On April 17, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a decades-old circuit split regarding what amount of harm a plaintiff must demonstrate to bring an employment discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”). In Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, a unified Court ruled that a plaintiff need only show “some”—and not “significant”—harm from an employment decision to plead and prove employment discrimination under Title VII. Before Muldrow, a number of appellate courts dismissed transfer-based Title VII claims unless the plaintiff could show that the transfer resulted in “significant” harm. The Supreme Court rejected that standard in Muldrow, holding that a plaintiff need only show that the transfer resulted in “some harm” with respect to an identifiable term or condition of employment. The Supreme Court’s new standard raises fresh considerations for employers making transfer decisions, and may have broader implications beyond the transfer context.Continue Reading Supreme Court Eases Burden for Title VII Plaintiffs Challenging Transfer Decisions

Through Board decisions, rule making, and NLRB General Counsel’s (“GC”) memoranda, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “the Board”) continues to expand the potential penalties for employers found to have committed unfair labor practices (“ULP”). The shift toward an employee-friendly enforcement scheme has continued with GC Jennifer Abruzzo’s latest memorandum, issued on April 8, 2024, wherein the GC stated her desire to expand the availability of remedies for violations of labor law to even those employees who did not file, or are not identified in, ULP charges. Continue Reading NLRB General Counsel Issues New Memo Further Expanding Penalties for Unfair Labor Practice Violations

In 2022, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Time to Care Act of 2022 (the “Act”), setting up a paid family and medical leave program for Maryland employees. Through Family and Medical Leave Insurance (“FAMLI”), eligible Maryland employees may receive up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for the various reasons detailed below. FAMLI will be funded by both employer and employee contributions. Though eligible employees are not able to draw from the fund until January 1, 2026, required contributions are currently scheduled to begin on October 1, 2024. Therefore, Maryland employers should begin planning for implementation of the program and ensure that employees have advance notice of the upcoming deductions from their wages related to FAMLI.Continue Reading Maryland Paid Family Leave Employer Contributions Begin This Year – What Employers Need to Know and Expect

As we previously reported here in March 2020, the implementation of remote work policies heightens the risk of misappropriation of trade secrets in remote work environments and could require businesses to take additional steps to ensure the security of their trade secrets and confidential information. In the last few years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has charged several individuals with insider trading after they misappropriated material, nonpublic information obtained as a result of their remote work environment.[1] Most recently, a man was charged with insider trading after misappropriating trade secrets he obtained by listening to his wife’s[2] business calls while the two worked from home.Continue Reading Lesson Learned: Man Charged with Insider Trading After Misappropriating Information from Wife’s Work-From-Home Calls

Starting July 1, 2024, California employers across all industries must have a written Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (“WVPP”) in place. As previously reported, the recently enacted SB 553 established this new requirement, along with mandatory employee training, initial and periodic workplace violence hazard inspections, and maintenance of a violent incident log and other related records. On March 18, 2024, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”), the agency responsible for enforcing the new law’s requirements, announced the creation of its Cal/OSHA Workplace Violence Prevention Guidance and Resources webpage. The webpage contains guidance and educational materials on the new law and workplace violence prevention, a model WVPP, fact sheets, and other resources for employers and employees. Continue Reading Cal/OSHA Publishes Long-Awaited Guidance and Model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan

Tax season is here. As a result, many companies may be seeking to claim the increased tax credits and deductions available under the Inflation Reduction Act (the “IRA”). As we discussed in previous posts you can read here and here, many of the IRA’s tax credits and deductions for various clean energy projects are available only to taxpayers whose projects complied with nuanced and complex prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements (the “PWA Requirements”). These requirements must be met before a taxpayer files a return claiming credits and deductions under the IRA.Continue Reading Claiming Inflation Reduction Act Tax Credits and Deductions on Your 2024 Return? Make Sure You Complied with the Prevailing Wage and Apprenticeship Requirements

On February 12, 2024, the Ninth Circuit in Johnson v. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, 93 F.4th 459 (9th Cir. 2024) vacated a district court’s dismissal of a former employee’s nonindividual PAGA claims and remanded the nonindividual claims to allow the district court to apply California law as interpreted in Adolph v. Uber Techs., Inc., 14 Cal. 5th 1104 (2023) (“Adolph”).Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Applies Adolph, Vacating Lower Court’s Dismissal of Employee’s Nonindividual PAGA Claims

Beginning on March 12, 2024, a new social media privacy law for employees and job applicants goes into effect in New York. The new law will amend the New York Labor Law (the “NYLL”) to restrict most employers from accessing the personal social media accounts of employees and job applicants. The new restrictions were approved when Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law two bills, Assembly Bill 836 (A836) and Senate Bill 2518A (S2518A), on September 14, 2023.Continue Reading Safe for Work? New Social Media Privacy Law Affecting New York Employers Goes into Effect on March 12

Employers who meet certain size and industry requirements have until March 2, 2024 to electronically submit occupational injury and illness data from their Form 300A Annual Summary for 2023 to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). In addition, a Final Rule issued last July requires employers with establishments with 100 or more employees in certain “high-hazard industries” to also submit information from their Form 300 Log and Form 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report by March 2. Additional information outlining the submission process and qualifying employers is detailed below.Continue Reading Last Call for Employers to Submit OSHA Form 300A Data

In Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. v. Ainslie, No. 162, 2023, 2024 WL 315193 (Del. Jan. 29, 2024), the Delaware Supreme Court held enforceable a “forfeiture for competition” provision in a limited partnership agreement, upholding “the freedom of contract” and enforcing “as a matter of fundamental public policy the voluntary agreements of sophisticated parties.” Given Delaware’s recent shift from its typically non-compete friendly stance, the Delaware Supreme Court’s ruling is beneficial for employers.Continue Reading Delaware Supreme Court Enforces Forfeiture for Competition Provision in Partnership Agreement

In a landmark unanimous ruling late last week, Murray v. UBS Securities, LLC, et al. 601 U. S. ____ (2024), the U.S. Supreme Court held that whistleblowers do not need to prove their employer acted with “retaliatory intent” to be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Instead, all whistleblower plaintiffs need to prove is that their protected activity was a “contributing factor” in the employer’s unfavorable personnel action. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Endorses Low Burden of Proof for Whistleblowers