In my blog post last week, It’s Football (Unionizing) Season…, I tackled the topic of whether football players who receive athletic scholarships to play for a private college or university might be considered employees – and then have the right to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act. As I explained, the National Labor Relations Board seems to be moving the ball towards a finding that those who receive scholarships are thus being paid to provide sports services to the school, meaning that they are employees. But, as my partner Mark Swerdlin noted in a previous blog post , this approach means that non-scholarship players are penalized because they are not being paid and therefore cannot be employees. Unless, as he suggested (with tongue firmly in cheek), they sue for unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act…

Continue Reading Wait – College Football Players Really Are Suing for Pay?

Well, my family’s favorite SEC team (Bama) is off to a discouraging start, so I am looking around for other entertainment – and the Dartmouth basketball team just came through with a pass at the National Labor Relations Board.

Continue Reading It’s Football (Unionizing) Season…

Maryland has enacted a paid family and medical leave insurance program that, starting in 2026, will provide most Maryland employees with 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, with the possibility of an additional 12 weeks of paid parental leave, as we have previously detailed in our E-lerts from April 12, 2023 and April 12, 2022. The Maryland Department of Labor (MDOL) was directed to issue regulations to interpret and implement the Act by January 1, 2024. The MDOL has begun the regulatory process, and its actions provide some insight into what the MDOL might be thinking on a variety of topics of specific interest to employers.

Continue Reading What to Expect from Maryland’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

In two cases issued on August 31, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board greatly expanded the universe of employee activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act. This is the latest in a week-long flurry of pro-union/worker cases that have left employers, both unionized and not, reeling, including restrictions on unionized employers’ ability to act unilaterally, employers being subject to collective bargaining orders without a secret-ballot election, an expedited timeline for secret ballot elections, and affirmation of a test for determining when adverse action is motivated by protected conduct

Continue Reading The NLRB Vastly Expands the Parameters of Protected Concerted Activity

The U.S. Department of Labor has now issued its highly-anticipated proposed revision to the regulations governing which employees are exempt from the requirement to pay overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. As expected, the proposed rule seeks to increase the salary levels for the statutory “white-collar” exemptions from overtime, meaning that up to 3.4 million more employees (according to the DOL) will be eligible for overtime pay.

Continue Reading DOL Proposes New Overtime Rule To Increase the Required Salary Level for Exempt Employees

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) issued a final rule on August 24, 2023 that will drastically reduce the time between when a petition is filed – typically, by a union – and an election. This final rule is yet another instance of the Biden Board furthering union activities by changing existing case law or procedures to make it easier for unions to organize employees. The final rule goes into effect on December 26, 2023.

Continue Reading NLRB Resuscitates “Quickie Election” Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board” or “NLRB”) issued a decision in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific on August 25, 2023 that will allow it to order collective bargaining without a secret-ballot election or voluntary recognition.

Continue Reading NLRB Decision Paves Path to Imposing Unions on Employers and Their Employees

One of the most shocking moments in the recent Women’s World Cup came after the final, when the head of the Spanish soccer federation kissed one of the victorious Spanish players – first on the cheeks (ok – it’s European) but then on her lips (not ok without consent – European or not). In the locker room immediately afterwards, the player said “I didn’t like it.” And this moment highlights just how much further the women soccer players have to go in terms of achieving equity with their male counterparts – on the field and off. It also provides a reminder to employers generally that equity in the workplace encompasses many things.

Continue Reading Lessons from the World Cup – Gender Equity Goes Far Beyond Pay

In an interesting, but ultimately unsurprising, analysis of Maryland’s anti-discrimination law, Maryland’s highest court has determined that the State’s prohibition against “sex” discrimination, including in the workplace, does not include sexual orientation (and by extension, gender identity). But employers should be aware that other protections for those personal characteristics exist under both state and federal law.

Continue Reading Maryland’s Supreme Court Finds “Sex” Discrimination Protections Do Not Include Sexual Orientation (or Gender Identity)

On August 7, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed regulations to implement the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which was enacted by Congress last December as part of a federal omnibus funding bill and which became effective on June 27, 2023. The proposed regulations provide guidance on how the EEOC plans to interpret employers’ obligations under the PWFA – and in some cases, expands the obligations beyond even the heightened standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Continue Reading EEOC Issues Proposed Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Regulations