The NLRB Slaps Down Negativity Ban

Ever wish you could tell employees to stop being so negative all the time?  A Michigan employer learned the hard way that this type of ban can get you in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board).  The Board found unlawful a policy that employees could not “make negative comments… More

Collusion on No-Poaching May Not Be OK

We often encourage companies to have employees sign non-compete and non-solicitation agreements to protect the employer from unfair competition by former employees. Executives at Google, Apple, Adobe, and Intel took this one step further, however, and proactively agreed amongst themselves not to poach employees from each other’s companies.  End result– salaries were purportedly artificially suppressed… More

Proper Documentation Overcomes Speculative Retaliation Claim

A deaf employee was fired because of offensive behavior.  The employee sued claiming the termination was retaliation for his complaints about the quality of his Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation. Pearlman v. Pritzker (4th Cir. 2014).   The employer was able to successfully defend itself (At summary judgment!! Meaning it avoided the expense of a… More

Obama Signs Equal Pay Executive Order for Federal Contractors

President Obama recently made two strategic moves designed to help close the pay gap between male and female federal contractors. First, he signed an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. This ban is similiar to the protection offered to employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Second,… More

Temporary Disability May Still Qualify for Protection Under the ADA

Long gone are the days of automatically challenging whether an employee truly is “disabled.”  As further proof of this maxim, in Summers v. Altarum Institute Corp. the Fourth Circuit (covering Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina) recently found in favor of an employee who’s employment was terminated when her temporary injury prevented her from… More

Clear Communication May Limit FMLA and ADA Liability

When does open heart surgery not qualify for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) protection?  As demonstrated by the recent case Ahmed v. The Salvation Army, perhaps when the employee repeatedly fails to submit proper paperwork.  The employee in this case told her Maryland-based employer she would need leave for… More