Law and the Workplace

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New Orleans Mayor Issues Executive Order Restricting City Departments From Inquiring Into An Applicant’s Salary History

New Orleans Mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has issued an executive order that bans questions about salary history during the application processes for City positions. The executive order is effective January 25, 2017 and is similar to measures in Philadelphia and Massachusetts. The executive order applies to all City departments and prohibits inquiries about a candidate’s salary … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Joins Sister Circuits in Holding That Employees May Recover Emotional Distress Damages in FLSA Retaliation Suits

On December 19, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined the Sixth and Seventh Circuits in holding that “employees” under the FLSA may recover emotional distress damages in FLSA retaliation actions, finding that the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on the availability of emotional distress damages for an employee’s retaliation claim. In so … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Holds the ADA Does Not Mandate Reassignment Without Competition or Preferential Treatment

In EEOC v. St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Eleventh Circuit recently held that the reasonable accommodation standard under the ADA “only requires an employer allow a disabled person to compete equally with the rest of the world for a vacant position” as a reasonable accommodation, and employers are not required to reassign a disabled employee into … Continue Reading

Reminder – Montgomery County, Maryland Employers: The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act Is Now In Effect

On October 1, 2016, the Montgomery County, Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act (the “Act”) went into effect.  As a reminder, the Act, provides paid sick leave to all employees working in Montgomery County, Maryland (the “County”), regardless of how many workers an employer employs.  In addition to the various other obligations under the … Continue Reading

Maryland Employers: Are You Ready? The Maryland Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Goes Into Effect October 1, 2016

Maryland’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (the “Act”) is scheduled to take effect on October 1, 2016.  The Act amends Maryland’s existing Equal Pay law, expanding its protections against wage discrimination on the basis of sex in a number of significant ways.  The Act represents another example of the growing trend of new pay … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces The Importance of Clearly Communicating Anti-Harassment Policies

A well-drafted anti-sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure can provide useful defenses for employers defending against claims of sexual harassment. However, a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit should remind employers that simply drafting that policy is only half the battle – they must also ensure that employees actually know that the policy exists. Kandice Pullen (“Pullen”) worked at … Continue Reading

D.C. Council Postpones Vote On Two Controversial Employment Bills

The D.C. Council has postponed votes on the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act (the “Scheduling Act”) and the Universal Paid Leave Act (the “Leave Act”), two controversial bills that would impose significant burdens on D.C. employers. The Scheduling Act seeks to impose burdensome restrictions on chain retailers’ and chain restaurants’ ability to schedule and hire … Continue Reading

Maryland Employers Be Aware: Effective Today Maryland’s State-Wide Minimum Wage Increases to $8.75 Per Hour And Montgomery County Increases Its Minimum Wage To $10.75 Per Hour

Today, the statewide minimum wage in Maryland increased from $8.25 per hour to $8.75 per hour.  This represents a regularly-scheduled increase as part of the Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 (the “Act”), which will increase the minimum wage in Maryland from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by July 2018.  The next scheduled increase under … Continue Reading

Louisiana Legislature Passes “Ban the Box” for State Employers

Louisiana is anticipated to become the latest state to enact state-wide protections for applicants with criminal backgrounds under the well-known “ban the box” movement. The bill, HB 266, recently passed both houses of the Louisiana Legislature and is currently awaiting approval from Governor John Bel Edwards, who is expected to sign the bill into law. … Continue Reading

North Carolina Governor Signs Executive Order on Worker Misclassification

On December 18, 2015, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order establishing an “Employee Classification Section” within the state’s Industrial Commission.  The Order, which took effect immediately, tasked this new Section with overseeing employee misclassification enforcement by receiving reports of employee misclassification and referring those reports to appropriate state agencies for further action.  … Continue Reading

Addressing and Preventing Workplace Violence

The subject of workplace violence has unfortunately made headlines once again after a news anchor and cameraman were killed by a former co-worker in Virginia last week. Employers are understandably concerned and have questions about what they can do to help prevent workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to maintain … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Revives Putative Collective Action

