Maryland will enact a new law this year making construction general contractors liable for subcontractors’ violations of wage and hour laws. There is both good news and bad news for GCs, however. The law provides that a subcontractor must indemnify a general contractor for “any wages, damages, interest, penalties, or attorney’s fees owed as a result of the subcontractor’s violation,” unless indemnification is provided for in a contract between the GC and the subcontractor, or if the subcontractor was unable to pay its employees because the GC failed to pay the subcontractor pursuant to the terms of their contract. However, this mandatory indemnification provision may be worth nothing if a subcontractor is not able to pay these damages and costs. The Act also gives employees the opportunity to sue both the GC and their direct employer. (more…)

Closing the pay gap between men and women is not only a target in the EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan, it is also a priority for state legislators. Indeed, 2017 ended with a rise in state pay disparity legislation that revealed notable trends for 2018. Employers should remain up-to-date on pay disparity laws not only on a federal level, but also on state and local levels. (more…)

We previously updated you about the status and provisions of the Maryland Health Working Families Act (the “Act”), which would mandate paid sick and safe leave of up to 40 hours. You may read our June 2017 article describing the provisions of the Act here.

After much angst and a few political gyrations, Maryland’s House (88-52) and Senate (30-17) voted last week to override Governor Larry Hogan’s 2017 veto of the Maryland Health Working Families Act (the “Act”). Unless the Senate and House pass emergency legislation to delay the effective date of the Act, currently being discussed by certain Maryland Senators, the Act will become law on February 11, 2018, 30 days after the January 12, 2018 Senate vote. (more…)

Employers have until December 1, 2017 to electronically submit injury and illness information from their 2016 Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300A) under OSHA’s 2016 Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rule (“the Rule”). OSHA initially established July 1, 2017 as the submission deadline then in June 2017 delayed the deadline until December 1, 2017. Again, on November 24, 2017, OSHA extended the deadline to December 15, 2017. (more…)

Managing staff can be difficult under the best of circumstances – but there are specific challenges that can arise when the workforce is comprised of so many different generations of people. Currently, there are four generations in the general workforce: Traditionalists, born prior to 1946; Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964; Generation X, born between 1965 and 1976; and Generation Y: Millennials, born between 1977 and 1997. Very shortly, we will contend with an entirely new wave of workers: Generation Z. (more…)

Employers' Role in Changing "Me Too" to "Not Us"

The news has been fraught with allegations of sexual harassment by major players in the television and movie production industries, high tech and venture capital firms, and others. High value employees alleged to have engaged in harassment and/or promulgating an environment that supports sweeping complaints under the rug are no longer being hidden by the silence of victims (female and male) that have allegedly been subject to sexual harassment and/or sexual assault in the workplace. However, as we know, harassment can occur at any level in an organization – and not just by high value employees. (more…)

In Van Rossum v. Baltimore County, Maryland, a jury awarded a community health inspector $250,000 in compensatory damages and $530,000 in back pay after deciding that her employer, Baltimore County, violated the ADA by refusing to accommodate her and, after she exhausted FMLA leave, threatening her with discharge and pressuring her to retire if she did not return to work. In addition, the Court awarded Van Rossum $487,616.25 in reasonable attorneys’ fees plus $32,472.30 in litigation costs, which brought the total award to more than $1.3 million. (more…)