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

Myth Buster: Employees Do Not Have to Be Affiliated With An Organized Religion to Be Entitled To A Religious Accommodation

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Myth Buster: There is Not a General Testing Alternative for Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

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HR Power Hour with Humza Khan- What's Covered? – First Five Steps for DE&I

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Federal Vaccine Mandates – What We Know and What We Don’t

On September 9, President Biden announced plans to require that federal workers, federal contractors, and employees of employers with 100 or more employees are vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID-19. The Occupational Safety and...

News

32 Verrill Attorneys, Across Three Offices, Recognized in 2021 Chambers & Partners Guide

(May 27, 2021) – Verrill has been rated as a Leading Firm in a total of 11 categories and subcategories as evaluated by London-based Chambers & Partners, one of the world's most respected legal...

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HR Power Hour with Robert Brooks- What's Covered? COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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Myth Buster: Employers, Vaccine Information, and HIPAA

Publication/Podcast

Employers Required to Give Free COBRA Coverage to be Offset by Medicare Tax Credits

Among other things, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), signed into law on March 11, 2021, provides “assistance eligible individuals” (“AEIs”) who lose their health insurance coverage under an employer’s group health...

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Myth Buster: If Your Company Receives Federal Funds the Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandated Obligations Does Not Automatically Apply

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What Does The Proposed Federal Minimum Wage Mean For My Business?

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