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Verrill Dana, LLP

Verrill Dana, LLP is one of New England's preeminent regional law firms. With offices in Portland and Augusta, ME; Boston, MA; Westport, CT; Providence, RI; and Washington D.C. Verrill Dana provides sophisticated legal representation to businesses and individuals in the traditional areas of litigation, real estate, business law, labor and employment law, employee benefits, environmental law, intellectual property and estate planning.  The Firm also has industry-focused specialties including higher education, health care and health technology, energy, and timberlands. 

Disclaimer:  The content presented in this blog is for general information only, is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our blog authors at hrlawupdate@verrilldana.com, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Thursday
Aug242017

Spouse’s “Unjustified Jealousy” is Sufficient to Maintain Sex Discrimination Claim

Has your attorney ever told you justice is not swift?  Well just ask Yogi Dilek Edwards, she would likely have some general thoughts on the speed of justice.  Three and a half years ago we posted that a Manhattan yoga instructor had filed a claim of gender discrimination after she was fired from Wall Street Chiropractic and Wellness clinic for being “too cute.”  The Plaintiff’s claim initially was dismissed by the trial court with a finding that a termination that is motivated by spousal jealousy does not constitute sex discrimination.  Ms. Edwards appealed the decision to the Appellate Division and on Tuesday, the court found that terminations motivated by sexual attraction generally is prohibited and has remanded the case back to the trial court.

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Wednesday
Aug232017

PODCAST: Affinity Groups in the Workplace

While affinity groups can be a great marketing tool for employers to attract and retain workers, as well as to foster new ideas, they can also create a great deal of legal liability. For some background, affinity groups are generally formalized groups that share similarities of some sort, whether based on life experiences, social identity, or interests. Some examples include LGBTQ and women in business groups.

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Tuesday
Aug222017

PODCAST – The New Form I-9: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Common and Costly Mistakes

While you may be familiar with Form I-9s (since everyone that has hired an employee since 1986 should have them on file), you may not know that beginning on September 18, 2017, employers will be required to use a new I-9 Form. The changes were announced last month through a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publication. From small grammar and punctuation changes to an increased number of identification documents accepted in certain sections, many revisions were made.

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Wednesday
Jul262017

Maine Department of Labor Directly Clarifies Its Position on Drug Testing & Marijuana

Based off of information received in a Portland Press Herald article, we previously noted that the Maine Department of Labor Director of Policy, Operations and Communications, Julie Rabinowitz, reported to the legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee that businesses with Maine-state drug testing policies should not test job applicants and workers for marijuana, because even if the tests came back positive, employers cannot fire the individual.  The Maine Department of Labor issued a press release shortly after the article was posted (and after our initial blog post) noting that this interpretation would only be relevant if the legislature does not change the current language of the statute prior to February 2018 when the law takes affect—at this time, however, employers may permissibly refuse to hire an applicant who tests positive for marijuana. 

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Tuesday
Jul252017

The Bay State Rules Qualified Medicinal Marijuana User Has Civil Remedy Against Her Employer

Last week, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued an opinion in Cristina Barbutos v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, SJC-12226 (Ma. July 17, 2017), finding that an employee qualified to use marijuana under the Commonwealth’s medicinal marijuana statute had a cause of action against her former employer through the Commonwealth’s handicap discrimination statute.  The opinion reversed the lower-court’s dismissal of the former employee’s cause of action, but simultaneously found that the medicinal marijuana act itself did not contain an implied statutory private right of action.

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Tuesday
Jul182017

Trump Administration Issues New Form I-9

On July 17, 2017, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Form I-9 that employers will be required to use beginning September 18, 2017.   The new form may be used immediately.  Employers may continue to use the previous Form I-9 (Revision Date of 11/14/2016) through September 17, 2017. Changes include revisions to the  Instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents, and are outlined below.  Employers must continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for all previously completed Form I-9.

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