About Commission Counsel Memoranda

These memoranda were written by Commission Counsel to the Maine Human Rights Commission and are offered as guidance to parties who appear before the Commission.  Although an effort has been made to keep these memoranda current, please bear in mind that there may have been statutory changes or new case developments that affect their current validity.

Please check the following links to view PDF documents by subject index or you can switch view the documents by in date order.

In order to view or print PDF documents, you need the free Adobe Reader. If you cannot access a document in PDF format please contact us at (207) 624-6290 to request a copy.

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE DISMISSAL.

Calculating 180-day right-to-sue date for amended complaint.(8/1/2007)

Reconsideration of decision. (5/4/2009)


ADVERSE EMPLOYMENT ACTION.

Threat to terminate employee. (03/15/2011)


AGE

Age discrimination - health insurance premiums for state retirees. (07/10/2012)

 

“AID AND ABET.”

“Aid and abet” standard. (5/20/2009)

 

ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS.

No effect on Commission investigation. (04/07/2011)

BFOQ.

Female prison janitors.  (7/12/1979)

COMMISSION DECISIONS AND MEETINGS.

Executive sessions.  (8/31/1979)

Judicial review.  (10/24/1979)

Reasonable grounds standard.  (1/27/1992)

Tie votes.  (3/23/1989)

COMPLAINTS

Amendments.

Notarization after filing deadline.  (12/1/2000)

Name change from d/b/a to corporation.  (6/9/2009)

New parties.

Generally. (4/7/2008)

Part of “integrated enterprise.”  (5/1/2006), (4/7/2008)

New protected-class basis for discrimination.  (1/10/2006), (5/2/2007), (4/17/2008)

Retaliation.  (12/29/2008)

Filing deadline.

Calculation.

Generally.  (4/7/2008), (10/18/2007), (8/13/1980) (5/17/2006)

Pay discrimination. (4/5/2012), (11/19/2010)

Timeliness of hostile environment claim with successive employers (07/31/2012)

When last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.  (4/17/2003)

Extensions.

Arbitration proceeding.  (1/16/1981)

Continuing effects of discrimination. (4/23/2012),  (3/27/2007)

Equitable tolling. (4/23/2012), (4/7/2008), (10/18/2007), (8/13/1980)

Generally.  (5/17/2006), (8/13/1980)

Respondent internal appeals procedure.  (2/20/2008)

“Piggyback” doctrine. (3/7/2007)

Minimally sufficient complaint, (2/27/2012)

COMPLAINANTS

"Employee” – MHRA.

Elected officials.  (3/23/1981)

Former.  (8/7/1998)

Gratuitous employee. (6/11/2012)

Independent contractors. (4/26/2006), (7/29/1980)

MHRA/ MHRA coverage of former employees. (07/02/2013)

Outside of Maine (5/8/2007)

Requirement of individuals. (4/26/2006)

Versus “independent contractors.” (9/29/2006)

"Employee” - WPA.

Corporation. (4/26/2006)

Independent contractor.  (4/26/2006)

Ski patrol member.  (5/1/2006)

WPA/WPA coverage of former employees. (07/02/2013)

Pseudonyms in investigator’s reports.  (11/27/2000), (3/26/2008)

Organizational standing.  (3/7/2007)

"Employer” – MHRA.

Elected officials.  (3/23/1981)

DISABILITY

Discrimination between disabilities.  (1/10/2006)

Long term disability plans mental disabilities coverage.  (8/7/1998)

Reverse discrimination.  (12/18/1989)

Unlawful inquirty. (4/24/2012)

 

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION

Commission complaint files – timing.  (8/31/2001)

 

EDUCATION

City as respondent when school is operated by separate entity.  (8/28/2006)

School liability for student harassment. (6/21/1999)

Coverage of single-sex schools (2/8/2012)

 

HARASSMENT

“Discreet act” as part of “hostile work environment” claim.  (1/20/2009)

 

HOUSING

Familial Status Discrimination.

