Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Employers Can Be Liable for Failure to Reasonably Accommodate Employee’s Medicinal Marijuana Usage

            In the 21 years since California became the first American state to legalize medicinal marijuana usage, there has been a sea change in societal attitudes towards the drug.  Fast forward to 2017, and the vast majority of states have now legalized medicinal marijuana with several states and the District of Columbia going even further to legalize recreational marijuana use in the absence of a prescription or medical need.  A recent case from the highest court of Massachusetts suggests that the courts may be catching up in the area of employment discrimination to these societal developments, and could carry major implications for employers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Should Viral Tweet of CEO’s Response to Employee’s Mental Health Day Prompt Reevaluation of Your Company’s PTO Policy?

The concept of a “mental health day” is often overlooked when employers craft their vacation and leave policies.  However, a recent tweet by a San Francisco-based web developer has sparked a national discussion about mental health and the appropriate way for employers to handle these situations.

Friday, June 9, 2017

No Retaliation For Termination Based on Employer’s Mistaken Belief of False Report, Says Fourth Cir.

By: Jeffrey Hord, Associate

On June 7, 2017, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that, so long as an employer honestly believed its employee had made a false report of harassment, its decision to fire that employee cannot constitute unlawful retaliation...even if the employee’s report ultimately turned out to be truthful.

Friday, May 5, 2017

What Ever Happened to the New Overtime Rules?

By: Jessica B. Summers, Associate

The new overtime rules that were set to go into effect last December are still in limbo as the court order enjoining the rules remains in effect and the Trump Administration’s Department of Labor has not yet decided how it will handle the issue. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

As Congress Considers Changes to the Comp Time Rules – Is Your Business in Compliance Today?

By: Jessica B. Summers, Associate

Summary: The U.S. House of Representative will vote this week on a bill that would legalize the use of compensatory (comp) time by private employers. While it is unclear whether the bill will have sufficient support to pass the Senate, the renewed discussion on this issue is a good reminder for private employers that, for now, providing comp time to non-exempt employees in lieu of overtime is generally prohibited under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Supreme Court Roundup: 2016-2017

by Hope Eastman, Principal

As the Court enters the final stretch of its 2016-2017 term, here is a look at key employment-related cases that have been, or are waiting to be, decided by the Court.

Friday, April 7, 2017

District Court Decides Contract’s Forum-Selection Clause Applies to Non-Party’s Individual Claims

by: Jeffrey Hord, Associate

Many contracts (of all kinds) contain “forum-selection clauses,” or provisions in which the parties to the contract stipulate that any lawsuit arising from the contract shall be litigated in a particular court or jurisdiction. These clauses are often very helpful to companies that do business all across the country, or whose employees are scattered across many states, as the company can typically avoid the risk of facing an unfamiliar judge and the added expense associated with learning the laws of an unfamiliar jurisdiction. While a forum-selection clause can generally be enforced only against the parties who signed the agreement in question, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland issued an opinion this week illustrating why that’s not always the case.