Management's Workplace Lawyers

February 2017 E-Update

February 28, 2017

Universal Schedule Change Was Not Unlawful FMLA Interference

An employer’s decision to implement a universal rotating shift schedule while an employee was out on Family and Medical Leave Act Leave did not constitute unlawful interference with the employee’s FMLA rights, even though the employee was the one most impacted by the change, according to a Maryland federal court.

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Federal Contractors Required to Provide Privacy Training

A new final rule requires federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts involving personally identifiable information (PII) or any “system of records” (that allows for retrieval of information by an individual’s name or other personally identifiable characteristic) to provide privacy training to employees who handle or have access to such information.

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Unlawful Interrogations Under the National Labor Relations Act

A recent case reminds employers of the importance of complying with the strict requirements regarding employee interviews in the context of defending against an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge. 

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Employee Requesting Religious Accommodation Must Still Follow Leave Policy

Employees eligible for leave as a religious accommodation are still required to comply with company policies governing leave requests, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (which covers Md., Va., W.Va., N.C. and S.C.) recently held. 

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Individual Managers May Be Liable Under Section 1981

Individual managers should be aware that they may be held personally liable for race discrimination under Section 1981, as a recent case illustrates.

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Employer Avoided Liability by Prompt Response to Harassment Complaint

Although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit confirmed that racially offensive conduct by co-workers does not need to be targeted at a specific employee in order to create a hostile work environment under Title VII, the Court nonetheless found that the employer was not liable for such conduct where it responded promptly and effectively to the harassment complaints.

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Updated Disability Self-Identification Form for Federal Contractors

The Office of Management and Budget has released an updated version of the “Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability” form that federal contractors and sub-contractors are required to use for applicants and employees. 

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Shifting Explanations Support Discrimination Claim

A Maryland federal case emphasizes the need for employers to be thorough and honest in offering reasons for an employee’s termination. 

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TOP TIP: Employer's Obligation to Seek More Information Regarding FMLA Request

Employers should be careful about automatically denying a request for leave to care for a family member under the Family and Medical Leave Act because the family member in question is apparently not a spouse, parent or child, as a recent case emphasizes.

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