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…)

As most football fans know, the NFL suspended Dallas Cowboys’ star running back Ezekiel Elliott for the first six games of the 2017 – 2018 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. His suspension was based on accusations of domestic violence against his ex-girlfriend on five occasions in 2016. The NFL conducted an investigation into the allegations, and though Elliott was never criminally charged, the NFL found that there was “substantial and persuasive evidence” of the abuse. Based upon the investigative report, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued the six-game suspension. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) took the matter to arbitration pursuant to their collective bargaining agreement with the NFL. (more…)

The Obama administration’s controversial overtime rule is now dead in the water. Today, a Texas federal court ruled in favor of the 55 state and business plaintiffs who challenged the rule and argued that the DOL had exceeded its authority when it doubled the salary threshold from $455/week to $913/week. This case is now over and the Obama overtime rule is invalidated. (more…)

As many employers know, OSHA published a Final Rule on May 12, 2016 that amended the Code of Federal Regulations to add additional provisions regarding proper reporting and retaliation for workplace reporting. OSHA took the position that certain workplace policies may deter or discourage proper workplace reporting, including disciplinary policies, incentive policies, and post-accident drug testing policies. In other words, OSHA asserted that a blanket policy that requires drug-testing of any employee after a workplace accident is likely to discourage employees from reporting workplace injuries. Therefore, if an employee is drug-tested after an accident under a blanket policy and disciplined for violation of the policy, OSHA may later determine that the discipline was unlawful retaliation because the employer had no reasonable basis to conclude that drug use may have contributed to the accident. (more…)