Residents of the Greenbelt, Maryland, area may recall that about six months ago a former Hyattsville police officer filed a sexual harassment lawsuit accusing the police department of systemic sexual harassment. The lawsuit included allegations of sexual assault committed by a ranking officer, as well as a sexually hostile environment within the department. The former officer also charged that she was retaliated against when she complained to her supervisors about the harassment, culminating in her termination.
Although Maryland is an employment-at-will state, meaning employees and employers can generally choose to terminate employment at any time for almost any reason, there are exceptions to this rule. One exception applies to mass layoffs. Under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, companies with more than 40 employees generally must give workers 60 days' notice of layoffs. When companies cannot give this notice, they must pay workers 60 days worth of wages from the date notice is given.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission launched a lawsuit against a company in Maryland yesterday. It is accusing the Baltimore-based mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning company, Fidelity Engineering, of disability discrimination and retaliation.
Facebook has been a somewhat frequent topic on our Greenbelt employment law blog. This is because employment questions have arisen in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area about whether employees should be allowed to use social media at work, and whether employers should be allowed to use Facebook to screen current and potential employees.