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As employment law constantly changes, the attorneys at Bean, Kinney & Korman stay up to date on the law as it develops. Our blog topics focus on those changes and what you need to know about them, ranging from severance agreements and the FLSA to social media in the workplace and recent court decisions. If you are interested in having us cover a specific topic, please let us know.

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COVID-19 FAQS for Employers

As most everyone in the world by now is aware, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is sweeping the United States and rocking the economy. The federal government and nearly all 50 states have declared states of emergency. Many schools and businesses are closed or operating remotely. The pandemic creates unique issues for employers and employees alike. The following FAQs focus on the legal obligations of employers related to COVID-19.

Marijuana & the Workplace

As state laws and public opinion regarding marijuana continue to evolve, employers are confronting a variety of uncertainties about their drug policies. This article discusses marijuana laws and the ramifications of such laws for employers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

When and where is marijuana use legal?

As of February 2020, 32 states and D.C. permit marijuana for medicinal purposes, and 11 states and D.C. permit marijuana for recreational purposes. 

When Can an Employer Deduct from the Pay of an Exempt (Salaried) Employee?

To be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employee must perform certain duties and be paid on a “salary basis,” meaning that the employee receives a set salary each week, regardless of the number of days or hours worked, with limited exceptions. Under the FLSA, an employer may deduct from the pay of an exempt employee only under the following circumstances:

  • No work: When an exempt employee performs no work for an entire workweek, the employer is not required to pay the employee’s salary for that week.
FMLA Delay? No Way.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter on March 15, 2019 that answered the question of “whether an employer may delay designating paid leave as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave or expand their FMLA leave beyond the statutory 12-week entitlement.” The DOL’s answer in short: No way.

5 Takeaways from DOL’s Proposal to Change FLSA Overtime Rules

On March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed rules that would update the salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) so-called “white collar” or “EAP” exemptions from overtime. The importance of this issue for employers is tied to the fact that an employee must be paid on a salary basis at or above the DOL’s specified minimum weekly salary level in order to be exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements.  

What Changes

Currently, employees paid a weekly salary below $455 per week ($23,660 per year) are deemed non-exempt and must be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 per week.

What’s Up When the Government is Shutdown: Employment Issues for Contractors

The partial federal government shutdown appears likely to continue into a second week, with no agreement on funding for the Department of Homeland Security, State Department, Justice Department and Interior Department, among other federal departments and agencies. For a second time this year, government contractors face the challenge of complying with a complex set of federal and state employment laws, while their federal contract work and workers remain idle. This article briefly identifies some of the issues affecting government contractors during the shutdown and provides guidance on how to navigate the issues.

Montgomery County and D.C. Minimum Wage Rates Increase

Montgomery County, Maryland

Effective July 1, 2018, the minimum wage payable by employers in Montgomery County, Maryland, increased to $12.25 per hour, from the previous minimum wage rate of $11.50 per hour for large employers (those with 51 or more employees in the county). For mid-size employers (11 and 50 employees) and small employers (10 or fewer employees) the hourly minimum wage increased to $12.00. The minimum wage rate increases are part of a bill that was passed last year by the Montgomery County Council that will ultimately result in the minimum hourly wage in the county rising to $15.00 as of July 1, 2021 for large employers, July 1, 2023, for mid-size employers, and July 1, 2024 for small employers.

March 16, 2018
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Topics Employment
5 Steps an Employer Can Take to Limit Liability for Sexual Harassment

A previous blog post discussed sexual harassment in the workplace. This post discusses steps that an employer can take to avoid liability for sexual harassment, or at least minimize legal exposure.

1. Have a Sexual Harassment Policy

An employer should have a clearly articulated sexual harassment policy that:

  • expressly prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace;
  • defines and provides examples of sexual harassment;
  • establishes the scope of the policy in relation to employees and third parties; and
  • establishes a complaint procedure for victims or observers of sexual harassment. 
DOL Adopts More Flexible Test to Determine When Interns Must Be Paid Under The Fair Labor Standards Act

Just as many employers are heading into the 2018 summer-intern recruitment season, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that it has abandoned the rigid six-factor test in use since 2010 to determine whether interns of for-profit entities must be treated as paid employees.  Under the DOL’s previous six-factor test, an intern was deemed to be an employee unless all six-factors were met, increasing the likelihood that an employer would end up having to pay its interns a minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

Maryland Paid Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect on February 11, 2018

On January 12, 2018, Maryland became the latest state to require employers to provide paid sick leave to employees, when the Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the bill last year. The bill - known as the Healthy Working Families Act - will become law on February 11, 2018, unless the General Assembly acts to delay its implementation.