Homeless Person’s Rights

On June 21, Rhode Island made history by becoming the first state in the country to adopt a “Homeless Bill of Rights.”  The Bill prohibits healthcare workers, employers, landlords as well as the police from treating homeless people unfairly because of their housing status.  Initially some were concerned that the proposal could burden local governments
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Email Case Notifications

Attention attorneys: The 1st Circuit has instituted a new email notification program. For attorneys who have completed mandatory registration for the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals’ electronic filing system can now receive email notification for cases of interest. Bar membership is not a requirement for the notifications. Any attorney who does not need electronic filing
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Restaurant Non-Compete Agreement

In June, the Superior Court interpreted a non-compete agreement in favor of the defendant, the purchaser of a restaurant. The agreement included language providing that the buyer / defendant shall not operate an Italian restaurant within the Town of Johnston or within a 15 mile radius of the town for four years. However, the agreement
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Minimum Wage Increase

On June 21, 2012 Governor Chafee signed a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.40 to $7.75. The increase will go into effect on January 1, 2013. This is Rhode Island’s first increase of the minimum wage in five years. In contrast, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Currently, there are
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‘Bring Your Own Device’ to Work Policies Bring Legal Risk

Check out this excellent article in Corporate Counsel on the many legal risks to employers in encouraging employees to use their own cellphones, smartphones, and other electronic devices in the course of work.  Click here for a link.  Contact Muller Law if you have any questions about this important issue.


NLRB Finds Employers’ Social Media Policies Illegal

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently published guidance showing how six of the seven company social media policies it reviewed offended the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Recall that even non-unionized companies are subject to the NLRA’s requirement that employees be able to engage in “concerted activity” protesting employer’s policies or practices.  Thus, employers’
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Big Changes to the Effect of Severance Pay on R.I. Unemployment Benefits

For all R.I. unemployment claims filed on July 1, 2012, and afterward, the receipt of severance pay benefits will make the claimant illegible for unemployment benefits. R.I. Gen. Laws § 28-44-59 says that, “any remuneration received by an employee from his or her employer in the nature of severance or dismissal pay, whether or not
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Court Finds AT&T Provided Reasonable Accommodation in Religious Discrimination Case By Offering Alternative Positions and Permitting Employee Shift Swapping

In 2006, after working for six years at AT&T, plaintiff Miguel Sanchez informed his supervisors that he had become a Seventh Day Adventist, and requested an accommodation in his work schedule for permission to take Saturdays off in accordance with his new religion. In response, AT&T informed him that his position required he work on
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Court Rules That Retaliatory Transfer and Hostile Work Environment Claims Require Certain Evidence

Luis Aik Ayala-Sepúlveda , an employee of the Municipal Office of Emergency Management (OMME) in San Germán, Puerto Rico, felt he was ridiculed by co-workers for being a homosexual man, claims he was transferred to a different municipal department one day after filing an administrative complaint against his employer, and believed that his transfer was due,
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Court Upholds Large Jury Verdict For Retaliatory Termination Despite Limited Evidence

In 1998, Dr. José Alfonso Serrano Muñoz sued his employer, a hospital, in a local court alleging the hospital discriminated against him because of his age.  In 2004, one day after Dr. Muñoz gave his deposition for the lawsuit, the hospital fired him.  Dr. Muñoz proceeded to sue the hospital in federal court for retaliatory
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