Today we continue with our Year in Review segment, which looks at the key labor & employment law developments from 2016 in New York, the DC Metro Area, Massachusetts, and California, while offering our thoughts about 2017.  Today we turn to the DC Metro Area.  In addition, please join us in NYC on April 6, 2017 for Mintz Levin’s Third Annual Employment Law Summit as we address some of the key labor & employment issues impacting employers in 2017.  Register here

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The District of Columbia, Maryland (including Montgomery County) witnessed an active 2016 with respect to new and amended workplace laws that impose additional responsibilities on employers, and expand employee rights and avenues of enforcement.  Employers should be aware of these new requirements and take immediate action to comply with them.  We highlight below the most significant updates in both D.C. and Maryland; there were no changes or additions of significance in Virginia.

Continue Reading 2016 DC Metro Area Employment Law Year In Review

On October 6, 2015, the D.C. Council introduced the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2014.  If enacted, the proposed law will allow employees in D.C. to take up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave in a 12-month period, and as reported in the The Washington Post, D.C. “would become the most generous place in the country for a worker to take time off after giving birth or to care for a dying parent[.]”   The law would also set up a system, paid into by employers, under which employees would be able to file a claim for paid family and medical leave benefits, similar to the way individuals file claims for unemployment benefits.

Continue Reading D.C. Council Introduces Legislation That Would Give D.C. Employees Up to 16 Weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave

The D.C. Mayor’s office recently issued employee pay notices templates that employers may use to satisfy the pay notice requirements under D.C.’s new Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act.  The Act, which took effect on February 26, 2015, requires employers, among other things, to provide written pay notices to all new employees at the time of hire, and to existing employees by May 27, 2015.  The Department of Employment Services’ website has now made available a template for general employers and a template for temporary staffing firms.  Employers should now move forward with providing notices to all new and existing employees, but they need only do so in English and not in the employee’s primary language unless and until the Mayor’s office releases a template in that language.

On March 3, 2015, the D.C. Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 became effective.  The Act provides increased protections for pregnant workers and requires employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform job functions are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, a related medical condition, or breastfeeding.  The Act, which applies to all D.C. employers, contains several important components, which are briefly described below.

Continue Reading D.C.’s New Law Protecting Pregnant Workers Is Now Effective

The D.C. Council has passed emergency legislation to address certain ambiguities in and other issues raised by D.C.’s Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act, which takes effect on February 26, 2015.  As we noted last month, the Act’s language as previously written was unclear on whether exempt employees were subject to the Act’s heightened recordkeeping requirements.  The emergency legislation directly addresses this ambiguity, and makes clear that employers are not required to record the “precise time worked” for exempt employees.  In addition, the emergency resolution clarifies that employers are not required to pay “bona fide administrative, executive, and professional” employees at least twice per month, but rather must pay such employees at least once per month.

Continue Reading Emergency Legislation to DC’s Wage Theft Law Clarifies That Exempt Employees Are Not Subject to Heightened Recordkeeping Requirements

Last October, we reported on DC’s soon-to-be-enacted DC Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act. This Act, which amends several existing DC wage and hour laws, includes new notice requirements and retaliation protections, increases employer liability for wage and hour violations and introduces a new administrative hearing process — all changes that employers with DC-based employees need to be aware of.

Continue Reading DC’s New Wage Theft Law Imposes Additional Notice, Posting, and Recordkeeping Requirements on Employers

On January 14, 2015, Judge Richard J. Leon of the DC Federal District Court issued another favorable opinion for home care employers by vacating a Department of Labor regulation that would have narrowed the definition of “companionship services.” The decision comes on the heels of another decision by Judge Leon last month in which he vacated another proposed regulation that would have prevented third-party home agencies from applying the companionship exemption to its employees.

Continue Reading The Companionship Exemption Remains: DC District Court’s Most Recent Decision in Home Care Association of America v. Weil Marks Second Victory for Home Care Employers; DOL Appeals

Written by Tyrone P. Thomas (follow Tyrone on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tyronepthomas)

If you are a D.C. employer, temporary staffing agency, contractor, or subcontractor, you have yet another wage and hour law to contend with: The Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014. Among other things, the law introduces new penalties for failure to pay earned wages and exposes to liability related entities that have no relationship to the employee.  Here are the highlights:

Continue Reading Fail to Pay Wages in D.C. and Get Sued with Some of Your Closest Friends (and Contractors)

Written by David Barmak

The District of Columbia is on the verge of joining the 13 other states (and numerous cities and counties throughout the country) that have enacted “Ban the Box” laws prohibiting or limiting an employer from asking job applicant’s about their criminal record.

Continue Reading D.C. the Latest Jurisdiction to Ban the Box

Written by Brian Dunphy

A recent decision from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most important courts in the nation, reaffirmed that a company’s internal investigations—if structured properly—are protected from disclosure in litigation by the attorney-client privilege. The Court’s decision In re: Kellogg, Brown, and Root, Inc. has significant practical application, especially for companies operating in heavily regulated environments that may be required to conduct internal investigations, and it offers a roadmap for structuring an internal investigation to protect the privilege.

Continue Reading A Recent D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Calms Employer Fears that Internal Investigations May Not Be Privileged and Lays Out Roadmap to Protect Attorney-Client Privilege