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Maryland Employment Blog

How Employers Should Calculate The FMLA's 12-Month Period

Thatcher logo.jpgUnder the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, covered employees are entitled to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a single 12-month period. The leave can be used to care for a personal medical condition, to care for certain family members' serious health conditions, to bond with a new child or to deal with emergencies related to a family member's active duty military service. More leave is available to care for a military family member's illness or injury.

Questions often arise about how that "single 12-month period" should be calculated. What does the law say is the best way to calculate it?

Maryland employers: Are your contracts ready for October?

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Changes are coming for Maryland employers in terms of how they handle sexual harassment claims. In fact, the new Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018 goes into effect October 1, 2018. Employers who fail to take action by then could find themselves liable in future litigation.

What's changing?

Volkswagen Accused Of Shedding Older People To Promote Young Image

Thatcher logo.jpgAccording to a 53-year-old former assistant manager in logistics at Volkswagen AG, the automaker told employees that it wanted to cast off it's "old diesel image."

That makes sense, as Volkswagen's diesel image has cost the company some $30 billion in expenses. In 2015, the automaker admitted that it installed emissions-test cheating software on approximately 11 million diesel cars. The software could sense when cars were being tested under laboratory conditions and game the results. The goal was to increase sales of Volkswagen's "clean diesel" vehicles. Two Volkswagen executives ended up in prison over the falsified emissions tests.

Developing An Engaging, Effective Anti-Sexual Harassment Training

Thatcher logo.jpgThe #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have put a spotlight on sexual harassment, especially when it occurs in the workplace. Most employers want a culture free of discrimination and harassment, but it can be a challenge to create effective training programs. Luckily, a few good ideas can make your anti-harassment training program much more useful and engaging to your employees.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently had its annual conference, and creating anti-sexual harassment programs was one of the topics covered. Here are some tips for ensuring that employees are engaged in the training and leave with the information they need.

Report: Pregnant Women Systematically Sidelined By Top Employers

Thatcher logo.jpgThe New York Times has published a prominent report on pregnancy discrimination in America's workforce. Reporters interviewed dozens of women who claim to have suffered pregnancy discrimination, along with their lawyers and a number of government officials. They also reviewed thousands of pages of public records and court documents. They identified a clear pattern of systemic discrimination at many of our nation's biggest and most prestigious companies.

When workers become pregnant, the Times found, they are often treated as if they have no further ambition for promotions. They are denied prestigious assignments, disinvited from client meetings and passed over for bonuses. They may be denied basic and necessary accommodations, such as breaks, relief from heavy lifting and a decent place to pump breast milk. When they stand up for their rights, all too often they are fired.

What's Your Company's Policy On Using Airbnb For Business Travel?

Thatcher logo.jpgWith "sharing economy" alternatives becoming more widely available, you need a clear policy on whether your employees are allowed to stay at private residences advertised on Airbnb or similar platforms.

Airbnb was founded in 2008 to hook travelers up with people with available lodging space, which can range from a spare room to an entire residence. It has recently created a class of "business-ready" listings and added an employer dashboard to its website, which allows the use of corporate accounts for booking and payments.

Can You Get Fired For What You Post On Social Media?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thatcher logo.jpgWith all the furor over Facebook privacy concerns and the implementation of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), many companies quickly took steps to revise or reaffirm their privacy policies. You probably received countless emails about privacy policy changes based on these events.

Before now, you were probably like most people, not really paying attention to your online privacy. However, all of the hubbub may have got you thinking: Can your employer take action against you for what you post online?

Walmart Sues Senior Executive Over New Job, Noncompete Agreement

Thatcher logo.jpgWhen employees believe they aren't bound by noncompete agreements, employers often receive little warning when those agreements are about to be violated. Most employees don't disclose to their employers when they are job hunting, and they may accept new positions without realizing, or having decided there should not be, an issue.

Unfortunately, that means that employers are often taken off guard by an employee's intention to work at a competitor and have little time in which to formulate a response. The necessary response often involves seeking an injunction against the employee.

Cheerleaders Allege Wage Theft, Harassment By Staff And Fans

Thatcher logo.jpgA group of former cheerleaders for the Houston Texans have filed two employment lawsuits in the past two weeks. The first was filed as a potential class action against the National Football League and alleges that Texans cheerleaders are not fairly compensated or paid overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. The second suit makes the same claim against the Texans but adds that the women were subjected to a hostile work environment and physical assaults by both the cheerleading coach and Texans fans.

"We were harassed, we were bullied and we were body-shamed for $7.25 an hour," said one plaintiff.

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