News

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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Limits to Enhanced Damages under Maryland’s Wage Law: Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc. (2014)

Maryland employers are particularly wary of employee wage claims because Maryland’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) provides for enhanced damages (i.e., three times the amount of withheld wages) and attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff in certain situations. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals has recently placed restrictions on a plaintiff’s right to enhanced…

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Contractual Language that can Inadvertently Destroy “At-Will” Employment: Spacesaver Sys., Inc. v. Adam (2014)

Recently, the Maryland Court of Appeals discussed a new restraint on the State’s “at-will” employment doctrine, one that is triggered by language commonly found in employment agreements.  Specifically, the Court held that an employment contract clause providing that the employee could be terminated “for-cause,” negates the presumption of at-will employment, thereby precluding an employer from…

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Shorts Season: Should your company implement a dress code?

The employment law attorneys at Bowie & Jensen explain personnel policies in relation to dress codes. As the end of what has been a brutal winter nears, Marylanders are ready to welcome milder weather by trading corduroys for khakis and sweaters for polo shirts. Many employers have implemented or may consider implementing office dress codes…

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Maryland Employment Law: Checking References

Employment law can be complicated, and understanding laws between candidates and potential employers requires diligent research and preparation. Here, the Maryland employment law attorneys at Bowie & Jensen explain what hiring managers can and cannot ask a job candidate’s references, and how these laws can impact employment. Recent Changes in Maryland Employment Law Until several…

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The ABC's of Restrictive Covenants on Employees

Many misconceptions exist about the efficacy and need for non-disclosure, non-competition, and non-solicitation agreements, so it is important to keep a few simple facts in mind. A. The Law Prohibits Disclosing Confidential Information Many employers believe they must require employees to sign contracts prohibiting the disclosure or use of the employers’ confidential information and trade…

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What's in a Name? Independent Contractors v. Employees

Classifying or misclassifying someone as an employee or an independent contractor can have significant effects for employers. In an examination of the use of titles, Shakespeare famously wrote “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”  Shakespeare clearly did not consider employment law when he wrote that metaphor because…

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Sexual Harassment: Always A Touchy Situation In The Workplace

Statistics compiled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, other administrative agencies, and the courts indicate that allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace are declining. However, statistics don’t always represent the full picture. While claims may be down, incidents of sexual harassment could very well still be increasing.  That means employers must remain vigilant and…

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NLRB Advice Memorandum Clarifies Law Regarding Employers’ Ability To Prohibit Employees From Disclosing Information About Misconduct Investigations

Employers investigating complaints or incidents of employee misconduct—such as sexual harassment in the workplace—have typically admonished employees to refrain from disclosing information about ongoing investigations.  Employers do so to protect the integrity of the investigation, the reputation of the accused employees, and the employees who lodge complaints or provide information from becoming targets for retaliation.

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