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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 DOL (29)


DOL Overtime Rule Update

As most readers are aware, the Department of Labor has appealed the November 22, 2016 Order of Judge Amos Mazzant of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas which preliminarily enjoined the December 1, 2016 implementation of increases to the salary threshold under the FLSA overtime regulations.  The Department of Labor has already filed its brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and on Tuesday, a group of 21 states filed their responsive brief with the Fifth Circuit arguing that the November 22, 2016, preliminary injunction issued by the District Court should be upheld. 

The states’ brief argued that the Fair Labor Standards Act does not empower the United States Department of Labor to establish a salary threshold for determining whether an individual qualifies for the executive, administrative, or professional exemption to the federal overtime standards. 

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Is Your Company Complying with Updated Federal Posting Requirements?

On August 1, 2016, the DOL issued updated posting requirements for the Employee Polygraph Protection Act and the Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If you haven’t updated your posters, you should do so immediately. You can print out copies here: 

- Employee Rights Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act

Remember that in addition to federal posting requirements, there are state and local posting requirements to be mindful of. Contact a member of Verrill Dana’s Labor & Employment Practice Group if you have any questions on required postings in your jurisdiction.


FLSA Construction Basics: Build a Solid Foundation with Proper Classification

New England Company & Affiliate Pay $2.6 Million in Back Wages

Over the past few years we have discussed the importance of proper classification of workers and the ever-increasing number of DOL audits and wage and hour lawsuits that are stemming from improper classification of the workforce. Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it reached a consent judgment with Force Corp. and its contractor AB Construction Group Inc. in which the companies will pay 478 workers $2.6 million in back wages, penalties, and damages as a result of the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. The consent judgment includes payment of approximately $2.4 million in wages and liquidated damages as well as $262,900 in civil penalties. The approximately $2.4 million is the DOL’s largest FLSA wage recovery in Massachusetts since 2009.

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Scheme to Avoid Employer Liability Results in Consent Judgment

Using a staffing company to supply workers can seem to be a wonderful way to secure a qualified workforce while avoiding the challenges of hiring employees and the administrative demands associated with having so many people in your employ. Probably for these very reasons United Plastics contracted with ASI Staffing Group to provide workers at United Plastics’ facilities in Massachusetts and Mississippi. United Plastics’ learned the hard way, though, that it was still subject to the legal ramifications of being the employer of these agency employees. As part of a June 2016 consent judgment entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, United Plastics and ASI Staffing Group agreed as joint employers to pay 566 ASI employees $1.4 million in back wages and liquidated damages for overtime pay.

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OSHA Ignites Firework of a Penalty Hike Prior to Independence Day

Late last week, while everyone was focused on the summer holiday, the Department of Labor announced that pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvement Act, OSHA’s maximum penalties, which have not been raised since 1990, will increase by 78 percent. This will increase the “serious”, “other-than-serious” and “posting requirements” penalty from $7,000 to $12,471 per violation, the failure to abate from $7,000 per day beyond abatement date to $12,471 per day beyond abatement date, and increase the maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations from $70,000 to $124,709.

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Service Advisor Question Sent Back to Ninth Circuit

The Supreme Court issued its decision today in Encino MotorCars, LLC v. Navarro. A background of the case is available here, but the question at issue was whether service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements.

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