In the last few years, we’ve heard a lot about non-disclosure agreements or “NDAs.” They are commonly used to protect against disclosure of confidential business information or financial data and similar types of highly sensitive information. Sometimes the question arises, what happens if someone breaches an NDA?
In a recent Maryland case, the answer had a whipsaw-like quality, as a jury returned a $20 million verdict only to see the trial judge reduce the award to $1. Continue Reading
On May 5, 2021, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) withdrew the Independent Contractor Rule which had been adopted by the Trump Administration which would have made it easier for employers to categorize individuals as independent contractors as opposed to employees.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all employers to pay non-exempt employees at least the federal minimum wage for every hour worked in a non overtime work week. Continue Reading
Maryland may soon join Virginia and D.C. in establishing COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. The state’s House of Delegates and Senate recently passed the Maryland Essential Workers’ Protection Act, and it is awaiting approval from Governor Larry Hogan (even if Governor Hogan vetoes the Act, the legislature has the votes to override any such veto).
Under the new Act, each essential employer* must take certain actions related to occupational safety and health during an emergency. Continue Reading
A bill passed by the Maryland General Assembly on March 30, 2021 extends the Maryland Flexible Leave Act (“the Act”) to cover bereavement leave. The bill now awaits Governor Hogan’s signature.
Under the Act, covered Maryland employers must allow their employees to use earned paid leave to care for immediate family members (children, spouse, and parents) with an illness. Employees covered by the Act can use their paid leave to care for an immediate family member under the same rules that apply for an employee’s use of paid leave for their own illness. Continue Reading
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the Act) became effective on March 11, 2021. It provides six months, from April 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021, of free health care coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) to laid off employees and their covered dependents.
The Act applies to employees who have been laid off, i.e., involuntary termination or involuntary reduction in hours, over the past year and who would have been covered by COBRA at the time of their termination. Continue Reading
In February, in a continued effort to protect workers in the District of Columbia and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the D.C. Council passed the Workplace Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2021. The Workplace Safety Resolution repeals, updates, and expands the previous Protecting Businesses and Workers from COVID-19 Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 and the Protecting Businesses and Workers from COVID-19 Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2021. Continue Reading
The COVID-19 vaccine raises many questions for employers. Should you mandate it? Should you recommend it? What policies do you need?
Lerch Early employment attorneys Marc Engel and Michael Neary on February 11 presented a webinar on how employers should handle issues surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine and plan for the day when the vaccine is readily available.
The big news of the week for employers did not come out of the Department of Labor or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Instead, it came out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”). After much discussion and speculation in the public health community, CDC announced that asymptomatic fully vaccinated individuals need not quarantine after a subsequent COVID-19 exposure within three months of full vaccination. Continue Reading
Employment attorney Michael Neary presented to new and small business owners on January 19 about managing their employees. You can watch a recording of the presentation here:
Micheal touched on several important topics, including:
1. Hiring Process and Accompanying Risks 2. Registering Employees With the State 3. Immigration Compliance 4. Documenting Employment Relationship: Offer Letters, Contracts, Equity Grants 5. Best Practices for Employer Policies 6. Continue Reading
This past summer, Virginia became the first state to pass mandatory workplace standards for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to and among employees and employers. Those emergency workplace safety standards were temporary and were set to expire later this month, on January 26, 2021. With the expiration date fast approaching, on January 13, 2021, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board enacted a new rule, effective January 27, 2021, extending the protections permanently. Continue Reading