Breaking News - Gender Identity Protection Likely in Maryland

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/29/2014
On March 27, the Maryland House of Delegates, 82-57, passed a bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The same bill passed the state Senate earlier this month, 32-15. Governor O’Malley has stated he will sign it into law. Once signed, it is likely the law will take effect October 1, 2014. Maryland will join 17 other states and D.C. in adding Gender Identity as a protected class to anti-discrimination laws. Senate Bill 212 is...
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Sexual Orientation One Step Closer To Becoming A Federally Protected Status

On November 7, 2013, the Senate voted in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), with a bipartisan vote of 64-32.  The ENDA would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The ENDA, however, is unlikely to have the same success in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where House Speaker John Boehner has voiced his opposition to the bill. The Senate last voted on legislation prohibiting...
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Maryland Employers Required To Provide “Light Duty” And Other Reasonable Accommodations For Pregnant Temporarily Disabled Employees

One of the biggest changes coming to Maryland employers with 15 or more employees will last more than 9 months.   Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the requirement that employers provide to pregnant employees certain reasonable accommodations beyond those presently required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA).  Under the Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities Due to Pregnancy Act,...
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Maryland Governor Signs New Law to Enforce Wage Claims

Last week, Maryland Gov. O'Malley signed into law the "Lien for Unpaid Wages Act." This new law, SB 758, allows employees to file a lien against their employer’s real or personal property for unpaid wages allegedly due them. Once the employee files a lien, the employer must file a complaint setting forth its defenses in the Circuit Court where the employer's property is located within 30 days. If the employer fails to do so, the employee will have...
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Unions, Gangs and Prison Scandals

Over the past two weeks, we have heard a lot about the scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center, where guards allegedly conspired with members of a notorious prison gang to traffic drugs, cell phones, and sexual favors. In case you missed this, the leader of the gang (the  Black Guerilla Family) fathered five children with four female prison guards and was heard telling an acquaintance in a wiretapped call “This is my jail …. I make every...
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Sick Pay Law Reintroduced

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
04/16/2013
Citing the lack of paid sick days for workers, and the associated costs of sick workers showing up for work, Senator Tom Harkin (D–Iowa) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D–Connecticut) on March 20, 2013 reintroduced the Healthy Families Act (Sen. 631 and H.R. 1286).   The bill would allow workers to accumulate up to 56 hours of paid sick time to be used when they or family members were ill.  The bill was first introduced in 2004. Affecting...
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Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Eliminate Non-Compete Obligations For The Unemployed!

It may not be as ominous as the Fiscal Cliff, but Maryland employers should take heed: there is legislation proposed for the upcoming General Assembly session that would render inapplicable a valid non-competition agreement between an individual and his or her prior employer under certain circumstances.  Senate Bill 51, which would amend the Labor and Employment Article of the Maryland Annotated Code, provides that if any individual applies for and...
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Unions Make America "Stronger" - Really?

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
12/12/2012
On Monday, President Obama told a Michigan audience that he opposes right to work laws because "unions have helped build not just a stronger  middle class but a stronger America."  If the gentlemen shown in this video from yesterday's protests at the Michigan state house are representative of union membership, we don't need this kind of "stronger America" - unless we are in need of casting for a remake of Rocky...
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Paid Sick Leave for Maryland’s Private Sector Employees Could Be Proposed in 2013

Now that flu season is upon us, employers can expect the usual uptick in employees calling out sick.  And in Maryland, while most larger employers offer paid  sick leave, many small businesses do not.  According to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, forty percent of Maryland’s private sector workers, or nearly 820,000 employees, do not receive time off with pay for being sick. However, Maryland might soon require all employers to offer...
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Four More Years: What Does Obama's Reelection Mean for Employers?

With the results of the Presidential election now in, its time to answer a question I’ve heard from a number of clients today: what does President Obama’s reelection mean for employers?  The short answer: you can expect to see a lot of blog posts from us about aggressive enforcement initiatives by the NLRB, DOL, EEOC, and other enforcement agencies.  In this post, I’ll give you a high level overview of what I think we are going to see. NLRB:...
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