Most Maryland Employers are Now Required to Provide PAID Leave

By Scott A. Mirsky As of earlier this year, all Maryland employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide paid sick and safe leave to their employees.  In a nutshell, under the recently enacted Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (“Act”) employers must provide one hour of sick and safe leave for every thirty hours that an employee works.[1]  Under the new Act, earned sick and safe leave may be used for the following:…
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Are you Prepared for the Minimum Wage Increase in Montgomery County?

By Scott A. Mirsky The road to a $15/per hour minimum wage in Montgomery County starts on July 1, 2018.   While employers have several more years before they must pay employees $15/per hour as I wrote in a recent blog post, Minimum Wage Increases are Coming to Montgomery County, the gradual journey towards $15/per hour begins soon. On July 1st of this year, minimum wage in Montgomery County will rise to: $12.25, for employers with 51…
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Top 5 Effects of the New Tax Law on Family Law Cases, Part 1 – Alimony Eliminated

By David J. Marquardt Alimony, sometimes called spousal support, is often one of the more unpredictable outcomes in any divorce case. As a result, disagreements over the amount and duration of alimony awards can lead divorcing parties to incur substantial expenses in an effort to either come to an agreement or argue an alimony case in court. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017, will have a significant impact on…
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Minimum Wage Increases are Coming to Montgomery County

By Scott A. Mirsky Montgomery County businesses need to start preparing for the gradual increase of the minimum wage as it heads towards $15 per hour. After some compromising between lawmakers and the County Executive, the deadline for businesses to comply with the $15 per hour requirement will vary depending upon the number of employees who are employed by the business, as follows: July 1, 2021, for employers with 51 or more employees July 1, 2023,…
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Sexual Harassment Claims: Beyond the Rich and Famous

In the last few months, allegations of sexual harassment against famous entertainers and high-profile politicians have flooded the news headlines.   However, sexual harassment in the workplace is not limited to Hollywood and “inside the beltway” politicians.  In the wake of these recent claims of sexual harassment, now is an appropriate time for all employers (big and small) to reflect on their own workplace culture and policies to make sure that the work environment is free…
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Revisited a Year Later: The Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law Turns One

A year ago, Montgomery County became one of the first counties in the nation to require that employers provide employees with paid sick leave. In general, under the Montgomery County Earned Sick and Safe Leave Law employees must be allowed to earn a minimum of 56 hours of paid sick and safe leave each year.  If the employer has few than five employees, then the employee must be allowed to earn at least 32 hours…
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Three Items to Check when Updating an Employee Manual

Every 12 months it is a good idea for employers to review their Employee Manual to make sure that their employment policies are up to date, both with the employer’s current protocols and with any changes in the laws in the various jurisdictions where they do business. Here are three items to check when reviewing an Employee Manual. First, an Employee Manual should make clear that all employees are at-will employees, which means that either…
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Freelancers are taking over the workplace!

According to one recent 2016 study, 55 million Americans are working as freelancers (which is 35% of the US Workforce). The use of freelancers by businesses raises all sorts of legal questions, but most significantly is the issue of worker misclassification.  Businesses routinely classify freelancers as independent contractors, not employees.  Is this correct?  It depends on a variety of factors.  In general, if the freelancer is truly independent (meaning that the business does not control…
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Minimum Wage in Montgomery County Set to Increase Again

While is seems like the minimum wage in Montgomery County, Maryland was just increased to $10.75, employers are now less than 90 days away from the next increase. On July 1, 2017, the minimum wage will rise to $11.50 per hour.   While this increase is not a surprise, as the legislation approving this lift in the minimum wage rate was passed several years ago, the fact remains that Montgomery County will have the highest minimum…
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Employers Need To Be Aware Of Potential Retaliation Claims

Most employers are well aware that they cannot make employment decisions based upon a person’s race, disability, sex, age, national origin, religion and other classes protected under federal, state or local law. However, many employers seem to run afoul of the employment discrimination laws not because they engage in discriminatory conduct based upon a person’s membership in a protected class, but rather by retaliating against the individual for raising a possible discrimination issue.  In fact,…
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