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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. 

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Entries in Hostile Work Environment (4)


“Capturing” the Affect of Pokemon Go in the Office

This is reality. This is not a test. There are Pokémon in your office. Well, maybe; it’s more like there are not real Pokémon chilling outside your door, but more that in an augmented reality there are graphical elements placed within your real world. The thing is, either way, it can result in real productivity drains—likely 151 productivity drains (for those still learning that’s how many Pokémon there apparently are to collect), but this blog post will only comment on a few. So let’s get to it; while we have all seen people walking around waiving their phones in the air over the course of the last two weeks, have we sat down and considered the implications of this in the work environment?

  1. Integration: There’s something fascinating about augmented reality, I mean, look at the image here, I pulled six attorneys away from their desks to “capture” Butterfree (yes there is an attorney hiding behind the Pokémon). Is this a way to bring people together in your organization? Maybe, it brought us together—but there are probably other options to consider. At the same time, I thought starting this post off on a positive note was nice.

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Man Shows Genitals to Co-Workers: Litigation Follows (Vol. 3)

Noted legal scholar Chris Berman once stated that “once is an accident, twice is a trend, three times is a problem.” Or something like that.

At any rate, in today’s installment of the consequences of dropping trou at work, we bring you Davenport v. Nissan North America, Inc. There, Joslyne Davenport, a production assistant at a Nissan plant in Mississippi hired through Kelly Services, Inc., accused Fred Tate of exposing himself to her in September or October 2013. Tate was a line leader on Davenport’s shift, however he did not supervise her. Rather, another employee named Aaron Rodgers1 supervised both of them.

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Employee Again Shows Genitals to Co-Workers: Litigation Again Follows

Dear reader, we know that after seeing this headline, you are saying to yourself: Super; and in other news, scientists have determined that the big bright thing in the sky is pretty warm. Fear not, however, because in this tale of southern exposure, the alleged harassment victim did the pants dropping (!) Plus, there’s stuff about softball, fortune telling and allegations of breakfast food with a side order of sexual innuendo.

(Like you’re not going to keep reading.)

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Employee Shows Genitals to Co-Workers: Litigation Follows

And in other news, scientists have discovered that fire is hot.

Humble reader, I give you Macias v. Southwest Cheese Company, LLC. Or, as I like to call it, the case that says that (allegedly) exposing yourself to co-workers (plural) multiple times and passing around pictures of your  . . . let’s go with manhood, can serve as a basis for a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim.

Aside from the no he didn’t/oh yes he did behavior the opinion details, Macias also illustrates the flexibility of the statute of limitations period in hostile work environment claims. Specifically, as long as an act contributing to the claim occurs within the limitations period, the court can consider the entire time period of the hostile environment, as long as there is a relationship between the acts occurring after the beginning of the filing period and the ones occurring before it. In Macias, the Court considered an untimely event (the employee exposing himself) because it “bore a sufficient relationship to his acts of exposing himself” to another employee within the limitations period.

The decision also shows the importance of regular and comprehensive sexual harassment training.1 Please let us know if you have any questions about this decision, or if our Labor & Employment Group can assist you in any way.

1You know, the kind that makes it clear that dropping your pants in front of co-workers is verboten.