Maryland Commission on Civil Rights Issues Poster for New Pregnancy Discrimination Law

As we have previously reported, on October 1, 2013, the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act took effect for Maryland employers who have 15 or more employees. The new law requires that, unless an employer can show undue hardship, it must provide pregnant employees with various categories of accommodations upon request, including: changing the employee’s job duties; changing the employee’s work hours; relocating the...
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Appellate Court Reverses NLRB and Upholds Legality of Class Action Waivers

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
12/04/2013
Employers scored a big victory yesterday when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the National Labor Relations Board's D.R Horton ruling, which invalidated an employer's arbitration agreement containing a waiver of an employee's right to file class-action claims. D.R. Horton v. NLRB, 5th Cir No. 12-60031 (12/3/13).  The decision will make it  easier for employers to enforce class-action waivers, including waivers of...
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Senate Confirms Former Union Lawyer as New NLRB General Counsel

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
11/01/2013
On October 29th, the Senate confirmed Richard F. Griffin Jr. as the NLRB’s new General Counsel.  He replaces Lafe E. Solomon, who filed the much publicized case against Boeing.  Mr. Griffin, a longtime lawyer for the International Union of Operating Engineers, previously served on the NLRB but was replaced amid controversy and litigation over whether President Obama’s recess appointments (of which he was one) were unconstitutional. Mr....
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EEOC Gets Slammed Again in Background Check Case

Over the past two years, the EEOC has placed a great deal of emphasis upon challenging employer policies that bar applicants based upon criminal history. In August, the Commission suffered a major setback on this front when a federal court in Maryland dismissed a lawsuit brought by the EEOC because the statistical analysis it relied upon was severely flawed. On October 7, 2013, the EEOC suffered another setback when the United States Court of Appeals...
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The Impact of the Government Shutdown on Employment Law: Part II

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/05/2013
As I write this, its 11:00 a.m on a  Saturday  and a number of my colleagues are hard at work with me in the office.  Some of the world is still working, without or without an appropriations bill being passed. As for the feds, here is a brief follow up on the impact of the shutdown as it pertains to employment-related matters: The Department of Labor’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) has determined that it will be “unable to...
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How the Government Shutdown Impacts Employment Matters

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/02/2013
As those who recall last federal government shutdown in 1995 can attest, the closing of the federal government has implications for human resources professionals.  Government agencies that make and enforce laws governing the workplace have posted information about their operations (or lack thereof) during the shutdown. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission release states that the agency WILL continue to: 1) docket new charges and federal...
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DOL Says Law Firms Need Not Pay Interns Doing Pro Bono Work

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/25/2013
On September 12, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Solicitor M. Patricia Smith issued a letter to the American Bar Association (“ABA”) stating that interns working in private law firms need to be paid in certain circumstances.  The ABA specifically inquired into situations in which a law school places a student with a private law firm and acts as an intermediary to monitor the internship’s progress, and in which the law firm provides...
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Reminder to Maryland Employers: Reasonable Accommodations For Disabilities Due To Pregnancy Act Takes Effect October 1st

Beginning on October 1, 2013, Maryland employers with 15 or more employees will have to comply with Maryland’s Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act.  As previously reported in The Employment Brief, the new law requires employers to explore “all possible means” of providing reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees, and also establishes new notice requirements.  However, employers do not have to make an...
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Employer Triumphs Over EEOC In Background Check Lawsuit

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/16/2013
A Maryland federal court recently skewered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its disparate impact lawsuit challenging a nationwide employer’s use of background checks on applicants.  EEOC v. Freeman, No. RWT 09cv2573 (D. Md. Aug. 9, 2013).  The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted summary judgment in favor of the employer, heavily criticizing the EEOC’s shoddy assemblage of statistical data used in its attempt...
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Fourth Circuit Gives Bad News To NLRB And Union, Again.

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
09/12/2013
Two  appellate courts have decided that the recess appointments Obama made of three NLRB members in January 2012 were made without proper legal authority resulting. therefore, with the NLRB acting without a valid quorum. Indeed, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the first such decision, Noel Canning Division of Noel Corp. v. NLRB, 705 F.3d 4901 (D.C. Cir. 2013), which held that the 2012 appointments were unconstitutional. In NLRB v. Enterprise...
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