workplace violence, leave laws, and diversity.  Marcie practices in state and federal court in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as before the EEOC, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights. She received her B.A. from Bates College, cum laude; M.S. from Suffolk University Sawyer School of Management, magna cum laude; and J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, cum laude

    Our Sponsor:

    Najjar Employment Law Group, PC:

    NELGPC is a management side labor, employment and benefits boutique law firm founded in 2008 to combine the training and experience of a large Boston law firm with boutique partner-level service and responsiveness that clients expect and deserve.  We partner with our clients to develop best practices and policies to comply with the rapidly evolving labor, employment and benefits landscape, which will foster a work environment that incentivizes employees and creates a productive workforce.   Whether advising employers about human resource and benefits best practices, developing recruitment and hiring practices to attract and retain top talent including foreign labor, or zealously defending employers in administrative actions before state and federal agencies, including in IRS, DOL, OSHA, NLRB and EEOC audits and investigations, as well as in the state and federal courts, NELGPC works as a member of the employer’s team to achieve desired outcomes.

     NELGPC is sponsoring the Lawrence Partnership at this meeting.   Debra Najjar is an advisory board member of the Lawrence Partnership and co-chair of the Pathways Committee.


    The Lawrence Partnership is a  coalition of leaders throughout the City of Lawrence dedicated to working together on a shared vision of growing the Lawrence economy. In October, 2017, the Partnership’s Advisory Council established the  Lawrence Partnership Pathways Group. This working group was formed to  create a  valuable public/private resource to develop a skilled workforce for our regional businesses while helping our high school students get the relevant exposure and experience necessary to be  catalyst for their  careers.   The Pathways Group is striving to  create mentorship, internship, and apprenticeship opportunities for local students bringing together committed local businesses, the high schools, and the community to foster economic growth as well as career opportunities for our youth.



    8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
    8:30 AM - 8:45 AM Welcome New Members & Guests

    8:45 AM - 9:00 AM Chapter Business / Legislative Update
    9:00 AM - 9:10 AM Sponsor
    9:10 AM -10:30 AM Program

    LOCATION: Comfort Home Care, 147 Pelham Street, 2nd Floor, Methuen, MA 01844


    More information and online registration:

    “Responding to Sexual Harassment Complaints in the Post-Harvey Weinstein World”

    *Join GMVRA’s LinkedIn group to share knowledge with your HR colleagues*

    For more information:

    Contact: Carolyn Foster
    Phone: 603-489-9535


    • 01 Mar 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • TBD
    Thursday, March 1, 2018


    Topic:  Annual Legal Update (1/2 day program, fee applies)

    Approved for 3.00 SHRM PDC's, HRCI credits pending

    In this program, we will provide an update on federal laws, as well as Massachusetts and New Hampshire employment laws.

    The topics for this year’s program are contained below. 

    • Select Top Cases & Regulatory and Statutory Changes from Past Year  

    A comprehensive overview of some major legislative, regulatory and case law developments, including developments at some Massachusetts and Federal agencies, and significant court decisions under Federal and Massachusetts law (NH discussed in later section).  Topics will include developments in the regulation of marijuana and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.  There will also be discussion of developments at the federal Department of Labor and the upcoming Pay Equity Law in Massachusetts.

    • Discussion of the Recent Explosion of Sexual Harassment Complaints:  Lessons  Learned and out Steps to Take Now

    Discussion of what the increase in sexual harassment complaints means to employers, what preventative measures you can take to ensure a workplace free of harassment, and also what you can do to make sure complaints are properly received and addressed in a timely manner.  

    • Health Care Update

    Review of changes at the federal level concerning health care.

    • Immigration Law Update

     Update on the laws as well as proposed and/or pending changes. 

    • New Hampshire Update

    Presented by Attorney Deb Najjar

    This presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of significant case decisions and/or changes under New Hampshire employment laws. 

     Our Speakers:

    Kathryn M. Murphy, Sarah Spatafore, Michael J. Maccaro, Brian P. Fox, . Michelle De Oliveira, Kier Wachterhauser of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP and Debra Najjar or Najjar Employment Law Group, PC.

    Click here for Speaker Bios

    Cost of this event is:

    GMVHRA Member $75.00

    Non-Member $95.00

    10% discount for 2 or more attendees from the same organization.   Discount cannot be applied at registration but will be refunded after the event.

