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March 2014 Archives

Maryland candidate proposes employment law changes

A candidate for governor of Maryland has introduced a new labor law proposal to her political platform that would aim at narrowing or eliminating the gap between men and women’s pay. At the moment on a national level women make 77 cents for every dollar that a man ears. In Maryland the gap is slightly smaller at 85 cents on the dollar, but the inequality remains. This makes it harder for mothers to support their families and to be financially independent.

Growth in telecommuting means new employment law challenges

Telecommuting, or working from home, is becoming more and more popular by the year as a way to provide employees with a more flexible work schedule and to help employers save money on office space and other resources. In fact, telecommuting has become so popular that it is being added on as a new benefit for employees faster than any other new benefit. Recent estimates indicate that between 2005 and 2012, telecommuting has increased by 79 percent across the workforce. This makes sense for employers, since studies have shown that telecommuters work longer hours and are more productive than employees who go into the office every day. At the same time, employees who work from home exclusively sometimes struggle to find promotional opportunities.

Supreme Court extends employment protections for whistleblowers

The United States Supreme Court handed down an important employment law ruling last week that extends whistleblower protection to a broader range of employees. Previously whistleblower laws only protected employees at publicly traded companies under the theory that the public has the most to gain from exposing fraud and wrongdoing that impacts the interests of public shareholders. Under the new ruling, employees who work at companies that work as subcontractors for publicly traded companies will also have protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was created in 2002 after Enron and other corporate misconduct scandals impacted millions of innocent shareholders.

Court upholds termination in FMLA case

An employee of a poultry farm did not have her rights violated when her employer fired her after she did not return promptly from a trip she took to care for her ill father. The woman said that the firing was a wrongful termination because under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers cannot retaliate against employees who take time off to care for a member of their immediate family who is sick.

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