June 2023 E-Update
Generative AI in the Workplace – What Employers Need to Know
ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence tools are having a significant impact in the workplace – whether on administrative functions (like resume screening, applicant selection, employee evaluations, etc.) or production (like research, writing, and other content creation). These generative AI tools are already transforming the way that many employees – including higher-level white-collar workers – do work, or even the need for such workers. For more, click here.
Rap Music Can Create a Sexually Hostile Work Environment – for Both Women and Men
Even though both men and women were exposed to – and offended by – “sexually graphic, violently misogynistic” rap music, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that such music, played constantly and publicly throughout the warehouse, could constitute harassment based on sex. For more, click here.
Didn’t We Just Do This? Employers Must Update the Mandatory EEOC Poster Again. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released a revised “Know Your Rights” poster (dated June 27, 2023), now including reference to the new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. For more, click here.
Employers Might Have a Duty of Care to Protect Employees from Cybertheft. In an increasingly electronic world, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has found that an employer might owe employees a duty of care to protect their personal information from cybertheft. Although the decision was based on Georgia state law, we note that the legal principles for negligence claims are quite similar in other states, and courts in those states might find the Eleventh Circuit’s reasoning appealing. For more, click here.
Employers Must Protect Employees from Third-Party Harassment. A recent case reminds employers that they must take reasonable steps to protect employees from third-party harassment, including from patients with mental illness. For more, click here.
A Poor Performance Review Does Not Create a Hostile Work Environment. In a common-sense ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an employee’s hostile work environment (HWE) harassment claim that was based, in part, on a poor performance review. For more, click here.
What to Do With a Fired Employee’s Things? Throwing them out is not the correct answer, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. For more, click here.
Mid-Atlantic Employers – There Are Minimum Wage Increases in D.C. and Montgomery County (MD). Employers with employees in the District of Columbia and Montgomery County, Maryland should be aware that the minimum wage rate is increasing as of July 1, 2023. As discussed in our December 2022 E-Update, increases in Maryland, Howard County, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia took effect on January 1, 2023. In addition, under a new law, Maryland’s minimum wage will increase again for all employers, regardless of size, to $15.00 an hour effective January 1, 2024. For more, click here.
CMS Withdraws COVID Vaccine Requirement for Health Care Workers. Following the end of the COVID-19 national and public health emergencies earlier this year the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has now withdrawn its regulation requiring Medicaid and Medicare-certified healthcare providers to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all applicable staff. Although the withdrawal is not technically effective until August 4, 2023, CMS states that it will no longer enforce the regulation. For more, click here.
TOP TIP: Recreational Marijuana in Maryland
As most Marylanders probably know, on July 1, 2023 recreational marijuana use will become legal in Maryland. We have some tips for employers in navigating this new territory. For more, click here.