    The registration deadline is February 25, 2018. Full refunds are available prior to the deadline.  After this date a cancellation fee of $25.00 per person will apply or you may send an alternate to the event without additional charge.  To request a cancellation or to make a change please send and email to

    Our Sponsor:

    Graystone Consulting – Institutional Wealth Services

    A Concierge Approach

    Graystone Consulting is unique in that we offer a boutique consulting experience within a larger wealth management organization, Morgan Stanley.  This distinct structure allows Graystone architects to design a world class retirement program and utilize our network of financial advisors to implement and service the plan according to the specific needs of our clients. In addition to traditional defined contribution consulting, our customizable corporate-sponsored financial wellness program bolsters your current benefits program by providing your employees access to financial planning, financial education, and wealth management solutions.

    The Value We Add

    Graystone Consulting is a market leader for participant success. We have a diverse client base with a unique set of challenges when it comes to helping participants plan for a successful retirement.  By putting the participant’s best interests’ success at the heart of every decision we make, we are leading the industry in the most important statistic: participant success.  Managing retirement benefits that align with your organization’s vision involves many decisions across multiple disciplines.  We have the experience and resources to craft a customized plan that not only supports your organization and vision, but also drives results at the employee level.


    Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”) , its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors and Private Wealth Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice and are not “fiduciaries” (under ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code or otherwise) with respect to the services or activities described herein except as otherwise provided in writing by Morgan Stanley. Individuals are encouraged to consult their tax and legal advisors (a) before establishing a retirement plan or account, and (b) regarding any potential tax, ERISA and related consequences of any investments made under such plan or account. The investments listed may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment will depend upon an investor's individual circumstances and objectives.

     © 2017 Investments and services offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.  Graystone Consulting, a business of Morgan Stanley.

    CRC 1969121 Exp. 05/19


    8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
    8:30 AM - 8:50 AM Welcome New Members & Guests/Chapter Business

    8:50 AM - 9:00 Sponsor
    9:00 AM -12:00 PM Program


    More information and online registration:

    Annual Legal Update

    *Join GMVRA’s LinkedIn group to share knowledge with your HR colleagues*

    For more information:

    Contact: Carolyn Foster
    Phone: 603-489-9535

    • 05 Apr 2018
    • 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • TBD
    Thursday, April 5, 2018

    Working to 65 and Beyond…

    Understanding Medicare, and its Impact on Group Health Coverage

    Approved for 1.0 SHRM and HRCI recertification credit.

    As the number of Americans age 65 and older working full-time continues to grow,   so does the confusion surrounding Medicare and how it impacts group health coverage. For those still working at age 65- and beyond- there is much at stake when it comes to health care. This 1-hour presentation will build your Medicare knowledge base and enable you to be a more effective HR resource to your employees in this area.


    To better understand this scope of this issue, consider these recent findings;

              31% of workers plan to work to age 67 or beyond     
        (Gallup Poll 4-16)

    •         13% of 65-year-olds are working full-time                                   (US Bureau Labor Statistics 2016)
    •         28% of Americans can’t identify Medicare as federal age 65+    health insurance (Kaiser Family Foundation 4-15)


    It’s humanly impossible to fully understand and have ‘ready recall’ of all aspects of the Medicare program. Nor is it necessary. An HR professional with a solid grasp of Medicare’s basic benefit structure and some targeted ‘need-to-know’ specifics can be highly effective guiding older employees who have questions or need information.


    It all starts with an understanding of the “A, B, C, Ds” of Medicare…


    Original Medicare: Parts A & B Medicare

    Advantage: Part C 

    Part D- Medicare  Rx Coverage

    (Medigap - private supplemental policies)


     Beyond the basics, this presentation also covers some of the interesting history of Medicare from its enactment in 1965 (as Title XVIII of the Social Security Act) to the latest solvency projections issued by the Board of Trustees.

    The program then explores some targeted practical insights into common areas that pose challenges for both employers and employees, including…


     How Medicare Coordinates with Group Health Plans

    •  Delayed Enrollment Penalties / Creditable Coverage
    •   High Income Medicare Premium Surcharges (IRMAA)
    •   Low Income Medicare Assistance Programs
    •   HSAs and Medicare Eligibility
    •   Cautions About COBRA
    •   Enrollment Process

     This program concludes with Questions & Answers.


    OUR SPEAKER:  Tom Wright      

     About Tom Wright and the Turning 65 Workshop

    Tom began his financial services career in 1980. He has experience in both employee benefits and retirement planning. In 2016 he created the Turning 65 Workshop to provide much-needed Social Security & Medicare learning programs for the workplace.

    Tom has spoken to audiences throughout the Northeast. He’s known for his ability to communicate dry, complex financial material in an engaging and easy-to-understand way.

    He’s been interviewed on various insurance topics by media outlets including; Kiplinger’s and Fortune magazines, The Boston Globe, and the Maine Matters television program. He recently appeared on the HR Power Hour radio show.

