January 2018 E-Update


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DOL Rescinds Restrictive Intern Test and Adopts Federal Courts’ Version

The Department of Labor has announced that it will no longer apply its restrictive test for internship status, and instead will apply the more flexible “primary beneficiary” test adopted by multiple federal appellate courts.  For more, click here.

DOL and EEOC Annual Penalty Increases 

The Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have announced their annual penalty increases. Due to the passage of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, federal agencies must issue regulations annually to adjust for inflation the maximum civil penalties that they can impose. For more, click here.


Prince George’s County’s Newly Enacted Safe Leave Law Is Likely Preempted.

In December 2017, Prince George’s County passed a law requiring employers to provide paid domestic violence leave to employees, effective May 24, 2018. For more, click here.

Title VII Does Not Require Employer To Provide Reason for Firing Upon Termination. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit stated that, “Title VII does not impose a legal obligation to provide an employee an articulated basis for dismissal at the time of firing, and an employer is certainly not bound as a matter of law to whatever reasons might have been provided.”  For more, click here.

Employer Must Provide Reasons That Do, Not Could, Explain Pay Discrepancy Under the Equal Pay Act.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit joined the Third and Tenth Circuits in holding that an employer seeking to defend a claim under the Equal Pay Act must offer evidence that not just could, but actually does in fact, explain the pay discrepancy.  For more, click here.

Employer Need Not Completely Eliminate Religious Conflict. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit rejected the EEOC’s position that, under Title VII, an employer must provide an accommodation that completely eliminates any conflict between an employee’s religious needs and work requirements.  For more, click here.

TOP TIP: Complying With Maryland’s New Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick and safe leave (SSL) and those with under 15 employees to provide unpaid leave, is currently scheduled to take effect on February 11, 2018.  For more, click here.