Employer Off The Hook For Not Accommodating Employee’s Religious Beliefs

The Fourth Circuit recently affirmed that a reasonable accommodation of an employee’s religious beliefs is not required if such accommodation would cause an undue hardship.  That is, an accommodation is not necessary if it would result in more than a de minimis cost to the employer.  EEOC v. Thompson Contracting, Grading, Paving, & Utils. Inc., No. 11-11897 (4th Cir.  Dec. 14, 2012) (unpublished). Banayah Yisrael worked for Thompson...
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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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NLRB Gives Organized Labor New Gifts for the Holidays

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/26/2012
Over the past several years, December holiday cheer has meant more than just Santa Claus climbing down the chimney to deliver presents in the homes of union supporters. It has also meant that it's time for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue union-friendly decisions prior to the expiration of a Board member's term. 2012 has proved to be especially good one for organized labor. In a series of rulings coinciding with the end of Board...
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Rite Aid’s Full-Day Unpaid Leave Policy Valid under FLSA

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/20/2012
Three former Rite Aid pharmacists filed a class action suit against the national retain drugstore chain, seeking overtime pay under state and federal laws.  The professionals contended that Rite Aid’s unpaid personal leave policy disqualified them from exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and impermissibly reduced their salaries.  Maryland’s federal district court granted summary judgment for Rite Aid, finding that the...
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Revised FCRA Notices For The New Year

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
12/19/2012
Beginning the first of the year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will administer the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).  The FCRA governs substantive and procedural requirements for employers who use consumer reports and records for employment purposes, among other things. In anticipation of this change, the CFPB issued an interim final rule in December 2011, which includes a variety of model forms.  As a practical matter, these...
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Be Prepared For Various State Minimum Wage Increases Effective January 1, 2013

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/18/2012
Companies with operations in multiple states will want to take note of the minimum hourly wage increases that are being implemented on January 1, 2013 in various states: Arizona is increasing its minimum hourly wage from $7.65 to $7.80.  The minimum wage for tipped employees increases from $4.65 to $4.80. Colorado will increase its minimum wage from $7.64 to $7.78.  Minimum wage for tipped employees will go from $4.62 to $4.76. Florida is...
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Employer Not Liable for Failing to Do Background Check on Employee Who Raped Coworker

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/18/2012
A federal appellate court has ruled that the employer of a woman raped by a co-worker is not liable for negligent hiring when it failed to conduct a background check on the co-worker, even though the employee had prior convictions for sexual crimes.  Keen v. Miller Environmental Group, _F. 3d. _ (5th Cir. 12/10/12). The court held that Mississippi law did not impose a generalized duty to conduct background checks, regardless of whether the employer...
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Unions Make America "Stronger" - Really?

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
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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Michigan Bill That Weakens Union Power Passes in State Legislature

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
12/11/2012
The Republican heavy Michigan Statehouse today passed “right to work” legislation that will significantly weaken a union’s powers.  Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, announced that he would sign the legislation which would permit public and private sector workers at union-represented companies to forgo paying union dues as a condition of employment.  Michigan, of course, is the birthplace of the United Auto Workers, and nearly 18% of its...
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“Laid Off” and “Terminated” are Valid Escalator Positions Under USERRA

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
12/07/2012
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) contains an “escalator principle” which requires that employers place service members returning to work into the position the service member would have had but for his or her service–the “escalator position.”  In other words, if an employee would have been a supervisor had he not been called to active duty, USERRA requires that the employee be placed into that...
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