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Greenbelt MD Employment Law Blog

Religious discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination based on religion is just one of multiple things most employees in the state of Maryland are protected from. These protections are provided to those who work for private companies that employ 15 or more employees, under Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What does Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 mean for employers?

Guidance addresses "joint employment" in temp worker situations

Where virtually all successful businesses are concerned, a qualified workforce is a necessity. Depending on the nature of the business it is possible that a company could use a variety of approaches to secure the necessary workforce. One approach used by some businesses throughout the United States is temporary or contract workers.

There are multiple reasons why this approach is popular with so many employers including the fact they do not have to provide employee benefits or be responsible for labor violations in conjunction with those workers. Types of companies that often opt for this type of workforce include restaurant chains and construction firms.

Classification of NFL cheerleaders an issue in wage and hour case

In an earlier post we discussed the fact that over the course of the last 15 years, wage and hour claims have risen dramatically. In that post we mentioned that misclassification could be one of the reasons for the increase. Because it is possible that people engaged in a variety of occupations could file these claims, many different types of employers could find that they are defending against wage and hour claims.

Some employers, who have faced claims of this nature lately, are the owners of certain NFL football teams. It is not the football players making the claims. Instead, it is the cheerleaders. While several teams have faced these cases, most recently, it is the Buffalo Bills. Thus far, the teams that make their home in Maryland have not been involved.

Public relations firm closes following sexual harassment claims

Many people were likely shocked when public relations firm FitzGibbon Media suddenly shut down last month. They may have been even more shocked to learn the reason for the abrupt closure. The closure of the public relations firm, that worked with many progressive movements, came after multiple reports surfaced that the president of the firm was sexually harassing female employees. In two cases he was also accused of sexual assault.

Businesses can reduce risk of wrongful termination lawsuits

For most businesses a strong workforce is a big part of succeeding. Accordingly, having the right people on staff is imperative. When a worker who is hired as an at-will employee is not working out, a business may let that person go and find a replacement. While some workers will understand why this has happened, others may not and decide to take legal action against the former employer.

There are a variety of reasons that could be the basis of a wrongful termination claim. In this post we will provide information on what employers need to do-- above and beyond having and following policies--to make sure the termination of an employee's position does not come back to haunt them.

Employers should be aware of less obvious forms of discrimination

Employers throughout Maryland are likely aware they need to take steps to keep workplace free from discriminatory actions. Among other things, it is against the law to discriminate against workers based on religious beliefs, race and gender. To prevent this from occurring, workplaces need to train employees on the types of behavior that are acceptable. While workers may not engage in more obvious forms of discriminatory behavior, more subtle forms can be harmful as well.

These less overt forms of discrimination may take the form for implicit bias or microaggressions. Implicit bias occurs when someone unconsciously treats an individual who is another race, differently. Microaggressions are characterized as comments deemed tone-deaf regarding a person of another race’s ability to do something.

Wage and hour claims increase dramatically

Employment disputes can arise in a variety of settings. One type of claim a business could find it is defending against is a wage and hour claim. Wage and hour laws are memorialized in the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition to setting overtime levels, the law also sets the nation’s minimum wage. According to a recent report, it is becoming more and more common for businesses to be involved in wage and hour litigation.

In the course of the past 15 years, the number of these claims has risen dramatically. In 2000, just 1,935 such claims were filed. This year, which for the purposes of these statistics ended Sept. 30, a total of 8,871 people filed a wage and hour case in federal court.

Employers must provide adequate space for mothers to breastfeed

The Affordable Care Act stipulates that eligible workplaces must provide reasonable accommodations for nursing mothers. This includes adequate lactation breaks and a locked room in which the mother can express milk. The ACA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to grant these explicit protections for new mothers.

The subject is timely, as TD Bank is facing the first-ever collective action lawsuit regarding breastfeeding protections under the ACA. The collective action alleges that under TD Bank's nationwide policy, new mothers were not allowed adequate lactation breaks and were forced to use bathrooms or unlocked storage closets to express milk. In New York on November 12, a District Court judge denied TD Bank's motion to deny a collective action.

EEOC looks to help employers reduce workplace sexual harassment

A strong workforce is one of many things necessary to make a business successful. There are multiple ways in which this can be accomplished including keeping the workplace free of sexual harassment. While activities that constitute this behavior are prohibited under federal law, sexual harassment in the workplace does still happen. When it does it can be costly to an employer. Because the best way to deal with this matter is to prevent it from happening in the first place, it is vital that businesses take steps to keep workplaces free from sexual harassment. 

Used correctly, employment contracts can protect business

A strong workforce is an important part of running a strong business. Because of this, when it comes to hiring, in addition to getting the right person in each role, it is also important to take steps to protect your business. This may be accomplished via the use of an employment contracts. While the information included in an employment contract could vary depending on your business needs, there are certain elements that should be included, no matter what.

Many of the things that should be included in an employment contract are the basics. These include the:

  • Job title
  • Department
  • Supervisor
  • Compensation and bonuses or incentives
  • Benefits
  • Time off policy

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Greenbelt, MD 20770

Phone: 301-441-2420
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McNamee, Hosea, Jernigan, Kim, Greenan & Lynch, P.A.
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Annapolis, MD 21401

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Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-323-5620
Fax: 703-323-5621
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