Virginia General Assembly Passes Bill Authorizing Public Sector Collective Bargaining

As the 2020 Session came to a close this weekend, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation authorizing  local governments to enact laws giving their employees the right to collectively bargain.  If, as expected, it is signed by Governor Northam, employees of Virginia counties, cities, towns and school boards will gain the opportunity to require their employing government to hold a vote on whether or not to enact collective bargaining...
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Maryland Legislature Considering New Payroll Tax To Fund Family and Medical Leave

We wrote earlier this week about some of the bills working their way through the legislative process in Annapolis.  An item worthy of its own post is legislation that would create a Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program to provide wage replacement for employees taking leave from work: to care for a child during the first year after the child’s birth or after the placement of the child through foster care, kinship care, or adoption; to...
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Pending Legislation In Annapolis That May Affect Your Business

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
02/19/2020
The General Assembly is in full swing in Annapolis.  Here is a summary of just some of the legislation impacting employers and employees.  HB 123 / SB 217 - Wage History and Wage Range would require employers to provide the wage range of the position for which an applicant has applied if requested by the applicant.  The legislation also prohibits retaliation against applicants who do not provide wage history or seek the wage range for the role,...
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Virginia General Assembly Passes Legislation Prohibiting Worker Misclassification

The Virginia General Assembly is considering legislation that will create new civil penalties for employers who improperly classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees.  The two bills, H.B. 1407 and S.B 744, have been approved by the House and Senate. Once the two versions are reconciled, the legislation is expected to be signed by Governor Northam. Under the legislation, business who misclassify employees could be fined up to...
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Maryland General Assembly Overrides Governor's Ban the Box Law Veto

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
01/31/2020
The Maryland General Assembly has overridden Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of ban the box legislation from last year’s legislative session.  Under the new law, which goes into effect February 29, 2020, employers are prohibited from asking applicants about their criminal histories until an in-person interview. Employer Rights And Responsibilities Employers with 15 or more full-time employees, including supervisors for those employers, may not, at...
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Maryland's New Workplace Laws, Including Significant Changes To Maryland's Anti-Discrimination Law

As of October 1, 2019, there are a series of new laws and/or amendments to existing laws that impact Maryland's workplaces and employers.  These include: Significant FEPA Amendments:  Maryland's anti-discrimination law, the Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA), now includes independent contractors within the definition of employee entitled to FEPA's protections.  Further, while FEPA generally applies to Maryland employers who have at least...
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New California Law Adds Protected Status Based On Hairstyle

This past week marked not only the anniversary of our Independence Day, but also the 55th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Amidst this well-deserved fanfare, California became the first state to make hairstyle a protected status under its state anti-discrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Presently, employers who take actions based on an individual’s headwear, when worn for religious reasons...
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Maryland General Assembly Passes Several New Workplace Bills

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
04/18/2019
I recently wrote about Organ Donation Leave (HB1284/SB705), a bill likely to make job-protected organ donation leave a benefit to which Maryland employees are entitled.  Other bills that expand protections for employees were approved during the 2019 General Assembly session, and if they become law as anticipated, will have a significant impact on businesses.  Here’s a look at the highlights: Workplace Harassment (HB679/SB782). The legislation...
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Maryland General Assembly Approves Organ Donation Leave Legislation

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
04/16/2019
The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation (HB1284/SB0705) that entitles eligible employees to unpaid job-protected leave for organ and bone marrow donation.  While expected to be approved, this legislation is not yet finalized and has not officially passed into law. Under the new legislation, Maryland employers with at least 15 employees would be required to provide eligible employees up to 60 business days in any 12-month period to...
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Could New York City’s New Bill Hurt Unions?

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
04/04/2019
In March, New York City Councilman Brian Lander introduced a bill that could change the union gameplan in one of the world’s biggest cities.  The bill Lander proposed would put an end to at-will employment in the fast food industry in NYC and require that all terminations be only for just cause.  The bill defines "just cause" for termination as an “employee’s failure to satisfactorily perform job duties or misconduct that is demonstrably and...
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