Let’s See if Nemo is HIV Positive

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
02/07/2023
I don’t often take a deep dive into the False Claims Act.  But a recent case got my attention.  That’s because I am both a (former adjunct) professor and a scuba diver.  So, when those issues converge in a lawsuit what else can I do but write about them.   United States v. Parsons-Hietikko, 19-cv-7705-RA (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 27, 2023). First, let’s talk about what we’re talking about. The federal False Claims Act, 37 U.S.C. §3729 et seq....
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Union Advocacy Complicates the Challenge of Maintaining Order Among First Responders

Peter Saucier
Peter Saucier
02/01/2023
A bright national spotlight is focused upon the workplace behavior of First Responders.  Each community, and its dedicated fire and police employees, knows to be alert and sensitive to the social reactions that flow from their conduct.  Sometimes, unions and independent arbitrators throw a wrench into the machinery of exercising good judgment and requiring accountability essential to maintaining good order.  A recent example recently arose in...
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EEOC Issues Guidance On Hearing Disabilities in the Workplace

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/26/2023
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance called “Hearing Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act.”  The resource addresses: when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about a hearing condition and how it should treat voluntary disclosures; what types of reasonable accommodations applicants or employees with hearing disabilities may need; how an employer should handle...
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Prompt Response to Workplace Harassment Complaint Defeats Title VII Claim

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/25/2023
What should an employer do when it learns of potential workplace harassment?  Hudson v. Lincare, Inc., No. 22-50149 (5th Cir., Jan. 18, 2023), offers a recent example of how an employer should respond when an employee (or other individual, for that matter) alleges unlawful workplace behavior:  take the report seriously and protect employees from the harassing behavior, conduct an appropriate investigation, and take action to stop the harassment. ...
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Frozen Concrete – How Much Does Labor Law Protect “Sabotage”?

Peter Saucier
Peter Saucier
01/24/2023
Industrial concrete, once prepared, must be poured and set promptly. Glacier Concrete, a mid-sized company in Washington state, sends mixer trucks filled with concrete to jobsites every day.  In 2017, some 13 mixer trucks filled with concrete were on the road when the Teamsters Union called a strike among the drivers of Glacier Concrete. Many of the mixer truck drivers returned their trucks to the company yard, filled with wet concrete, and walked...
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2023 is Here. Are You Paying Your Employees Minimum Wage?

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/22/2023
Although I am a bit late, Happy New Year!  With the new year comes house cleaning, finally picking up those fallen leaves in the yard, and oh yea, minimum wage rate increases.  This blog will give you an update on the various new (or existing) minimum wage rates affecting employers throughout Maryland and elsewhere in the DMV. As a refresher, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) sets the federal minimum wage rate at $7.25 per hour.  That...
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Fourth Circuit Confirms Standard For A Retaliatory Hostile Work Environment

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/13/2023
In Laurent-Workman v. Wormuth, No. 21-1766 (4th Cir. 2022), the Fourth Circuit confirmed that Title VII's prohibition against retaliation for complaints about discrimination includes creating a hostile work environment as a category of prohibited retaliation.  In the case, the employee had raised a claim of retaliatory hostile work environment amongst her list of claims against her former employer.  The Supreme Court's decision in Burling Northern...
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New Federal Protections For Nursing Mothers

Beyond the Pregnant Fairness Workers Act, which we discussed last week on our blog, the Consolidated Appropriates Act (which takes effect on June 23, 2023) also includes the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act).  The new law significantly expands existing lactation accommodations/protections for nursing mothers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and took effect on December 29, 2022, which changes to...
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FTC Proposes Rule Banning Most Non-Competes

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/06/2023
A non-compete clause prevents an employee from working for a competitor, typically for anywhere from six months to two years, after their employment ends. Historically, with the exceptions of California, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, courts have enforced such clauses if they are reasonably drafted to protect a legitimate business interest. But non-compete clauses are still disfavored. A majority of the forty-seven states that permit enforcement of...
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President Biden Signs New Pregnancy Discrimination Law

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
01/04/2023
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) is a new federal law that will require employers with fifteen or more employees to make reasonable workplace accommodations for qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The PWFA, which was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2023, was signed by President Biden on December 29, 2022 and takes effect on June 27, 2023. The PWFA closes a loophole in the...
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