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New York Bans Race Discrimination Based on Hairstyle

New York has become the second state to include hairstyles within the definition of race for purposes of the state’s anti-discrimination law.  Last week, California became the first state to ban such discrimination. The New York State law amends the definition of “race” to mean “traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, […]

Home Offices and Workers’ Compensation

When does an employee’s home qualify as a work site for purposes of Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Act?  That was the question of first impression the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (COSA) considered in Schwan Food Co. v. Frederick, decided last month.  Given the proliferation of technology that permits employees to work for anyone, from anywhere, […]

Maryland’s Equal Pay Law: Are You In Compliance?

Watching the U.S. Women’s National Team play in and win the World Cup this past weekend took me right back to my own days of competitive girls’ soccer.  But nostalgia wasn’t the only thing that came to mind as the win brought additional attention to the Team’s recent lawsuit for equal pay.  That lawsuit, filed […]

State Of Maryland Cannot Be Sued In Federal Court For State Law Discrimination Claims

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Maryland’s employment discrimination statute (FEPA), Md. Code Ann., St. Gov’t § 20-601 et seq., does not waive the State’s immunity to be sued in federal court under that law for alleged employment discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation.  In Pense v. Maryland Dept’ of Public Safety and Correctional Services, […]

Maryland General Assembly Passes Several New Workplace Bills

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 […]

Kentucky Court Holds That State Law Does Not Permit Associational Discrimination Claims

Nearly two weeks ago, in a post on associational discrimination claims, I pointed out that while these claims may be relatively uncommon, they are still possible under the ADA and Maryland law. By contrast, last week, a Kentucky state court held that the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) does not encompass associational discrimination claims.  The […]

Age and Wage Issues Among Many Resolved On Election Day

As votes in yesterday’s elections continue to be tallied, there were several developments of interest to employers and to labor and employment practitioners alike. Age: The ADEA Applies To Public Sector Employers Of All Sizes First, yesterday morning, the Supreme Court announced its first decision of the 2018-19 term.  In a unanimous (8-0) ruling, the […]

D.C. Creates New Training And Reporting Obligations For Employers With Tipped Employees

You may recall that earlier this year, voters in the District of Columbia passed an initiative (Initiative 77) that would have increased the minimum wage for tipped employees (who predominantly work in the restaurant, hotel, and retail service industries) incrementally up to $15.00 an hour by 2025. Recently, however, the D.C. Council changed course by […]