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

Entries in Department of Labor (19)


Time is Running Out – New Disability Claims Procedures Take Effect April 2, 2018

It has been a long time coming, but the Department of Labor’s final rule regarding disability benefit claims procedures (the “Final Rule”) will finally take effect on April 2, 2018.  Employers need to determine which of their ERISA plans will be subject to the Final Rule and implement the changes necessary to comply by April 2, 2018.  Any benefit plan that is subject to ERISA and allows a claims administrator to exercise discretion in determining whether a participant is disabled (rather than relying on an independent determination from the Social Security Administration for example) must take steps to comply with the Final Rule. 

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FLSA Exempt Salary Adjustment Update

On Thursday, Judge Amos Mazzant of the Eastern District of Texas issued an order concluding that the Department of Labor’s amendments to the FLSA—increasing the minimum salary threshold from $23,660 annually to $47,476.00 in order to qualify as exempt—were invalid.  Specifically, the Memorandum Opinion and Order found the plaintiffs had standing, the issue was ripe for review, and then reviewed each of the plaintiffs’ arguments in support of the position that the amendment was invalid. 

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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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Navigating the New Overtime Rules … In the News

Now that a couple of months have passed since the Department of Labor announced the new federal overtime regulations, many employers are looking for guidance. Our Labor & Employment Group has been working tirelessly to ensure its clients and the community-at-large have resources for determining whether they will be affected and how to comply.

Our attorneys have spoken with journalists and drafted articles on the topic to provide insights to businesses throughout the region and across industry sectors. For your convenience, please find some of these articles below:

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Dear John, Number Two

Loyal blog readers may recall our post last August reporting on an Ohio company that required its workers to swipe into and out of the restroom at work, so as to monitor the amount of time spent on bathroom breaks. Predictably, that policy was not one tolerated by the workers, leading to a charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board.1 One might have thought that case was an outlier, an aberration, reported upon simply because our puerile sense of humor couldn’t help but share it with all of you. And, while you would be right in part, it seems that the issue of paid bathroom breaks apparently is more widespread than one might think at first flush.

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YAWN…..Eleventh Circuit’s Ruling Won’t Put You to Sleep but the Plaintiffs Might

It sounds like the start to a bad joke—25 student nurse anesthetists walk into a courtroom…let’s just hope you don’t fall asleep before we get to the punchline.

While the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion regarding whether a class of 25 anesthetist students are employees or interns under the FLSA began lightheartedly, the opinion quickly dug into the issue, making significant changes to the standard for determining FLSA intern standards in the Eleventh Circuit. The opinion in Schumann v. Collier Anesthesia, PA, 14-13169 (11th Cir. Sept. 11, 2015), adopted the reasoning from the Second Circuit’s recent decision in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., 791 F.3e 376 (2d Cir. 2015), finding that the Department of Labor’s Handbook on trainees or students within the FLSA did not appropriately take into account all factors necessary to determine whether interns were entitled to federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. The Court adopted the six factors recently set forth by the Second Circuit, and discussed previously on the blog here, including:

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