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.

Shaw's Supermarket: Decertification Petition

We represented Shaw's Supermarket chain in decertification petition for 1,100 employees covering nine stores in western Massachusetts. The issue was whether or not a decertification petition filed by employees could be effective after the third complete year of a five year collective bargaining agreement. The National Labor Relations Board held that the company did appropriately withdraw recognition of the union based on a petition and an independent verification by an outside accounting firm of the veracity of the signatures and numbers.

This case was part of an ongoing series of cases concerning after-acquired store litigation and automatic recognition through authorization cards. The case is significant because it confirmed a process of decertification through independent verification in order to meet the heightened standard of the certainty of the employees wishing to no longer be represented.

Firm Highlights

Blog

School is Back in Session, But Are Employees? Navigating the FFCRA in the Midst of Schools Reopening

Blog

This Week's Show: Cause Marketing and Employee Engagement

On Saturday, August 8, Tawny interviewed Rob Laplaca, Partner in Verrill's Litigation & Trial group and Chair of the Promotions group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Rob and Tawny...

News

Nearly 80 Verrill Attorneys Recognized by Best Lawyers® 2021, Including a Dozen Named Lawyers of the Year

(August 24, 2020) – Nearly 80 Verrill attorneys were recognized as "Best Lawyers" by Best Lawyers® 2021 , including 12 attorneys named “Lawyer of the Year,” a distinguished recognition for only a single lawyer...

Blog

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Include Hair Style and Texture In Anti-Discrimination Policies

This is the sixth post in a 12-part series on how companies can show support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing company policies and practices. This post focuses on the importance of...

Blog

This Week's Show: Virtual Selling – Building Relationships Online

On Saturday, August 15, David Ciullo, co-host of HR Power Hour, interviewed Rick Gallegos, President & CEO of Dale Carnegie Tampa Bay , for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, David...

Blog

This Week's Show: Beyond Stadium Status

On Saturday, July 18, David Ciullo, co-host of HR Power Hour, interviewed John Brubaker, speaker and award-winning author of Stadium Status, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, David and John...

Blog

Action Item & FAQ: New Maine Paid Leave Rules Address Business Concerns

On January 1, 2021, LD 369, An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave takes effect for Maine employers. Passed by the Legislature in 2019, Maine employers have been patiently waiting for clarification as to the...

Publication/Podcast

2020 Annual Employment Law Update Materials

On Thursday, January 30, members from Verrill's Employment & Labor group, as well as some from the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation group, conducted a full-day seminar full of employment law related topics that...

Blog

This Week's Show: Small Acts of Leadership

On Saturday, August 22, Tawny interviewed G. Shawn Hunter, President and Founder of Mindscaling, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Shawn and Tawny discuss his new book, Small Acts of...

News

38 Verrill Attorneys, Across Four Offices, Recognized in 2020 Chambers & Partners Guide

(April 27, 2020) – Verrill has been rated as a Leading Firm in a total of ten categories and subcategories as evaluated by London-based Chambers & Partners , one of the world's most respected...