Building Trust as We Return to the Workplace

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
06/15/2021
I am spending a lot of time these days counseling employers who are in the middle of having their employees return to the worksite.  One of the big issues (no surprise here) is whether employees have been vaccinated.  Do you request documentation?  Do you rely on someone’s statement that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, or because they have a religious objection?  Do you punish those who chose not to vaccinate just because? For...
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Maryland’s Economic Stabilization Act (Mini-WARN Act) Changes Again

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
06/11/2021
As you may remember, Maryland made substantial changes to its mini-WARN Act, the Economic Stabilization Act, in 2020.  The major changes were outlined in our previous alert which can be found here.  The most substantial change in the 2020 Act was that it required covered employers to provide 60-days’ written notice prior to implementing a reduction in force or plant closing.  Previously, the notice procedures under the Maryland...
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Virginia Enacts Required Paid Sick Leave for Home-Healthcare Workers

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
06/09/2021
On June 1, 2021, Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law House Bill 2137.  The law, once effective on July 1, 2021, will be codified in at Virginia Code §§ 40.1-33.3 through 40.1-33.6. Virginia employers, defined under VA Code § 40.1-2 as “an individual, partnership, association, corporation, legal representative, receiver, trustee, or trustee in bankruptcy doing business in or operating within this Commonwealth who employs another to work for...
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2021 - New Maryland Employment Law Round-Up

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
06/04/2021
The State of Maryland has passed several new employment laws, with some set to take effect as soon as July 1, 2021.  Here is a rundown: SB364- Nondisparagement Clauses in Law Enforcement Civil Claims Settlements. Prohibits non-disparagement clauses in settlement agreements for claims alleging misconduct in the performance of duties by members of the police forces for certain higher education institutions in the State of Maryland. Claims must arise...
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Fourth Circuit Rules Termination of Public Employee For Disclosing Confidential Information Not Retaliatory Discharge

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
06/02/2021
In a recent case involving termination of a public employee who disclosed confidential information about an ongoing investigation, the Fourth Circuit held that the employee’s termination was not retaliatory-discharge for the employee’s exercise of his First Amendment rights.  Billioni v. Bryant, No. 20-1420 (4th Cir. 5/25/21). Billioni worked for the York County Sheriff’s Office.  His wife worked for a local news station.  Following the...
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EEOC Updates Guidance On COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
05/28/2021
In updated guidance, the EEOC has confirmed that employers may offer incentives to encourage employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.  According to the agency’s press release: “Federal EEO laws do not prevent or limit employers from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination obtained from a third party (not the employer) in the community, such as a pharmacy, personal health care...
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Fourth Circuit Revives Same-Sex Harassment Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last week joined several other federal appellate courts when it rejected a narrow reading of Supreme Court precedent regarding same-sex harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Roberts v. Glenn Industrial Group, Inc., No. 19-1215 (4th Cir. May 21, 2021).  The Fourth Circuit covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The case involves Glenn...
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Is An Employee's Adverse Reaction To The COVID-19 Vaccine A Recordable Event For OSHA Purposes?

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/21/2021
You know the typical lawyer answer... "it depends."  Vaccines are much more widely available and more and more employees are able to get vaccinated.  This also means more individuals may find themselves experiencing those adverse reactions (especially after that notorious second dose) that are causing missed work.  OSHA has issued updated guidance on when such reactions should be treated as recordable events in accordance with its requirements of...
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OSHA Temporarily Adopts CDC's Most Recent Guidance On Fully Vaccinated Employees

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
05/19/2021
On May 13, 2021, the CDC issued its "Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People" which advised that fully vaccinated people (meaning two weeks have passed since receiving the second dose in a 2-dose series or 2 weeks after the single-dose vaccine), in non-healthcare settings, no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting (indoors included), except where required by applicable laws, rules or regulations,...
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Judge Rejects DOL Opinion Letter on Reimbursement of Delivery Drivers

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
05/14/2021
Waters v. Pizza to You LLC, S.D. Ohio, No. 3:19-cv-00372, 5/7/21, is a case that involves delivery drivers who used their own vehicles to deliver pizzas for their employer.  During the period at issue, the drivers were reimbursed $1 for each delivery, and that rate eventually was increased to $1.25.  Given the average delivery radius, the reimbursement was less than the IRS business mileage rate, which was $0.54/mile.  No actual vehicle expenses...
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