“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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Be Wary of Disclosing Employees’ COVID-19 Vaccination Status

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
02/23/2021
As vaccines are being administered throughout the country, the end to the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight.  As a result, many employers are wondering what information can be shared regarding employees’ vaccination status. The answer is, or at least the cautionary one is, not much. Employers are facing inquiries regarding their employees’ vaccination status.  Customers and clients would like to know if the employee they are working with is...
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Maryland Federal Court Rules Transgender TGI Friday’s Cook Can Proceed To Trial On Bias Claims

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
02/19/2021
Though Maryland workers have been protected from gender identity discrimination under State law since 2014, it wasn’t until last year that the Supreme Court made clear employees are protected under federal law too.  You can read about the landmark Title VII decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, No 17-1618 (U.S. June 15, 2020), here. A recent district court decision offers useful guidance about the circumstances courts in this jurisdiction may...
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Maryland DOL Urges Employers To Review Benefit Charge Statements For Fraudulent Activity

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
02/16/2021
According to a press release issued by the Maryland Department of Labor, states have seen a “significant spike” in fraudulent unemployment activity since passage of the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act.  Part of the stimulus package signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020, the Act extends pandemic unemployment relief measures through March 14, 2021, with certain modifications.  Key provisions include expansion...
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Scabby the Rat Gets a Reprieve from NLRB

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
02/10/2021
Anyone who has ever passed by a labor protest is no doubt familiar with Scabby the Rat—a large inflatable balloon deployed by unions protesting an employer or contractor who uses non-union labor.   The rat balloons are usually 12 feet tall (sometimes larger), and are grotesque, featuring large teeth and a scabby stomach.  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), under former General  Counsel  Peter Robb, had sought to prohibit Scabby from...
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Employer Alert: The Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
02/03/2021
After cutting short the 2020 legislative session because of the pandemic, the Maryland General Assembly has returned this January with confronting COVID-19 among its highest priorities.  One item employers should be keenly aware is the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act, which would impose multiple new mandates on Maryland employers. The legislation, cross-filed as House Bill 481 and Senate Bill 486, is scheduled for a hearing in the...
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OSHA Provides Further Guidance on Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
01/29/2021
Earlier today, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.  The Guidance is not legally binding but does detail recommended best practices around managing COVID-19 in the workplace.  OSHA has reiterated that workers should continue to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others when possible, wash hands, properly wear a face mask (covering nose...
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