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Associational Discrimination Claims: Are They Viable?

Unlike cases of discrimination based on an employee’s own protected status, there seem to be far fewer claims of discrimination based on an employee’s relationship with a protected individual.  But this did not stop a former county courthouse employee from filing a lawsuit last December claiming that her termination from the Marion Superior Court in […]

Losing Out On Voluntary Overtime Chances Can Be Tangible, Adverse Action.

Employers are by now well-versed in the concept that under Title VII, an employer is strictly liable for a supervisor’s harassment when the harassment results in a tangible employment action.  The obvious employment actions include termination, demotion, failure to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, etc.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Ray v. […]

Department of Labor Rescinds 80/20 Tip Rule

Employers in the restaurant industry are probably familiar with the tip credit, which, in general terms, allows an employer to claim a “credit” between what it pays tipped employees and the minimum wage.  The tips that such employees earn, and form the basis for the “credit,” are thought to make up for this gap. However, […]

Maryland Wiretap Act No Shield For Surreptitious Recorder

It isn’t often that I get to write about an opinion on a criminal law matter.  However, the Maryland Court of Appeals’ opinion in Agnew v. State, No. 9, September Term 2018 (Md. Nov. 20, 2018), provides that chance.  In Agnew, Maryland’s highest court addressed the following question:  “Was a recorded communication on a [cell] […]

Employee Who Copies Personnel Records Loses Retaliation Claim

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that an employee’s review and copying of confidential personnel files to be used in support of her charge of discrimination is not protected by Title VII’s anti-retaliation provisions when it was done in violation of a state law. Netter v. Barnes, No. 18-1039 […]

NLRB Union Protests Board Chair and GC

The National Labor Relations Board, we are told, is supposed to be the neutral government agency that addresses workplace issues between unions and employers.   And I saw a pink unicorn on the way to work this morning.   It is not unusual to hear employers sometimes suggest they are skeptical of the Board’s supposed “neutral” stance.  […]

Age and Wage Issues Among Many Resolved On Election Day

As votes in yesterday’s elections continue to be tallied, there were several developments of interest to employers and to labor and employment practitioners alike. Age: The ADEA Applies To Public Sector Employers Of All Sizes First, yesterday morning, the Supreme Court announced its first decision of the 2018-19 term.  In a unanimous (8-0) ruling, the […]