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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. 

Monday
Sep182017

PODCAST: Employment Policies in the Trump Administration

In this Verrill Voices podcast, labor and employment attorneys Tawny Alvarez and Richard Moon discuss recent administrative and legislative developments, how they affect employers generally. More specifically, they discuss the current position in which the Department of Justice and the EEOC are taking separate and distinct positions on the issue of whether Title VII covers sexual orientation discrimination, highlighting a Second Circuit case that has brought the issue to the forefront. In addition to sexual orientation and gender discrimination policies, the stalled increase in the overtime exemption wage and President Trump's recent direction on affirmative action policies are also discussed.

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Wednesday
Sep062017

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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Thursday
Aug242017

Health Plan Nightmares Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

In a cautionary tale that highlights the importance of the claims and appeals process, a federal judge is requiring the AT&T, Inc. health plan to pay more than $117,000 for treatment of one of its employee’s daughters at Equine Journeys, a Utah residential treatment center that combines psychotherapy with horse riding and training.  Lynn R., v. ValueOptions, No. 215CV00362RJSPMW, 2017 WL 3610477 (D. Utah Aug. 22, 2017).

The case arose when the AT&T plan, which generally covers care provided at residential treatment facilities, denied a claim for inpatient mental healthcare at Equine Journeys.

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Thursday
Aug242017

Spouse’s “Unjustified Jealousy” is Sufficient to Maintain Sex Discrimination Claim

Has your attorney ever told you justice is not swift?  Well just ask Yogi Dilek Edwards, she would likely have some general thoughts on the speed of justice.  Three and a half years ago we posted that a Manhattan yoga instructor had filed a claim of gender discrimination after she was fired from Wall Street Chiropractic and Wellness clinic for being “too cute.”  The Plaintiff’s claim initially was dismissed by the trial court with a finding that a termination that is motivated by spousal jealousy does not constitute sex discrimination.  Ms. Edwards appealed the decision to the Appellate Division and on Tuesday, the court found that terminations motivated by sexual attraction generally is prohibited and has remanded the case back to the trial court.

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Wednesday
Aug232017

PODCAST: Affinity Groups in the Workplace

While affinity groups can be a great marketing tool for employers to attract and retain workers, as well as to foster new ideas, they can also create a great deal of legal liability. For some background, affinity groups are generally formalized groups that share similarities of some sort, whether based on life experiences, social identity, or interests. Some examples include LGBTQ and women in business groups.

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Tuesday
Aug222017

PODCAST – The New Form I-9: A Step-by-Step Guide to Avoiding Common and Costly Mistakes

While you may be familiar with Form I-9s (since everyone that has hired an employee since 1986 should have them on file), you may not know that beginning on September 18, 2017, employers will be required to use a new I-9 Form. The changes were announced last month through a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publication. From small grammar and punctuation changes to an increased number of identification documents accepted in certain sections, many revisions were made.

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