On April 15, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Final Rule and Interpretive Guidance to implement the relatively new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which was enacted by Congress in December of 2022 and which already took effect on June 27, 2023. The Final Rule and Interpretive Guidance provide guidance, with many illustrative examples, 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 The EEOC Releases Onerous Final Rule Implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session ended at midnight on Monday, April 8. A number of employment bills that were passed will have a significant impact on employers, including another delay to the forthcoming paid family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program, a new wage range posting mandate, expanded pay stub notice requirements, and additional discrimination protections, including an expansion of the equal pay law. Employers will also face increased penalties for occupational safety and health violations. Additionally, there was a revision to the law restricting the use of non-compete agreements to make it applicable to certain health care providers and veterinarians.Continue Reading New Employment Laws in Maryland – Changes to Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Wage Range Posting Requirements, New Discrimination Protections and More (and a Webinar!)

According to some courts, no. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other courts, yes. And the EEOC is being the squeaky wheel regarding its position, as evidenced by a recent settlement announcement. Continue Reading Are Reasonable Accommodations Required for an Employee’s Commute?

Last year, in our October 2023 E-Update, we wrote about an employer who destroyed evidence that could have proved his new employee stole source code from his former employer that was used to create a “functionally equivalent” product by the new employer. Because of this bad behavior, a federal trial court entered a default judgment against the new employer (meaning that the employer lost the case without any consideration of the merits). But our admonition against destroying (bad) evidence goes both ways – as shown in a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.Continue Reading You Know That Destroying Evidence Can Get You in Trouble, Right?

As our associate Evan Conder reported in a blog post last month, a Regional Director for the National Labor Relations Board issued a game-changing decision that players on Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team are “employees” within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). The players then voted (13-2) to unionize. But now, Dartmouth is refusing to negotiate with the players’ chosen representative, the Service Employees International Union, Local 560. Continue Reading So, Dartmouth Won’t Play Ball with the Union…

In a victory for employers, a federal district court judge in Texas vacated (or blocked) the National Labor Relations Board’s 2023 Final Rule that sought to rescind and replace the Trump Administration’s 2020 Rule establishing the current test for determining whether two entities (for example, a staffing agency and its host company) are joint employers. The NLRB’s new Rule would have resulted in more findings that two entities are joint employers. Under federal labor law, a joint employer is required to bargain with a union selected by its jointly-employed workers and may be held liable for the unfair labor practices committed by the other employer.Continue Reading Federal Court Tosses NLRB’s Expanded Joint Employer Rule

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting affirmative action in college admissions, there have been well-publicized attacks on corporate diversity initiatives. And now the conservative advocacy group, America First Legal Foundation, is tackling the NFL and its Rooney Rule – a development of concern to employers who use diverse candidate slates in their hiring process. Continue Reading Wiping the (Diverse Candidate) Slate Clean?

This is true in the context of existing race discrimination concerns and complaints in this particular (non-union) workplace, according to the National Labor Relations Board in a case involving Home Depot. Notably, the Board asserted that, “Insofar as BLM has become a well-known abbreviation, and the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter,’ when displayed in the workplace, could reasonably be understood as referring to issues of racial equity and equality at work, it is arguable that displaying the phrase in the workplace, standing alone, would support a mutual aid or protection finding.” However, the Board stated that it was not deciding that issue here (and we add, “yet.”).Continue Reading Display of BLM Insignia = Protected Concerted Activity

On January 29, 2024, the Maryland Department of Labor’s (MDOL) issued “draft” regulations to implement Maryland’s paid family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) law, and invited public comment. Starting January 1, 2026 (caveat below), this law 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. We have identified the following items of interest or significance to employers in the regulations.Continue Reading Maryland’s “Draft” FAMLI Regulations – What Do They Say?

And employers should take heed, because making assumptions about employees when making employment decisions can certainly make you look like an ass (and by that, I do mean the donkey-like animal and not the body part. Honestly, keep your mind out of the gutter!). That was the lesson learned by Walmart, according to a recent EEOC press release.Continue Reading Employers, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” – Oscar Wilde (or not?*)