Standing.  (1/30/2007)

Interference claims.  (11/10/2005)

Medical marijuana – reasonable accommodation. (5/21/2012)

Neighbor standing.  (3/02/2006)

New construction and alterations.

Tax credits as receipt of public funds.  (3/27/2008)

10 percent rule. (06/30/2010)

20 or more public housing units in different buildings (05/11/2011)

Receipt of public assistance – protected class.

Scope of.  (3/2/2006)

Standing.  (2/09/2006), (3/2/2006)

Section 8 exclusion of people with disabilities. (11/17/2006)

Service Animals - tenant responsibility for liability insurance (11/02/2012)

 

LITIGATION

Factors Commission considers.  (1/27/1992)

NATIONAL ORIGIN

City authority to establish human rights commission.  (9/11/1980)

Coverage

School athletics. (08/04/2010)

 

OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS

City authority to establish human rights commission.  (9/11/1980)

 

PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS

Coverage

Church as a public accommodation. (07/23/2013)

Courts and judges.  (7/2/2008)

Physician staff privileges.  (3/31/2008)

Police enforcement activity.  (5/12/2008)

Religious-based rehabilitation program. (6/11/2007)

Reasonable accommodation - Services of a personal nature. (01/19/2010)

Waiver of parking fees for personal care attendants.  (3/8/2012)

State licensing agencies.  (4/26/1996)

Volunteers.  (6/16/2005), (7/26/2006), (03/31/2010)

New construction and alterations.

Accessible routes.  (4/8/2008)

To area without accessible elements. (08/13/2010)

Public entity rental to private entity. (03/30/2010)

Temporary structures.  (8/1/2007)

Vertical Access.

Elevator exemption.

3000 square feet requirement.  (11/4/2008)

Physical therapist’s office.  (10/17/2006)

LuLa lift.  (2/5/2009)

 

PREEMPTION

ERISA.  (8/7/1998)

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.  (11/27/1995)

First Amendment.  (7/13/2006)

Health Security Act administrative requirements (12/03/2012)

Maine Municipal Public Employees Labor Relations Law.  (12/6/2006)

 

RESPONDENTS

City as respondent when school is operated by a separate entity.  (8/28/2006)

“Employers” – MHRA.

Federal government.  (8/20/1979)

Independent contractors. (4/26/2006), (7/29/1980)

Indian Tribes. (11/10/1982)

FPI - internal tribal matter (08/20/2012)

Insurance company.  (5/23/1996)

“Integrated enterprise” test.  (6/6/2006)

Maine Unemployment Security Commission. (12/29/1981)

MHRA/Joint employer. (07/22/2013)

Receiver. (04/29/2010), (05/03/2010)

Religious organization.  (8/8/2002)

Resident, but employee outside of Maine (5/8/2007)

Individual liability in employment after Fuhrmann (04/11/2013)

Individual liability for housing interference.  (11/10/2005)

 

RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

Reasonable accommodation.  (2/12/1979)

 

SEX DISCRIMINATION

Dress Codes

Earrings (05/25/2010)

Hostile work environment - Failed relationship   (05/18/2010)

 

SEXUAL ORIENTATION DISCRIMINATION

Employee bathroom access and gender identity (09/10/2013)

 

STATUTORY AMENDMENTS

Operation of Public Law 235.  (6/11/2009)

Prospective operation, generally.  (11/10/2005)

WHISTLEBLOWERS’ PROTECTION ACT

Commission jurisdiction. (5/12/2008)

“Employee.”

Corporation.  (4/26/2006)

Independent contractor.  (4/26/2006)

Ski patrol member.  (5/1/2006)

Out of state – “usual place of employment” in state.  (4/3/2012)

 

Protected activity.

Conduct by agent of employer. (5/3/2012), (5/12/2010)

Deviation of standard of care by 3rd party. (8/30/2010)

Future violation of law.  (5/1/2006)

Participation in public body hearing. (6/26/2008)

Reasonable belief sex discrimination. (4/07/2011)