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Workers’ Comp Remedy For Mad-Cow Disease

by Kelly C. Lovett Workers’ compensation provides a valuable benefit to employers as the sole remedy for employees injured on the job.  As a result, employee lawsuits against employers for job-related injuries or illnesses usually are dismissed as soon as they are filed.  Occasionally, an employee will sue under a narrow exception to the workers’ […]

Sixth Circuit Addresses Associational Discrimination

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits associational discrimination.  In other words, an employer cannot discriminate against an applicant or employee who has a relationship or association with an individual with a known disability.  42 U.S.C. § 12112(b)(4).  The EEOC explains that the ADA prohibits conduct such as: An employer is interviewing applicants for a […]

How to Stay on the EEOC’s Good Side

I wrote about this last year, because in 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received nearly 100,000 new charges of workplace discrimination, the highest figure ever.  In the Baltimore Region, there were approximately 3,300 pending charges and about 13 investigators to handle them.   Well, 2011 was another banner year for charges being filed, and particularly […]

GINA and the FMLA: How to Avoid a Sticky Wicket

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000ff, was enacted in 2008 to prevent discrimination on the basis of genetic information in employment and health insurance.  Title I of the Act focuses on issues in health insurance, and is administered by several federal Departments, while Title II prohibits employers from using genetic information […]

The Availability of the Mixed-Motive Theory in FMLA Retaliation Cases

Mixed-motive theory was legislated into Title VII with the 1991 Civil Rights Act.  The theory provides that an employee may prevail in a case in which she demonstrates that illegal considerations were “a motivating factor” in the adverse employment decision, even where the employer would have made the same decision absent the illegal considerations. There […]

Department Of Labor Issues Guidance On Reducing Pay For Furloughs

As employers try to navigate the economic downturn, companies are increasingly turning to temporary furloughs to save labor costs.  When furloughing employees, employers require staff to use accrued leave or take unpaid time off.  However, if not done properly, this practice could result in employers converting otherwise exempt employees into non-exempt staff who become entitled […]

Maryland General Assembly Clarifies Flexible Leave Act

On October 1, 2008, Maryland’s Flexible Leave Act (“MFLA”) went into effect.  The law, which applies to employers with 15 or more employees, requires businesses that provide employees with any form of paid leave to permit employees to use such leave for the illness of an immediate family member. The original version of the MFLA […]