Labor & Employment

BLOG: Employers: A Briefing on Federal Agencies' Responses to COVID-19

Federal, state, and local governments are working around the clock to implement various measures in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, a number of federal agencies and departments are also taking action in response to the outbreak. For employers across the nation, it is undeniably an unstable and unclear time, with no concrete signs of when there will be a sense of normalcy again. However, in the meantime, we compiled a list of some of the agencies with brief descriptions of their issued guidance and/or responses for employers to take note of.
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BLOG: "Constructive Demotion" Claim Under Title VII Gains Traction in 4th Circuit District Courts

March 11, 2020
By Paul W. Mengel III
While the viability of a claim of "constructive demotion" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) has yet to be determined by the Fourth Circuit, a series of cases in district courts within the Circuit suggest that such might not be the case for long. In one such recent case, Judge Conrad of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia denied a defendant truck driver training company's motion to dismiss a constructive demotion claim brought by a female instructor. Diana Salmons, the plaintiff in Salmons v. Commercial Driver Services, Inc., Case No. 7:19-cv-00532, claimed she was subjected to a pervasive pattern of sexual harassment at the hands of her male counterparts and, as a result, she brought a five-count complaint alleging sexual harassment, hostile work environment, discriminatory and retaliatory constructive demotion and constructive discharge, and sex-based wage discrimination, in violation of Title VII. Employers should be aware of the increased number of constructive demotion cases and the courts' rulings on these matters, as well as conduct regular sexual harassment training to prevent this sort of behavior from occurring in the workplace.
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BLOG: The Service Contract Right of First Refusal Rules Continue to Fall Away

February 26, 2020
By Jason A. Blindauer
On January 31, 2020, the Federal Register announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the service contractor "right of first refusal" regulations at 29 C.F.R. Part 9. This was done to implement the President's October 31, 2019 revocation of the 2009 Executive Order No. 13,495, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts (Nondisplacement Rules). DOL's move was primarily administrative in nature, given that the President's revocation order commanded Executive Agencies to stop enforcing the rules.
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BLOG: Federal "Ban-the-Box" Law: The Fair Chance Act to Limit Criminal Background Inquiries by Federal Contractors

February 7, 2020
By Sara Nasseri
On December 17, 2019, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, which was subsequently signed by the President. As part of the NDAA, the government enacted the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 (the Fair Chance Act or Act), which prohibits federal agencies and federal contractors from requesting criminal background information from job applicants prior to extending an offer, with a few exceptions. The Fair Chance Act goes into effect on December 20, 2021.
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BLOG: The HIPAApotomas in the Room: Signs You May Be a Covered Entity Under This Hefty Healthcare Law

February 3, 2020
By Sarah L. Nash
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) establishes certain minimum requirements for the protection of patient health information. So, for example, restrictions on how your doctor keeps electronically stored medical records, and the specific circumstances under which they can disclose that information to a third party, are governed by HIPAA. Unknown to many businesses, however, are HIPAA requirements that often extend beyond a doctor's office, and can hold a number of other entities accountable (including imposing stiff monetary penalties) for how they keep and process medical information.
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