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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. 

Wednesday
Mar212012

Social Media Currency: How Much Is Your Company Twitter Account Worth?

This is the precise issue being litigated in PhoneDog v. Kravitz, a case pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  The case involves a dispute between an employer, a former employee, and 17,000 Twitter followers.  The employer is not only seeking the return of its Twitter account but is also pursing money damages against the employee for using the account after leaving the company.  When the court issues its final ruling it will likely serve as a guide to other courts on how to treat (and value) disputes involving Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers, and other social media currency.

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Wednesday
Mar142012

Technology in the Workplace: How To Manage Employees' Use of Personal SmartPhones and Tablets For Work

Rather than using the company-issued Blackberry, many employees are now asking their employers if they can instead use their personal smartphone for work.  And many employers are saying yes.  Saying yes makes sense: employers can reduce the number of phones they have to purchase, and employees no longer have to carry two separate devices.  Seems like a win-win.  Not so fast (no, lawyers -at least this one - don't get added pleasure from raining on parades).  Allowing employees to use their personal gadgets for work presents a host of privacy and information security issues.  Many smartphones and tablets lack the necessary security features that companies and their customers have come to expect and depend upon.  Given these issues, companies are now starting to implement processes to protect their vital business information.

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Friday
Mar092012

GINA Record Keeping Regulations Take Effect April 3

On February 3, 2012, the EEOC extended its existing record keeping requirements beyond Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include those employers covered by Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  GINA applies to employers with fifteen (15) or more employees and prohibits the use of “genetic information” in making employment decisions.  GINA also severely restricts an employer’s access to such genetic information, as well as an employer’s acquisition and distribution of genetic information and prohibits an employer for retaliating against an employee who complains about genetic discrimination.

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Wednesday
Mar072012

EEOC ISSUES REVISED GUIDANCE ON THE ADAA AND VETERAN’S EMPLOYMENT

At the end of February, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued revised guidance addressing various employment laws and how those laws impact the employment of veterans.  The aim, according to the EEOC, is to make clear how the Americans with Disability Act Amendments “…make it easier for veterans…including those that are often not well understood…to get needed reasonable accommodations” in the workplace.  Included in the discussion are some of the more challenging impairments to accommodate in the workplace, such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Thursday
Mar012012

No Tipping, No Problem: A Massachusetts Court Permits No-Tipping Policies

Massachusetts' Tip Law ensures that service employees receive the tips, gratuities, and service charges that customers intend them to receive.  By its own terms the law does not bar an employer from adopting or enforcing a no-tipping policy, but up until a couple weeks ago that was an untested theory.  Enter the Meshna v. Scrivanos case. 

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Thursday
Feb232012

Can "Misclassified" Workers Sue Third-Party Employers For Wage & Hour Violations? A Massachusetts Federal Court Says "Yes"

No, there is not a typo in the title.  And yes, a recent decision from the United States District Court of Massachusetts suggests that a company that did not actually employ the plaintiff might be liable for the plaintiff's employer's federal and state wage and hour violations. (Green v. Parts Distribution Xpress, Inc., et al.)

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