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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. 

Thursday
Apr192018

Dear Byron: Let's Talk About Prior Salary

[Letter to Byron D. Verrill, who in 1862 began the law practice known today as Verrill Dana, LLP]

Dear Byron D. Verrill:

When I’m interviewing applicants for a new position is it okay for me to ask about prior or current salary at other employers?

Thanks,
Hugh Gotthis

Dear Hugh,

Thanks for the note. When I started the firm in the 1860s this was definitely okay, but I didn’t do it. Instead, I paid employees in whatever I got paid in—which was sometimes lobsters, and other days laundry for a week. I think I’ll pass this one off to a colleague—Tawny, your thoughts?

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Wednesday
Apr182018

Unpaid Labor: Focus Shifts from Hollywood to Baseball to Church

In the past we have focused a lot on volunteer labor. The fact that generally an individual cannot “volunteer” to work for a for-profit business. The days of unpaid internships where someone volunteers their time to gain valuable experience has long since passed with the necessity that the individual either receive payment or the employer be able to prove a multitude of factors to disprove the assumption that the individual should have been paid minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA.

Between 2012 and 2015, we saw a host of litigation concerning unpaid interns in Hollywood and on the big screen. Most notable was the suit filed by the interns who served on the set of the movie Black Swan, which ultimately created Second Circuit precedent as to the standards to be considered in determining whether an individual could properly be categorized as an unpaid intern.

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Monday
Apr092018

(PODCAST) Managing Communications in the Wake of #MeToo

Workplaces across the country are changing in response to the widespread #metoo movement. During the 8th Annual Mainebiz Women’s Leadership Forum on April 12, 2018, panelists will discuss how to manage the workplace in the wake of #metoo and the role that business leaders play in taking action to create a positive environment for their workers. Serving on the panel is Judy Katzel, Founder and President of KDK Consulting and Chief Communications and Development Officer of Catholic Charities Maine.

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Monday
Mar262018

(PODCAST) The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: New Requirements for Employers

The latest episode of the Verrill Voices podcast, featuring labor and employment attorney Joanna Bowers, discusses the new Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which imposes new obligations and requirements on employers that employers must be aware of and be prepared to address as soon as April 1, 2018. The new law addresses three broad obligations for employers: it prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions; requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees and applicants; and requires employers to provide employees notice of their right to be free from discrimination and their right to reasonable accommodations. 

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Friday
Mar232018

Does Massachusetts’s Pay Equity Law Change the Game?

On July 1, 2018, Massachusetts Pay Equity law takes effect requiring all employers to pay men and women equally for comparable work—a phrase that is different from many similar statutes that have gone into effect over the course of the last few years.  What are the key points that employers need to understand about the new law:

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Friday
Mar232018

NCCI Maine Advisory Forum 2018

On Thursday, March 22, 2018, Attorney Beth Smith attended the morning session of the National Council of Compensation Insurance (NCCI) State Advisory Forum for Maine, held in Portland, Maine.  Justin Moulton and Jim Davis hosted on behalf of NCCI, and there were roughly thirty attendees.

The session opened with a short video featuring Bill Donnell, President and CEO of NCCI, where he introduced the “word” for 2018: Adapting.  Mr. Donnell explained that change is coming to the national workers’ compensation industry and to survive, stakeholders in the industry are going to have to adapt.  He emphasized the growing impact of automation and the gig-economy on workers’ compensation, and the link between employers’ need to adapt to remain competitive and the industry’s need to adapt to keep up with technology in support of the Grand Bargain.  All of these points are relevant in Maine.

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