Archive for September 2014

New Delaware Law Eases Access to E-mail After Death

Information technology companies sometimes hinder estate executors and trustees from gaining access to a deceased person’s digital records and assets, as interpretations of existing law apparently lag behind innovations in technology. In a poignant example of a digital terms-of-service agreement preventing a family’s access to the records of a deceased loved one, Yahoo! in 2004…

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Recent Employment Law Developments Offer a Mixed Bag for Maryland Employers

Below are some of the latest developments in employment law affecting federal and state contractors. Limits to enhanced damages under Maryland’s wage law  A terminated employee’s attempt to expand eligibility for enhanced damages under Maryland’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) was rejected by the Maryland Court of Appeals. The law provides that a court…

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Firing Offenses: How Case Law Can Fill the Gap in Employment Provisions

The purpose of an employment agreement is to agree upon the terms and conditions of employment in advance – perhaps most important among them being how to end it in the event the relationship deteriorates. Although the goal of an employment contract is to have clearly annunciated expectations for performance on both sides of the…

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No Simple Sale: Check Export Regulations Before Shipping Abroad

In light of our proximity to so many defense contractors and the federal government, we thought it would be helpful to review some guidelines for exportation of defense-related and hi-tech goods.  An export is an item sent from the United States to a foreign destination. Most exports from the U.S. do not require any special…

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What Flows Down May Come Up – As Surprises in the Subcontract

Read the fine print, sure. But don’t forget to review the pass-through or conduit clauses, referred to as “flow-down” provisions, that typically appear in construction subcontracts. Flow-down provisions create additional contractual obligations for subcontractors, even if such provisions are not actually stated in the subcontract. Instead, they are just generally referred to as a list…

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Baltimore City Adopts “Ban the Box”

Earlier this year, the City of Baltimore passed “ban the box” legislation restricting private employers from inquiring into the criminal history of job applicants (the “box” refers to the criminal history check-box on employment applications).  The new law forbids employers from making inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal history before making a conditional offer of…

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Maryland’s New Parental Leave Law Takes Effect October 1

Starting October 1, 2014, small employers in Maryland (those employing 15-49 employees) will be required to provide employees with unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child under the Maryland Parental Leave Act (“MPLA”).  Pursuant to the MPLA, eligible employees are entitled to six workweeks of unpaid parental leave during any 12-month period…

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Recovering from Employee Theft through Fidelity Insurance

Recent trends show an increase in employee theft and fraud over the past few years, with potentially devastating consequences.  According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, U.S. organizations lose about 7% of annual revenues to fraud.  Moreover, the median occupational fraud loss is $175,000, and more than 1 in 4 frauds involves losses of…

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State Contractors: Joint Liability under Maryland’s Prevailing Wage Law

Maryland’s Prevailing Wage Law, governs, among other things, an employee’s rate of pay, working hours, and other employer obligations on construction projects for which the state expends more than $500,000, and when state public funds cover 50% or more of the construction expenses. For construction projects covered by this law, all contractors and subcontractors on…

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Federal Contractors: ACA Mandated Group Health Plan Coverage May Not Qualify as Fringe Benefits under Service Contract Act

The Employer Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires large employers (i.e., those employing at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees) to offer group health plan coverage to their full-time employees.  As many federal contractors know, the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (the “Service Contract Act” or “SCA”) requires federal contractors to…

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