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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; Stamford, 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.  U.S. Treasury Regulations require us to notify you that any tax-related material in this blog (including links and attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties, and may not be referred to in any marketing or promotional materials.  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. 

Wednesday
Oct292014

$10.10: The New Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final regulations to implement Executive Order 13658, “Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors,” which was signed by President Obama on February 12, 2014. The new minimum wage will increase to $10.10 per hour under new contracts and replacement contracts with the federal government, if the contract results from a solicitation issued on or after January 1, 2015.

The new minimum wage requirement will apply to contracts and subcontracts covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA), the Davis-Bacon Act or contracts with the federal government in connection with federal property or lands and related to offering services for federal employees, their dependents or the general public (each individually a “Covered Contract”). The workers who perform work on or in connection with a Covered Contract will be entitled to the new minimum wage unless the worker is an exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), such as a bona fide executive, administrative or professional employee. Apprentices, learners or messengers whose wages are calculated pursuant to special certificates are excluded from the minimum wage requirement, as are students.

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Tuesday
Oct282014

Tardy Tuesday: Dog-Gone-It You’re An Independent Contractor

The District of Connecticut recently ruled that a taxi cab driver with “canine phobia” and his father were independent contractors, not employees, thus defeating their ADA claims brought against their former employer. The claims stemmed from both men’s termination of employment from Yellow Cab after the son refused to take an assigned passenger with a service dog and the two were later arrested, charged with interfering with police, refusal to accommodate a service dog and misuse of 911 system. The full text of the opinion can be read here.

Tuesday
Oct212014

Fashion, Religion & The Supreme Court

Much like your humble blogger, image is everything for teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. That may be problematic, however, as the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an appeal addressing whether the Company’s enforcing its controversial employee dress code, or “look policy,”  constituted religious discrimination.

In 2008, Samantha Elauf, a Muslim, applied for a job at an Abercrombie store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She wore her hijab or headscarf during the interview. Abercrombie rates applicants on their sense of style (of course they do) and hiring manager, Heather Cooke, initially gave Elauf a score that recommended hiring her. However, after consulting with district manager Randall Johnson about the hijab, Cooke gave Elauf a low score in the “appearance and sense of style” category. (Johnson allegedly told Cooke that employees were not allowed to wear “hats” at work, and declined to hire her, even though Cooke told him that she assumed Elauf wore the scarf for religious reasons.) Cooke also told Johnson that she did not ask about religion during Elauf’s interview, in accordance with EEOC guidelines.

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Monday
Oct202014

Manic Monday: Ebola in the Workplace

With all the issues that surround the cases of the Ebola virus in the United States it’s important to remember that protecting employees from the spread of the disease cannot come at the cost of other employee rights. A good article discussing these issues and potential ways to deal with Ebola in the workplace is available here.

Friday
Oct172014

Using Outside Counsel When Dealing With Internal Investigations 

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reaffirmed the application of the attorney-client privilege to protect materials generated during the course of internal investigations by corporations, particularly in the context of regulated industries or other businesses which have compliance programs that are mandated by law. The decision is In re Kellogg, Brown & Root, Inc., 756 F.3d 754 (D.C. Cir. 2014).

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Monday
Oct132014

Eighth Circuit “Check-Up” Finds ADEA Violation After Health Insurance Based Lay Off

Last week, the Eight Circuit held that where an employer terminated an employee over the age of 65, allegedly in an attempt to lower health care plan premiums, the employee could state a claim for violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Tramp v. Associated Underwriters, Inc., No. 13-2546, 2014 WL 4977396 (8th Cir. 2014). The ruling reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer by the District Court for the District of Nebraska.

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