In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and subsequent explosion of media coverage on sexual harassment in various workplaces, Maryland's legislature has chosen to respond with new legislation. Effective October 1, 2018, the state's new sexual harassment law precludes employers from limiting any procedural or substantive rights of employees to file claims for sexual harassment or retaliation for reporting harassment in the workplace.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take up to 12 workweeks' worth of unpaid leave within a 12-month period for specific reasons. The leave can be taken as a single block or intermittently for shorter periods. It's illegal for employers to interfere with, restrain or deny employees' lawful FMLA leave -- or to retaliate against employees who take it.
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.
For months now, anyone driving by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) headquarters in Arlington may have seen a woman in business attire marching around the building holding up a sign and passing out flyers.
Sexual harassment by managers, supervisors or co-workers happens in every line of work. In some industries, however, sexual harassment is likely to be more common. Earlier in October, 15 McDonald's employees filed harassment claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In light of this news, Motto, a website run by Time Magazine, commissioned a survey about sexual harassment in the fast food industry. The results were eye-opening.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), states that retaliation is far and away the most common employment claim for employees in the private and public sectors, making up nearly half of all cases. Recently the EEOC released new guidance on retaliation claims, the first such guidance in years. Understanding how this guidance applies to the workplace is critical for all businesses, as well as employers who face retaliation in the workplace.
A former Baltimore detective who faced illegal retaliation from his fellow police officers settled his lawsuit against the Baltimore Police Department. Joseph Crystal testified against two police officers who he witnessed assaulting a suspect during an arrest. Under the law, all employees who report illegal conduct by their co-workers or by their employer are protected against retaliation.
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.
A woman’s legal action to enforce her right to breast pump at work under a provision of the Affordable Care Act is moving forward. It is the first federal lawsuit filed under the new law, which entitles women to a clean, private, non-bathroom space to pump. There are various reasons why this is important, including hygiene and cleanliness for the milk and safety and privacy for the woman. Providing this space makes it possible for women to continue to breast-feed after they have returned to work from maternity leave if they so choose.