Department of Labor Releases Guidance for Extension of COBRA Benefits Under the American Rescue Plan

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
04/09/2021
On April 7, 2021, the Department of Labor released new guidance for the extension of COBRA benefits under the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP).  COBRA continuation coverage provides group health plan benefits to individuals who were recently terminated or subject to a reduction in hours that caused a loss of health care coverage.  COBRA generally applies to all private-sector group health plans maintained by employers with at...
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Supreme Court Declines To Set New Standard For Workplace Religious Accommodations

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
04/07/2021
This past Monday, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Small v. Memphis Light, Gas & Water, Docket No. 19-1388, and by doing so batted back a challenge to the longstanding precedent regarding employers’ duties to accommodate religious practices of employees.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires accommodation of employees’ religious practices whenever doing so would not cause an “undue hardship.”  In 1977, the Supreme...
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Maryland Flexible Leave Act Expanded To Apply To Bereavement Leave

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/30/2021
The Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation expanding Maryland’s Flexible Leave Act (MFLA) to apply to bereavement leave.  The legislation now goes to Governor Hogan’s desk for signature. The MFLA has required that Maryland private sector employers with at least 15 employees who provide paid leave to their employees allow an employee to use earned paid leave to care for immediate family members (children, spouse, and parents) with an...
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Non-Competes To Become Non-Existent in D.C.

The Ban on Non-Compete Amendments Act of 2020 (the Act) is a sweeping piece of legislation that effectively bans the use of all non-compete agreements in the District of Columbia, regardless of income level.  Once effective, the Act will: Prohibit the use and enforcement of non-compete agreements for all employees working in D.C., with limited exception; Prohibit anti-moonlighting and other workplace policies that prohibit an employee from...
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Telework May Be A Continuing Reasonable Accommodation

The case of Brownlow v. Alfa Vision Insurance Co., No. 3:18-cv-01241 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 22, 2021), involves a set of facts from pre-COVID times (2016 and 2017 to be exact).  Mr. Brownlow, a former claims appraiser for an automobile insurance company, was diagnosed with a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and PTSD.  He requested and was granted the ability to telework as a reasonable accommodation for a period...
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Jordan Dunham Joins Law Student Mentor Program

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
03/23/2021
Jordan Dunham has volunteered to be a  mentor for first year law students at the University of Baltimore School of Law.  The goals of the University of Baltimore’s 1L Mentor Program are to help first-year law students connect with the legal community, develop professionalism and professional relationship building skills, gain insight into the practice of law as a compliment to their academic study, and develop some...
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“Gotcha Moment” Backfires on Lawyer

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/10/2021
I watched Perry Mason (played by Raymond Burr from 1957 to 1966) as a kid.  More about why that’s relevant in a bit.  If you have watched any TV courtroom drama – Matlock (played by Andy Griffith from 1986-1995) works if you were too young to watch Perry Mason – you know the drill:  the defense attorney represents falsely accused people and he manages to prove that by drawing out the real criminal on the witness stand, usually...
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Police Applicant’s “Regarded As” Disability Claim Gets A Second Chance

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/08/2021
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is most frequently associated with protecting individuals with actual disabilities and requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations (that are not undue hardships) to enable those individuals to perform the essential functions of their jobs.   What is sometimes overlooked (or possibly forgotten) is that the requirement of an “actual” disability is only one leg of the ADA triangle:...
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White Employee Gets Trial on Claim She Was Fired to Send Message Against Racism

A Maryland federal judge has ruled that an employer must stand trial on claims by a former white employee who alleged she was terminated to set an example of the company’s commitment to fight racism.  In Wethje v. CACI-ISS,  2021 U.S. Dist. Lexis 34543 (D. Md. 2/24/21), Judge Paula Xinis denied the company’s motion for summary judgement on the employee's claims of race discrimination under Title VII and Section 1981. The case arose when CACI...
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Sixth Circuit Confirms But-For Causation Standard Remains In ADEA Claims

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit declined to extend the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, 140 S.Ct. 1731 (2020) to an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) claim.  In Pelcha v. MW Bancorp, Inc., 984 F.3d 1199 (6th Cir. Jan. 12, 2021), the Sixth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio’s dismissal of an ADEA lawsuit, stating the plaintiff failed to show...
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