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?
Say, like the Secretary of Defense. The media has been abuzz with the story of Secretary Lloyd Austin’s recent medical issues – and particularly the fact that the White House, as well as the Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks (who takes over the Secretary’s responsibilities in his absence) were not notified until after the Secretary Austin had been in the hospital for three days! Various members of Congress are calling for an investigation, among other things. But that raises the question for employers – what is an employee’s responsibility to notify the employer when they will not be at work for medical reasons? Continue Reading When One of Your Employees Fails to Report to Work…
Once upon a time, employees in all states but Montana (always bucking the establishment!) were presumed to be employed at-will, absent some sort of employment agreement (e.g. individual contract for a term, a collective bargaining agreement, policies that contemplate termination for cause, etc.). That means that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any or even no reason (as long as it’s not illegal – like, say, discrimination or retaliation). And so our well-meaning but foolish Employer is terribly excited by that principle because they want to get rid of an Employee. But … as with all good fairy tales, there is a dark side.Continue Reading At-Will Employment Is a Fairy Tale…
Opinion letters from the U.S. Department of Labor are pretty unusual, so I get really excited when they issue one. And typically, the letter addresses an issue of some significance for employers. So I was giddy (GIDDY, I say!) when I saw a new one had just dropped – until I actually read it. Three times, because I thought I was missing something. But really, it just affirms what I already thought about the Family and Medical Leave Act and holidays. At least it’s a good reminder of how to deal with holidays under the FMLA. Continue Reading (Not Terribly Useful) Guidance from the DOL on the FMLA and Holidays
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the EEOC has provided guidance to employers on how the federal anti-discrimination laws interact with COVID-19. This guidance, What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and Other EEO Laws, was revised multiple times to account for changing circumstances and, now with the declared end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the EEOC has updated it once more. The revisions remind employers that, although the declared emergency may be over, COVID-19 still has a workplace impact that lingers on.Continue Reading Employers Beware: The End of the COVID-19 Emergency Does Not Mean The End of the EEOC’s COVID-19 Guidance
Way back in 2016, I wrote a blog post on menstrual leave, in which I suggested that menstrual leave (the concept of giving women up to 3 or so days of leave during THAT time of month) was not necessary for all women. Interestingly, this post struck a nerve and I received a number of hate emails about this post from people who suffer from extreme menstrual pain and WHO OBVIOUSLY DID NOT READ THE ENTIRE POST. Continue Reading Menstrual Leave Redux
Well, Super Bowl Sunday is almost here. Unlike March Madness or the World Cup, which extends over weeks, it’s a single event. However, there’s a high level of interest in the game – last year, the NFL estimated that approximately two-thirds (!!!) of the U.S. population watched the Rams defeat the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. (And those of us on the East Coast stayed up late to do so). So, we can still expect the Super Bowl to have an impact in the workplace. And as we did for March Madness and the World Cup, we offer employers a little guidance on the Super Bowl at work. Continue Reading An Employer’s Guide to the Super Bowl
As a follow up to Fiona Ong’s blog post detailing the highly disturbing (but sadly not surprising) treatment of an associate who interviewed for and accepted a new position while on parental leave, this blog post focuses on how employers can best support their employees who have taken parental leave—both those who have given birth and those who take caregiving leave and are adjusting to new responsibilities as a parent. As an employment lawyer and mom who returned to full-time work after having three children, here are some tips to support your new parents in the workplace.Continue Reading Maternity Leave ≠ Sitting on Your Ass: Part II
So some of you may have seen the recent uproar over a senior (labor and employment) attorney’s text message to an associate who found another job while she was on maternity leave. Many, including me, found the text to be wildly offensive and inappropriate. And because I’m a nerd, I also found a lot of lessons for employers.Continue Reading Maternity Leave ≠ Sitting on Your Ass
Well, the 2022 World Cup is finally underway in Qatar. Although professional soccer does not drive quite the same amount of interest among the U.S. populace as, say, football (Go Ravens!) or basketball, the World Cup is still one of the major sporting events in the world – and there are likely many employees who are following it rather closely. And unlike last time in 2018, the U.S. team has qualified for the tournament, so there may be some patriotism at play here. So we thought we might offer employers some guidance on World Cup issues in the workplace.
Continue Reading An Employer’s Guide to the World Cup