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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. 

Entries in Maine (12)

Tuesday
Aug182015

Maine’s Newest Employment Laws

Earlier this month, Maine’s highest court, the Law Court, held that Governor LePage’s veto attempts came too late—meaning that 65 laws which he had not taken timely action on are law. Included in these 65 laws is L.D. 921, which (as a result of the Governor’s failure to act) became law on July 12, 2015. 

L.D. 921 has two components: 1) it provides damages for employees who have been denied rights under Maine’s Employment Leave for Victims of Violence; and 2) it enacts Maine’s Employee Social Media Privacy law.

26 M.R.S.A. § 850 is Maine’s Employment Leave for Victims of Violence law. While the law has been in effect since 1999, there were no damages available to the affected employee. Previously, the Department of Labor could assess a civil penalty of up to $200 for each violation (if the employee notifies the DOL within 6 months of the occurrence), however there previously was no damages available for the employees who’s rights were violated. The new penalties portion of the statute provides that the DOL may assess a fine of up to $1,000 for each occurrence and the employer will be required to pay “liquidated damages to the affected individual in an amount equal to 3 times the amount of total assessed fines.” Additionally, if an individual is terminated for attempting to use statutorily protected time as a result of domestic violence, the former employee could receive either the liquidated damages previously noted or re-employment with payment of back wages.

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Thursday
May072015

Maine Labor Committee Rejects Right-to-Work Bill

Maine will not become the first state in the Northeast to pass a right-to-work law. Yesterday, law makers in Augusta on the Legislature’s Labor Committee voted 7-6 to recommend that the full Legislature kill the bill. Right-to-work laws guarantee that employees who work in a unionized environment not have to join the union or pay fees for the unions representation if they so choose. The text of the bill is available here.

Tuesday
Apr282015

Legislative Update: Maine’s “Retail Workers Bill of Rights”

For all our friends and colleagues in the hospitality and retail sectors of the Maine economy, please be mindful of two pending pieces of legislation in Augusta that could affect minimum standards as to pay and work schedules for Maine employers in the retail industry. Read more here.

Tuesday
Jul152014

Claiming That an E-Mail is "False" is Not Slander Per Se

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine recently granted an employer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, ruling that a co-worker’s statement that the plaintiff sent an e-mail that was “false” did not support a claim for slander per se. The Court concluded that “Stripped of any additional explanatory or contextual information, the statement can be reasonably understood by people of ordinary intelligence to mean that [the plaintiff’s] email was either untrue or intentionally untrue. . . . While the latter meaning could give rise to a slanderous statement if the statement is proven false, the former does not.”

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Friday
Feb282014

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Recommendations to the Maine Department of Labor

In a letter dated February 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an eight-page discussion of a fact-finding review prompted by incidents occurring in the spring of 2013 surrounding the state’s Unemployment Compensation appeals process. The letter, which is available here, provided five recommendations:

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Monday
Nov182013

Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut Experience Decrease in Workplace Fatalities in 2012

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics issued preliminary data as to the number of workplace fatalities in 2012. The report provides extensive information regarding workplace fatalities across the county and serves as a helpful reminder to employers as to the importance of implementing safety protocols.

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