Resources
Experience

Associational Disability Discrimination

We represented Morgan Stanley Smith Barney against plaintiff's claims of associational disability discrimination, retaliation for anticipatory use of FMLA and wrongful discharge under New Hampshire common law. The Court granted Summary Judgment to our clients on all four counts.

This case is an excellent example of careful fact accumulation in discovery to persuade a court that no reasonable jury could find the facts necessary to sustain a plaintiff's verdict. While the court did not reach the question of whether it would recognize a claim of anticipatory breach of a party's FMLA rights, having concluded that the jury would not be able to find that the company's legitimate reason for termination was not the real reason, it suggested that it would not permit such a claim where the employee was not yet qualified for FMLA and had not asked for such leave. The court also reaffirmed earlier cases which hold that periods of longer than 2-3 months between the alleged indicator of animus and the adverse action were too long to permit any inference of discrimination. The case is also important to show how a court should properly analyze whether there is sufficient credible factual disputes to permit the case to go to trial, which analysis was made possible by the excellent record keeping of reviews and discipline maintained by the company.

Firm Highlights

Blog

News of Supreme Court Leak is a Good Reminder to Revisit Confidentiality Policies

If you have been on social media today (or yesterday) or picked up a newspaper or listened to the radio or watched television—really if you have consumed news in any format, you likely are...

Blog

Supreme Leak: Religion at Work

Over the last year, our society has navigated COVID-19 and rules concerning vaccination and masking. As a society and on this blog, we have discussed regularly the role religious freedoms play in the work...

Publication/Podcast

Breaking: OSHA Releases Emergency Temporary Standard for Employers with 100 or More Employees

Publication/Podcast

Federal Vaccine Mandates: How to Respond to Ever-Changing Court Rulings

OSHA’s ETS, CMS’s Mandate, Federal Contractor Mandates, each of these federal vaccine policies have experienced legal challenges over the course of the last two months. On January 11, 2022, Verrill attorney Tawny Alvarez on...

Blog

Supreme Leak: NLRA Rights

For blog followers, you likely saw last week’s post reminding you to revisit your confidentiality policies in the wake of the leaking of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health...

Blog

2021 LexisNexis “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”

I just read a wonderful resource for anyone who has dealings with any aspect of workers’ compensation law. “Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis”, the 2021 LexisNexis volume co-authored by Thomas A. Robinson and National...

Publication/Podcast

Labor & Employment Annual Update: Tips and Trends for 2021 and 2022

Publication/Podcast

Massachusetts Employers Beware: Any Late Wage Payment Means Liability for Triple Damages

Last month, in Reuter v. City of Methuen , the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that any late payment of wages by an employer results in strict liability for treble damages under the Wage...

News

Verrill Attorney Elizabeth T. Johnston Elected as New Lawyers Section Representative of Maine State Bar Association (MSBA) Board of Governors

Blog

“Mug-shots”: Are Employees’ risky beverage containers a cause for concern?

Prior to (and more so during) the pandemic, many individuals who found themselves working from home were limited in ways to express their uniqueness, their personalities, the things that made them, well, them. It...

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