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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The IRS Has Spoken: Legal Same-Sex Marriage Recognized For Federal Tax Purposes

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued a joint news release and Revenue Ruling 2013-17, in which the agencies announced that same-sex married couples will be recognized as legally married for federal tax purposes, regardless of where they reside, so long as they were married in any U.S. state or territory, or a foreign country, that legally recognizes same-sex marriages.  This ruling implements federal tax aspects of the Supreme...
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Measuring Equality For All

Peter Saucier
Peter Saucier
08/30/2013
For years Americans have strived to protect individuals with disabilities and veterans from discrimination.  If you can do the job, and do it well, you ought not be disadvantaged by a physical or mental impairment that does not interfere with your ability to do the job.  Moreover, if you served your country in the military you ought not be treated unfairly. Now, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, a division of the Department of...
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NLRB Takes Another Hit

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
08/26/2013
Even though we now have the first complete NLRB in over a decade, the fallout from the Obama Administration’s recess appointments at the Board  continue to percolate through the courts.  A recent decision from a federal district court in Washington state has denied the Board’s petition for an injunction against an employer because acting general counsel Lafe Solomon’s appointment was “improper” and he lacked the power to authorize an...
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State Attorneys General Challenge EEOC Guidance on Background Checks

Over the past two years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken an increasingly narrow view of when employers can use criminal background information to exclude a job applicant.  In April 2012, the EEOC  issued  Enforcement Guidance No. 915.002, which  suggests that employers must  conduct an individualized assessment of each job applicant’s criminal background and show “a demonstrably tight nexus” between the criminal...
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Thomas Perez Confirmed As Labor Secretary; New NLRB Nominees Named

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
07/23/2013
On July 18, 2013, the Senate confirmed Thomas Perez as labor secretary with a party-line vote of 54-46.  Perez is currently the head of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and will replace Hilda Solis, who resigned from the top labor post in January 2013.  Following his nomination in March, Republicans aggressively criticized Perez, citing to his alleged involvement in a quid pro quo arrangement between the DOJ and the City of St. Paul...
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