On July 23, 2015, the Second Circuit, in Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., revived a putative collective action brought by David Lola, a contract attorney, against Skadden and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc., alleging violations of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The Second Circuit … Continue Reading

Georgia Enacts “Mini”-FCRA

For more than four decades, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) has regulated consumer reporting agencies (“CRAs”) that furnish consumer reports (i.e., background checks) to third parties such as employers. Over the years, several states have adopted so-called “mini”-FCRAs, including Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington. Last week, … Continue Reading

Montgomery County, Maryland Passes Earned Sick and Safe Leave Bill

On June 24, 2015, the Montgomery County, Maryland Council unanimously approved the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Bill (the “Bill”). The Bill, which goes into effect on October 1, 2016, provides paid sick leave to all employees working in Montgomery County, Maryland (the “County”). Employers therefore have a little over a year to ensure they … Continue Reading

DC DOES Clarifies The Zip Code Project And Releases Spanish Pay Notices For The Wage Theft Amendment Act

As discussed in our previous post (available here), the DC Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) announced an upcoming enforcement program called The Zip Code Project (the “Project”). Now, DOES has released a notice to employers relating to the Project (available here). DOES investigators will be conducting city-wide foot patrols of DC businesses to ensure compliance … Continue Reading

Maryland Passes Bill Protecting Interns From Employment Discrimination

On April 14, 2015, an act protecting interns in Maryland from employment discrimination officially became law. As of October 1, 2015, employers are prohibited from discriminating against interns with respect to the terms, conditions or privileges of their internships (including offering and terminating internships), on the basis of the individual’s race, color, religion, sex, age, … Continue Reading

Virginia Governor’s Order “Encourages” Private Employers to “Ban the Box”

Last week, Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe signed an executive order “banning the box” on most state employment applications and “encouraging” private employers and government contractors to do the same.  “Ban the box” refers to a legislative and executive trend across the country requiring or encouraging employers to delete the “check box” on job applications asking … Continue Reading

Virginia’s Social Media Law Continues Growing Trend

Man using smartphoneVirginia is now the nineteenth state to provide increased social media protections to prospective and current employees, joining Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Effective July 1, 2015, Virginia’s law will prohibit an employer from requiring a prospective … Continue Reading

D.C. DOES Provides Additional Guidance On The D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act And Reveals New “Zip Code” Program For D.C. Employers

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) hosted its first Webinar regarding the D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act (the “Act”), and its subsequent amendments. Our previous blog posts on the Act can be found here, here, here, here, and here. This post addresses the main points of clarification … Continue Reading

D.C. Issues Template Pay Notice And Guidance To Employers on the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act

On February 26, 2015, the D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act (the “Act”) became law in the District of Columbia. As discussed in our previous blog posts and original client alert on the Act (available here, here, here, here and here), the Act made significant changes to several employment laws in the District of Columbia … Continue Reading

Georgia “Ban the Box” Policy Crosses Geographic, Political Divides

Republican Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order this past week adopting a “ban the box” policy for “government entities of the State of Georgia,” making Georgia the first Southern state and only the second “red state” to remove criminal history inquiries from state job applications. The Georgia order not only “bans the box” but … Continue Reading

The D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act Goes Into Effect Today – What D.C. Employers Need To Know

Today, the highly anticipated – and already twice-amended – D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act (the “Act”) goes into effect for Washington, D.C. employers. In November 2014, then-D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, signed the Act, which includes, among other things, a new pay notice requirement, increased penalties and damages for violating various D.C. employment laws, and … Continue Reading

Employee Gripe Apps: Should Companies Be Concerned?

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Lindsay Gellman on a new app by Collectively that allows users to post anonymous reviews of and complaints about their employers.  The app is cheekily called “getthememo.”  According to the article, Collectively’s mission is to create a space for workers “to speak freely about what’s happening … Continue Reading
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