Donna Glover

Donna M. Glover is an associate in Baker Donelson’s Baltimore office. Contact Donna at dglover@bakerdonelson.com.

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 we previously reported, during the last year of President Obama’s Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published an amendment to its illness/injury recording keeping rule, which would have significantly changed employers’ obligations regarding reporting. In brief, among other controversial provisions, the new rule would require employers, beginning July 1, to submit their employee injury/illness data to OSHA so that the data can be published for all to see.

In an expected move, OSHA has announced that it has suspended its electronic injury and illness data submission requirement, which was set take effect on July 1. OSHA’s website now states:

OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically. Updates will be posted to this webpage when they are available.

Employers may rejoice that OSHA has not indicated when or if a new deadline would be set for electronic submissions, or whether it will reverse the rule that established this public reporting of injury/illness records. OSHA may indicate its stance on the rule after a new head of OSHA is appointed.

Delaware and Oregon have joined Massachusetts and other local jurisdictions (like New York City, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (currently in litigation)) by enacting laws that prohibit employers from inquiring about the salary histories of job applicants. Most of the provisions of Oregon’s Equal Pay Act of 2017 take effect on January 1, 2019, which gives employers time to focus on compliance. Delaware’s ban, however, takes effect on December 1, 2017, so those employers operating in Delaware need to act quickly to change their recruiting and related processes.
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While employers wait to see if the Trump Administration will produce a kinder, gentler National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the NLRB is still in the business of punishing employers for workplace policies that ostensibly violate employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
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New York City is the third jurisdiction to pass a ban on salary history inquiries, following Massachusetts and Philadelphia.  Philadelphia’s law was set to take effect in May 2017, however, the constitutionality of Philadelphia’s ban was challenged when the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia filed a lawsuit in federal court on April 9, 2017, claiming the ban deprives businesses of their First Amendment rights.  Read our recent article outlining the provisions of Philadelphia’s ban.  New York City’s law will take effect 180 days after the Mayor signs it, which is expected because the Mayor has expressed approval of the ban.
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D.C. joins 11 other jurisdictions (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington) in banning employers’ use of employees’ or applicants’ credit histories.
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Employers in New York must scramble to assess the impact of the new substantial salary level increases that take effect on December 31, 2016. Below is a summary of the new salary levels for exempt administrative and executive employees. The levels are determined by size of employer and where the employer is located in New York. So, for the first time, the salary level required to be exempt from overtime will be different in different parts of the State. (more…)