Enter your email address to receive new posts in your inbox:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Like what you see? Share!

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, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 


Sticks and Stones: HR Director's Comments Used As Direct Evidence of Pregnancy and FMLA Discrimination

Whoever said sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me obviously never dealt with labor and employment issues in the workplace.  Most HR professionals can attest: words matter, communication skills matter, and the use of "talking points" or a script during a termination meeting matters.  A recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Makowsi v. SmithAmundsen LLC) underscores these points and demonstrates just how important words are when communicating termination decisions to employees.

Click to read more ...


Verrill Dana Attorney Featured in MaineBiz Article Discussing Social Media

Attorney Matt Bahl was recently featured in a MaineBiz article discussing social media in the workplace.  Matt frequently counsels employers on isses related to social media use in the workplace.  Social media continues to present employers with a wide variety of novel issues.  Stay tuned for more updates and commentary on how social media is reshaping the modern workplace.


Attendance, Essential Job Functions, and Reasonable Accommodations: First Circuit Adds “Flexible Work Schedule” Wrinkle to Traditional Analysis

The First and other circuits have long held that attendance is an essential function of any job.  The recent case of Valle-Arce v. Puerto Rico Ports Authority, 651 F.3d 190 (1st Cir. 2011), adds a new wrinkle to that line of authority and raises questions regarding the scope of an employer’s duty to accommodate disabled employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Specifically, the Valle-Arce decision addresses the degree to which the ADA may require employers to provide flexible work schedules that address a disabled employees’ inability to adhere to a fixed work schedule.

Click to read more ...


High Court Finds "Ministerial" Exception To Federal, State, and Local Discrimination Laws

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued an opinion in a closely watched case soundly and unanimously confirming, for the first time, the existence of a “ministerial” exception to federal, state and local discrimination laws.  While the “ministerial” exception had been applied by various circuit courts in the past, Hosanna-Tabor is the Supreme Court’s first consideration of the question of whether a religious organization’s freedom to select its ministers is implicated by a suit alleging discrimination in employment.  The Court answered with a resounding yes.  

Click to read more ...


Workers' Comp Update: NCCI Proposes Average Premium Rate Decrease for 2012

The National Council on Compensation Insurance ("NCCI") has announced that it is filing with the Maine Bureau of Insurance a proposed average premium rate decrease of 6.9% for 2012.  It had earlier announced a rate reduction of 3.2%, but revised the rate to take into account the promulgated medical fee schedule finally adopted by the Board in December of 2011.  NCCI calculated an additional rate reduction attributable to the newly adopted medical fee schedule projected to be 3.8% , with the resulting overall reduction of 6.9%.


President Obama Announces Plan To Make Controversial Recess Appointments To the NLRB

The firestorm surrounding the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") labors on - pun intended.   Between its rulings on employee use of social media and its promulgation of rules that speed up elections and require employers to post notices, the NLRB spent much of 2011 in the limelight.  That trend appears to be continuing in the new year.  

Click to read more ...