Maryland Workplace Transgender Bias Ban

On May 15, 2014, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity.  The law, known as the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, applies to places of employment, and also to public accommodations, housing, and credit applications.  The law will take effect on October 1, 2014, and will… More

Harassment by Third Party Just as Serious as Harassment by Employees

Think you are off the hook because your employee is complaining that a vendor or a client harassed her?  Think again.  The Fourth Circuit (covering Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia)  recently ruled in Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp. (4th Cir. 2014) that employers are liable for a third party’s harassment of its… More

Is Being at the Office an Essential Function? Maybe Not

When an employee requested to work from home full-time to accommodate her disabling irritable bowel syndrome under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), her employer refused, stating that the company stressed in-person teamwork. The district court agreed with the employer and found that the employee’s accommodation request was not reasonable.   The Court of Appeals, however,… More

Clipper’s Owner Controversy Highlights Importance of Investigation

UPDATED When professional basketball team owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape making racist remarks about African Americans, the NBA commissioner followed the correct procedure.  He conducted a timely investigation and implemented a punishment he thought appropriate to the violation —a lifetime ban from the game and $2.5 million dollar fine.  While you may or… More

Updated COBRA Notices

The Department of Labor (DOL) just updated its COBRA general notice and COBRA election notice to include information about coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA or ObamaCare) Health Insurance Marketplace. The model general notice and model election notice are available on the DOL website at