Labor & Employment

Key Considerations for Government Contractors Facing a Government Shutdown

December 14, 2018
By Nichole D. Atallah and Jacqueline K. Unger
A government shutdown is looming once again. Congress has already passed five of the twelve FY 2019 funding bills, which fund 70% of the government through September 2019, through two vehicles. H.R. 6157 includes funding for the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies. H.R. 5895 provides funding for the Departments of Energy, the Interior (Bureau of Reclamation only), Veterans Affairs, and related and independent agencies, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects, and the legislative branch. However, the remaining departments and agencies have yet to be funded for FY 2019, leading to a potential partial government shutdown as of December 21st if another Continuing Resolution or funding measures are not passed.
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Title VII's Protections Don't Extend That Far—4th Circuit Says Review and Copying of Confidential Files Not Protected Activity

December 4, 2018
By Paul W. Mengel III
Catherine Netter, a 19-year employee of the Guilford County, N.C., Sheriff's Office, believed a disciplinary sanction she received in 2014, which impeded her ability to be promoted, was motivated by discrimination. Netter, who is African-American and Muslim, felt that other similarly situated officers who were neither African-American nor Muslim had not been disciplined in a similar manner, so she filed complaints with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission ("EEOC") and the Guilford County Human Resources Department.
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Recent Maryland Case Is a Reminder to Employers to Review the Language of Their Offer Letters, Employment Contracts, and Employee Manuals

November 14, 2018
By Matthew E. Feinberg
The vast majority of states are at-will employment states, which means that an employer may terminate an employee for a good reason, a bad reason, or any reason at all, so long as the basis for termination does not violate a statute or public policy of the state. In Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and a number of other states, an employment relationship is strongly presumed to be at-will. Thus, even when the employee signed an employment contract, so long as that agreement did not establish a specific period of employment or limit the employer's ability to terminate the employee, the at-will employment doctrine provides substantial protection to employers when employees attempt to challenge their termination in subsequent litigation.
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Seller Beware: 5 Tips to Keep Bad Employment Practices from Holding Up a Sale

November 13, 2018
By Sarah L. Nash
Lawsuits and existing labor disputes are obvious impediments to the sale of your business. But short of these red flags, any number of ill-advised practices may slow down or even stop an acquisition from proceeding. Do not enter into serious talks about the sale of your company without first identifying and correcting poor employment practices. Follow these tips to avoid future headaches.
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NLRB Proposes Rule to Limit Joint Employer Test: Small Businesses Beware

September 18, 2018
By Sarah L. Nash
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. The National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") has taken this proverb to heart when it comes to implementing a new test for what it means to be a "joint employer" under the National Labor Relations Act. Following a failed attempt to change the standard through case law, the NLRB is now attempting to revise it by issuing a proposed rule.
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