Maryland DOL Urges Employers To Review Benefit Charge Statements For Fraudulent Activity

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
02/16/2021
According to a press release issued by the Maryland Department of Labor, states have seen a “significant spike” in fraudulent unemployment activity since passage of the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act.  Part of the stimulus package signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020, the Act extends pandemic unemployment relief measures through March 14, 2021, with certain modifications.  Key provisions include expansion...
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OSHA Provides Further Guidance on Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
01/29/2021
Earlier today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.  The Guidance is not legally binding but does detail recommended best practices around managing COVID-19 in the workplace.  OSHA has reiterated that workers should continue to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others when possible, wash hands, properly wear a face mask (covering nose...
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Biden DOL Revokes Three Eleventh-Hour Trump DOL Opinion Letters

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
01/27/2021
In its final days under the Trump administration, the Department of Labor (DOL) had advanced three opinion letters on independent contracting and tip-pooling rules.  On Tuesday, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division revoked the letters under the Biden administration's regulatory review freeze.  The independent contracting rule would have permitted a simpler legal standard for classifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees covered...
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DOL Issues Four New Wage & Hour Opinion Letters

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/20/2021
The U.S. Department  of Labor issued four new opinion letters on January 19, 2021: FLSA2021-6 A trade association of staffing firms asked for an opinion on whether the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) “retail or service establishment” exemption applies to staffing firms that recruit, hire, and place employees on temporary assignments with clients.     Qualifying for the exemption would mean there is no overtime requirement under the...
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Two New Wage & Hour Opinion Letters from DOL

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
01/12/2021
In the final weeks of the Trump administration, the Department of Labor has been busy putting out guidance on wage and hour matters.   Let’s put aside last week’s Final Rule on independent contractors, issued January 6, 2021.  That rule is expected to face substantial challenge in court, so while it is an interesting change in approach by the DOL, all should recognize the uncertainty of its lasting effect. Please turn instead to two Wage...
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EEOC Issues Updated Guidance On Religious Discrimination

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a new update to its 2008 guidance on religious discrimination in the workplace.  Recognizing the "altered legal landscape" that has transpired in the last 12 years, the agency issued a modernized version of its guidance that covers employer obligations and employee rights.  Specifically, the guidance addresses: Coverage, including when a particular religious practice or...
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DOL Issues Guidance On Federal Contractor Diversity Training

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/13/2020
On September 22, President Trump issued Executive Order 13950, which states that United States policy is “not to promote race or sex stereotyping of scapegoating.”  The Order prohibits federal contractors from training employees in a manner that promotes race and sex stereotyping or scapegoating. Last week, the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP) issued answers to FAQs concerning what E.O. 13950 permits and...
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EEOC Proposing To Share More Details With Employers During The Conciliation Process

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
10/09/2020
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a newly proposed Rule that would alter the conciliation process, which the EEOC uses as a method of alternative dispute resolution with employers that have had a finding of "reasonable cause" issued against them at the conclusion of the EEOC's investigation.  Conciliation is technically a voluntary alternative to litigation after the agency has determined, based upon its investigation,...
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EEOC Opinion Letter Presents New Interpretation Of Its Authority To Sue Employers For Systemic Discrimination

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
09/30/2020
On September 3rd, the EEOC issued an opinion letter that reversed course on its authority under Section 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to initiate discrimination actions against employers.  The EEOC concluded it does not have the power to sue employers for discriminatory workplace practices without first complying with other procedural steps.  The opinion letter answered two questions: 1) does a pattern or practice claim...
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DOL Proposes New Independent Contractor Rule

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/22/2020
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on September 21, 2020 a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that re-defines “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it relates to independent contractors.  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/2020-independent-contractor-nprm.  The  NPRM is available for review and public comment for 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The issue of who qualifies as...
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