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

News

35 Verrill Attorneys Named 2020 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

(November 9, 2020) – The 2020 edition of New England Super Lawyers and Rising Stars© has recognized a total of 35 Verrill attorneys for excellence in their individual areas of practice. Only the top...

Blog

This Week's Show: Employment Law and Elections

On Saturday, October 31, Tawny interviewed Liz Johnston, Associate in Verrill's Employment & Labor Group, for this segment of HR Power Hour. For this episode, Liz and Tawny discuss employment law and how it...

Blog

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Deciphering Between Diversity Inclusion and Equity (Part 8 of 12)

This is the eighth 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 educating senior leadership...

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...

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

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Affinity Groups at Work (Part 7 of 12)

This is the seventh 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 creating effective affinity...

Blog

What Employers Need to Know About The Families First Coronavirus Response Act - An Animation

Navigating the ins and outs of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) can be difficult for employers. This animation seeks to illustrate some of the most important takeaways. Transcript: Hi, I'm Tawny, a...

Blog

This Week's Show: Real Small Business Lessons From 2020

On Saturday, November 7, David Ciullo, co-host of HR Power Hour, interviewed Rob and Nadra Edgerley, Owners of Nadra Photography; Maine Life Real Estate; and Dale Carnegie Training , for this segment of HR...

Blog

NWCDN Workers' Compensation in a Post-COVID World

Join the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN) and the WorkersCompensation.com Center for Education Excellence for a live virtual seminar on November 12, starting at 10:00AM E.S.T. This year, due to COVID-19 concerns, the...

Blog

Does Your Business Have New Tax Obligations Because of a Work-From-Home Policy?

This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upheaval to nearly every aspect of our lives, both personally and professionally. Virtually every sector of our society has been impacted. In response, companies were forced to...

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