NLRB: “Salt Mine” for Employees Means ULP for Employer

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
11/27/2020
Unless you have been off the planet for the last four years, you’ve likely heard of The Federalist, the conservative online magazine “focused on culture, politics, and religion that publishes commentary on a wide variety of contemporary newsworthy and controversial topics.”  It’s a part of FDRLST Media, LLC, which also has websites, electronic newsletters and satellite radio shows.  The publisher of The Federalist is Ben Domenech.   As...
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Court Rejects Laches Claim Due to EEOC’s Delay

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
11/25/2020
One of my first cases as a baby lawyer was a sex harassment lawsuit brought by a former employee who waited over six years for a decision from the EEOC and Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (which did eventually dismiss the charge).  She got her notice of right to sue and, with the help of very able counsel, filed her lawsuit.  No one (still alive) recalled her complaining or supported her claim, but she testified that she had raised her...
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The Latest On Facemasks in the Workplace

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
11/19/2020
On November 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration  ("OSHA") published an update to its "Frequently Asked Questions"   to clarify it position on the use of cloth face coverings as personal protective equipment in the workplace. The need for clarification arose after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a scientific brief on November 10, 2020 finding that some cloth  face coverings...
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Zoom Outage Not Grounds to Set Aside NLRB Election

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
11/17/2020
For those of us who practice labor and employment law, the COVID-19 pandemic has normalized both the use of Zoom and mail ballot union representation elections.  These phenomena  have inherent risks, such as technical malfunctions and voter irregularities.  Both of these concerns surfaced in a recent NLRB case when a  Zoom link failed during  the counting of mail ballots. Stericycle, Inc.  and International Association of Sheet Metal, Air,...
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NLRB Outlines Covid-19 Factors Warranting Mail-Ballot Elections

Andrea Murphy
Andrea Murphy
11/12/2020
Mail ballots.  Those two little words have made big headlines lately, even in the world of labor law.  As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to roll on, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) issued a decision outlining six specific factors that Regional Directors (RDs) should consider in deciding whether to hold mail-ballot elections or manual elections.  Aspirus Keweenaw, Case 18-RC-263185 (11/9/20).     The underlying facts involve the...
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Maryland District Court Permits Claim Alleging Supervisor Harassment

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/10/2020
Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland reminded us all about the importance of preventing workplace harassment and especially harassment by supervisors and managers.  In Rosinbum v. Azar, No. TDC-19-3119 (Nov. 6, 2020), the Court found that a former FDA research fellow sufficiently alleged claims of discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment under Title VII. The bulk of the Court’s opinion recites...
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California Voters Declare Gig Economy Drivers Are Independent Contractors

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/04/2020
In a reversal of fortune for gig economy workers in California, voters in that state said ‘yes’ to Proposition 22,  which classifies app-based transportation and delivery drivers as independent contractors.  Proposition 22 was put on the ballot in response to a California law, AB5, which required gig companies like Uber and Lyft to treat drivers as employees and provide them protections like unemployment insurance, healthcare, breaks,  and...
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Lack Of Discriminatory Motive Dooms Employee’s Sex Discrimination Suit

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/04/2020
In Williams v. Housing Authority of Savannah, the 11th Circuit held that an employee failed to show that a Georgia Housing Agency acted discriminatorily when the employee failed to rebut the employer’s basis for her termination –  she violated HAS rules by failing to maintain possession of her master keys and did not report that she never got them back. Monica Williams was an Assistant Asset Manager for the Housing Authority of Savannah...
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Montgomery County, Maryland Lowers Bar To Prove Workplace Harassment

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
10/27/2020
On October 6, 2020, the County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland enacted Bill 14-20, which effectively lowers the standard of proof for workplace harassment cases by rejecting the “severe or pervasive” standard applicable to state and federal claims. The new county legislation defines “harassment” as “verbal, written, or physical conduct, whether or not the conduct would be considered sufficiently severe or pervasive under...
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The Perils of Common Sense – Judge Permits Age Discrimination Suit to Go to Trial

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
10/22/2020
A recent case from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division,  demonstrates that employers must always choose their words carefully, especially when they’re about to fire poor-performing employees. In Granet v. Presidio, Inc.,  Civil Action No. 3:19-cv-821, the plaintiff was a 54-year old account manager who alleged that his former employer forced him to resign due to his age.  Presidio countered...
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