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Maryland Employment Blog

Are Emotional Distress Damages Available in Retaliation Cases?

Another federal appeals court has held that employees who have faced illegal retaliation at work are eligible to recover damages for emotional distress under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). The FLSA governs wage and hour laws, such as overtime and minimum wage, for businesses across the United States. This holding could have significant implications for employers throughout the country.

Employees who bring claims against their employers under the FLSA, or employees who cooperate in an FLSA investigation, have the right to be free from retaliation. Retaliatory acts could include termination, demotion, harassment or other adverse actions.

New Military and Veteran Legal Resource Guide

The Virginia Office of Attorney General released a new resource to assist our nations' servicemembers and military families. The Resources can be accessed here, and includes sections covering servicemembers and veterans rights with regard to employment, education, taxes, consumer issues, and family law.

DOJ Says Federal Law Does Not Ban Sexual Orientation Discrimination

On July 26, 2017, the Department of Justice filed an Amicus Brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit taking the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is the primary government agency that enforces Title VII, takes the opposite position that discrimination based on sexual orientation is covered under the federal law.

Providing proper training for supervisors

Establishing an effective workplace and strong culture starts at the top for any company. When managers and supervisors model correct behavior, it sets the tone for others to follow. As a result, companies can realize tangible benefits by properly training their managers and supervisors. Proper training of supervisors will include:

Establishing the importance of documentation

Documenting issues with individual contributors as they arise is critical, both in helping to correct the underlying behavior, and for record-keeping purposes should these issues give rise to future litigation. Supervisors need to learn how to adequately document performance issues and create strong, accurate records to be used in performance evaluations. By doing so, a company can put itself in the best possible position to deal with employee-related issues.

Colonial Williamsburg Sued for Failure to Accommodate Boy with Gluten Allergy

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has been sued for failing to accommodate a boy during a school field trip. The Complaint claims that the boy's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated, when a restaurant operated by the foundation, excluded the boy from the historical experience because his allegies required that he eat his own food prepared outside of the restaurant. 

Employee drug use creates legal concerns for employers

As increasing numbers of employees are using illegal drugs, either for recreation, self-medication or due to addiction, increasing numbers of employers have to deal with the repercussions. A recent article in the Baltimore Sun presented some interesting facts about employee drug tests across Maryland and nationally.

  • The nation's largest workplace drug testing laboratory, Quest Diagnostics, found that positive employee tests were their highest in 12 years.
  • Maryland's rate of positive drug tests was 12% higher than the national average of positive tests.
  • Baltimore workers were more than twice as likely to test positive for heroin as workers across the country, and more than 30 percent likely to test positive for marijuana.
  • Nationally, positive tests for methamphetamine and marijuana were up nearly 75 percent over the last three years.

Given these statistics, businesses have legitimate reasons to be concerned about the sobriety of their workforce.

What is Your Current Salary?

There is a growing movement among legislators to ban employers from asking applicants their current or most recent salary.  In Maryland, an employer can ask current salary information, but New York City, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia have recently acted to ban the question. 

Potential Paid Sick Leave in Maryland

A paid sick leave law that passed the Maryland Legislature is now headed for an override battle after Governor Hogan recently vetoed the bill.  The bill would require Maryland employers with more than 15 employees to have a paid sick and safe leave policy.

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Thatcher Law Firm
7849 Belle Point Drive
Greenbelt, MD 20770

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