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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.  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. 

Thursday
Apr162015

Ninth Circuit Casts Doubt on the Continued Viability of No Reemployment Clauses in California

When a former employee and an employer agree to settle the former employee’s lawsuit against the employer, the settlement agreement will frequently include a clause which provides that the former employee may not reapply for employment with the employer and the employer will not rehire the former employee. Such clauses are meant to protect the employer from a subsequent lawsuit if the employee were to reapply and be rejected by the employer. The Ninth Circuit, however, recently cast doubt on whether such clauses are permissible in California.
 
California law provides that “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 16600. It is one of the most restrictive laws against covenants not to compete in the United States, and courts had traditionally applied the law to void agreements between employers and employees which would limit the employees’ ability to secure future employment competing with the employer. In Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, --- F.3d --- (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit opined that the law extends further.

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Thursday
Apr092015

The Meaning of “Rosebud” Isn’t Just a Citizen Kane Issue Anymore: EEOC Suit Without An Aggrieved Individual Survives Motion to Dismiss

On Tuesday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that the EEOC does not have to identify any specifically aggrieved individual to pursue a race bias lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The case, EEOC v. Rosebud Restaurants, Inc., alleges that Rosebud’s owner, Alex Dana, has “expressed a preference not to hire black applicants,” and because of this preference Rosebud’s affiliated restaurants have had few black employees. Rosebud filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint but the Court ruled on Tuesday that Section 706 of Title VII authorizes the EEOC to sue in its own name without naming an aggrieved individual.

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Wednesday
Apr012015

President Obama Quickly Vetoes Congressional Attempt to Overturn NLRB “Quickie Election” Rule

Late last year we posted on the NLRB’s finalized rules governing union election procedures which shortened the time period for employers to educate its workforces about the pros and cons of unionization. In response, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 232-186 to use the rarely exercised Congressional Review Act to overturn the NLRB rule and the resolution passed the Senate in March on a 53-46 vote. Yesterday, however, President Obama vetoed the congressional resolution. Read more here.

Friday
Mar272015

National Labor Relations Act May Invalidate English-Only Rules Otherwise Justified by "Business Necessity"

Workplace rules which require employees to speak only English while at work or while conducting certain work activities are, and continue to be, relatively controversial. As we discussed previously, linguistic characteristics are closely associated with national origin, and therefore English-only rules can open employers up to national origin discrimination lawsuits.

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Friday
Mar272015

Foreign Friday: It’s Like Frantic Friday Except Not in the U.S.

While focusing on the Supreme Court’s decision in Young on Wednesday we aparently missed what many international employees found to be even bigger news—Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction. For our international clients, however, this would not appear to be sufficient to qualify currently distraught employees for “compassionate leave.” Read more here.

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Thursday
Mar262015

Nine Months Later Supreme Court "Delivers"

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated opinion on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in Young v. UPS vacating the Fourth Circuit’s (and District Court’s) grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer, UPS. We’ve previously discussed the background of the case here and here, but for our new readers, the general overview is that Ms. Young sued her employer UPS after it refused to accommodate her lifting restrictions during the course of her pregnancy. UPS’s policy was that it would make work accommodations in three discrete instances: 1) on the job injury; 2) after an employee fails a DOT certification; and 3) if an accommodation is necessary under the ADA. UPS argued that Ms. Young’s pregnancy fell into none of the three exceptions and thus no accommodation for her lifting restriction could be made and she remained out of work the whole of her pregnancy.

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