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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 (14)

Friday
Sep302016

Governor's Panel Finds No Bias at Maine Human Rights Commission

Earlier this week, the Governor’s Panel to Review and Make Recommendations for Improvement of the Maine Human Rights Commission and Its Operations issued its report finding specifically that “there was no evidence that the MHRC or its staff ever intentionally meant to be unfair or biased toward any party.” The Report, however, did contain 13 recommendations. Specifically:

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Monday
Sep192016

Will The New Maine Opiate Control Law Impact the Workers’ Compensation System?

Stories of the horrors of opiate over-prescription and abuse are abundant, and Maine has not been spared the ravages of that epidemic.  In response to the growing problem, Governor LePage, in April of this year, signed into law a bill intended to place some limits on the prescription of opioids in situations involving both “acute pain” and “chronic pain”.  Under the new law, health care providers will be limited to prescribing no more than a 30-day supply of opioid medication in any 30-day period for patients with chronic pain.  However, there is no limit on the number of times that a 30-day prescription can be written by a provider.  The practical impact on chronic pain patients in the workers’ compensation system will be one of two outcomes:  either, patients will now have to visit their providers every thirty days rather than the every three to six months schedule typical in long-term workers’ compensation chronic pain cases; or providers will be decreasing the number of opioid prescriptions issued to chronic pain patients as their practices suffer from limits on the ability to accommodate every-thirty-day appointments for medication renewal.

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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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