On June 29, 2023, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action in student admissions decisions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. What does the Court’s holding mean for employers?Continue Reading What the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling Means for Employers
When an employer receives a complaint of workplace misconduct, they often must conduct an investigation that may include interviewing employees. Interviewing an employee is not as simple as one may assume. Employees may have legal rights and protections that restrict an employer’s ability to interview them. Navigating those rights and protections is essential in insulating employers from possible civil and criminal liabilities.Continue Reading When an Employer Interviews an Employee, The Power of the NLRA Compels You!
We have a “shot and chaser” for you today.
“Shot” is our 2022 blog about an employee whose spiteful employer paid him in pennies – 91,500 of them, covered in oil – to remit his weekly wage of $915. The employee complained to the U.S. Department of Labor.Continue Reading Paying Wages by Pennies is Costly
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) announced a return to the pre-2020 “setting-specific” standard in cases where employees are disciplined for misconduct occurring during the course of activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The case, Lion Elastomers, LLC II, overrules the Trump-era Board decision in General Motors, which assessed the employer’s motive in taking adverse action against an employee who may have engaged in misconduct during the course of protected activity. Consequently, the Board is likely to permit employees greater latitude to make abusive, offensive, or profane comments in the workplace if such comments have even an attenuated link to activity that may be protected by the NLRA.Continue Reading NLRB Returns to More Lenient Standard for Employees’ Abusive and Profane Misconduct
The Maryland General Assembly’s 2023 session ended at midnight on Monday, April 10. Although there were fewer employment bills passed this year compared to recent years, several of them will have a significant impact on employers, including an expedited increase to the minimum wage rate and some clarification around and a delay to the new paid family and medical leave benefits program. There was also an expansion to the non-compete ban, as well as new authority for the Maryland Attorney General to pursue discrimination claims against employers. Finally, although the cannabis reform bill does not directly speak to the general workplace impact, there are developments of which employers should be aware. We will be holding a webinar with the Maryland Chamber of Commerce at noon on May 3, 2023 to provide guidance on compliance with these new laws.Continue Reading New Employment Laws in Maryland – Expedited Minimum Wage Increase, Changes to Paid Family and Medical Leave, and More (and a Webinar!)
The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) took significant steps to limit the power of property owners to restrict contractors’ workers access to their property in a 3-2 decision on Friday. In Bexar County II, the Board reverted to the test articulated in New York New York Hotel & Casino, 356 NLRB 907 (2011), concluding that property owners may only restrict access by contractors’ workers when the workers’ activities “significantly interfere” with the use of the property, or where the property owner has “another legitimate business reason” to remove them from their property.
Continue Reading The NLRB’s Reinstatement of a Worker-Friendly Standard for Property Access
During the past week or so, various federal agencies have issued additional COVID-19 guidance of significance (more or less) to employers, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS). We summarize these developments below.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Agency Update: CDC and Essential Workers, EEOC and Non-Discrimination, OSHA and COVID-19 Recordkeeping/Enforcement, DOL and Unemployment Compensation Under CARES, and VETS and COVID-19 National Guard Service
The Department of Labor has issued several resources on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: a fact sheet for employers, a fact sheet for employees and a Questions and Answers resource. In particular, the last of these resources answers many, although certainly not all, of the multitude of questions that have arisen in the wake of the enactment of the FFCRA and its paid sick leave and expanded Family and Medical Leave Act requirements, which we discussed in our March 19, 2020 E-Lert.
Continue Reading DOL Provides Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
At 5:00 p.m. yesterday, March 23, 2020, Maryland Governor Hogan’s Executive Order closing all non-essential businesses to the general public took effect. The language of the Order was definitive, but the practical impact on businesses less so.
Continue Reading Additional Guidance On Governor Hogan’s Shutdown Order
Employment lawyers on the management side of the “v” (as in verses for you lucky enough never to have been sued) are hunkered down with our clients on the phone these days. We are figuring out minute by minute how to foretell the COVID-19 future, to determine what the feds will require, what the governors will mandate, and how to balance operational needs, financial insecurity, employee fear, leave from work and needs of clients for services, including vulnerable clients (patients, individuals who need medical equipment after discharge, patrons who need food and prescriptions – all the vital services that we assume are available and that businesses seamlessly provide in normal times).
Continue Reading Love you!!