    Over his career Tom has been involved in numerous trade associations, including the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors, American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, and the Saco-Biddeford Chamber of Commerce.

    He’s also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

    Our Sponsor:

    MassPay provides small to mid-sized businesses with a flexible, cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solution, iSolved, to help businesses automate their HR & Payroll Management processes. This single database platform offers tremendous value to businesses, providing everything needed to manage the entire employee lifecycle. Capabilities include applicant tracking, new hire onboarding, in-depth employee profiles, benefits administration and open enrollment, Time & Attendance, workflows, advanced reporting, dashboards & analytics and performance reviews. The solution streamlines process, reduces the administrative burden, promotes a positive employee experience and keeps businesses in compliance with all Federal/State/Local laws, to help companies become better employers.


    8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Check-In & Networking
    8:30 AM - 8:45 AM Welcome New Members & Guests

    8:45 AM - 9:00 AM Chapter Business / Legislative Update
    9:00 AM - 9:10 AM Sponsor
    9:10 AM -10:30 AM Program



    More information and online registration:

    Working to 65 and Beyond… Understanding Medicare, and its Impact on Group Health Coverage

    *Join GMVRA’s LinkedIn group to share knowledge with your HR colleagues*

    For more information:

    Contact: Carolyn Foster
    Phone: 603-489-9535

Past events

11 Jan 2018 Energize Passion and Performance
07 Dec 2017 Subject - The Massachusetts Act to Establish Pay Equity: Six Months Out. Are you ready?
02 Nov 2017 Navigating Employee Leave: How to Comply with the Law and Keep Your Business Afloat
05 Oct 2017 “Leadership in Safety: The Alpha and Omega of a Successful Company”
04 Oct 2017 2017 “Women in Technology - Lift & Climb” Event
03 Oct 2017 GMVHRA Evening of Networking
28 Sep 2017 2017 NH Statewide Leadership Conference
07 Sep 2017 Leading with Emotional Agility for HR Leaders
01 Jun 2017 How to Handle Difficult Conversations
04 May 2017 Motivating & Engaging Employees with Non-Monetary Rewards
06 Apr 2017 Annual Legal Update
02 Mar 2017 Wellness Event
02 Feb 2017 ERISA Update: Enforcement Initiatives, Common Mistakes Discovered on Audit, Correction Programs, Plan Sponsor’s Fiduciary Obligations, and the New Fiduciary Rule.
05 Jan 2017 Active Shooter: "Surviving an Incident of Violence"
01 Dec 2016 Lean HR: It’s for ALL HR Professionals!
03 Nov 2016 "The Future of HR: Promoting Business Success in a Changing Global Workplace"
06 Oct 2016 Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Navigating Potential Potholes
01 Sep 2016 “The Fair Labor Standards Act: Preparing for Implementation of the New White Collar Overtime Exemption Rule”
08 Jun 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-06-08 - “Top Ten Issues When Drafting and Negotiating Separation and Severance Agreements”
11 May 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-05-11 - "The Secret Behind the Curtain of the Wizard of Oz: Building Your Skills to Be an Awesome Coach"
13 Apr 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-04-13 - "2016 Legal Update"
09 Mar 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-03-09 - "2016 Wellness Event- What’s your Wellness Strategy?"
10 Feb 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-02-10 - "Human Connection: A Lost Art in a Noisy World"
13 Jan 2016 GMVHRA - 2016-01-13 - "Employee Handbooks: Legal Compliance and Best Practices"
09 Dec 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-12-09 - "Understanding Workplace Violence"
04 Nov 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-11-04 - "HR And The Aging Workforce: Strategies and Best Practices"
14 Oct 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-10-14 - "Workplace Investigations: 10 Common Mistakes"
10 Sep 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-09-10 - "Developments in the Law of Noncompetes and Other Post-Employment Restrictions"
10 Jun 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-06-10 "Managing Employee Leaves of Absence: Navigating New Laws and Old Challenges"
13 May 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-05-13 "EEO And AAP - How Does It Impact Me And My Company?"
08 Apr 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-04-08 "Wellness Event- Real Ideas for your Organization"
11 Feb 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-02-11 "The New Ambush Election Rules by the NLRB: What Employers Need to Know about Union Organizing Drives"
14 Jan 2015 GMVHRA - 2015-01-14 "Workforce Analytics: Create a Game-Changing Performance Culture"
01 Jun 1990 1990 Annual Meeting

183 Rockingham Rd., Ste 2 East

c/o Landmark Benefits

Windham, NH  03087

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