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?

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

Today, October 26, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board issued a final rule that rescinds and replaces the Trump Administration’s 2020 rule establishing the current test for determining whether two entities are joint employers. This new rule will result 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 NLRB Returns to a More Expansive Joint Employer Standard

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 conductContinue 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

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