The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has postponed indefinitely implementation of its employee rights notice-posting rule, which was scheduled to go into effect on April 30, 2012 (see our October 11, 2011 and January 23, 2012 Employment Law Alerts), pending the outcome of separate lawsuits challenging the rule brought before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (“D.C. Court”) and the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Those courts have issued conflicting decisions regarding the authority of the NLRB to issue the rule, and the NLRB’s action is in response to an injunction issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia prohibiting implementation of the rule pending the appeal before it of the D.C. Court’s decision. Also, the NLRB has indicated it intends to appeal the South Carolina decision. It is not certain when there will be final resolution of these cases.
The District of Columbia City Council recently enacted the Unemployment Anti-Discrimination Act of 2012, which is projected to go into effect on May 4, 2012. This law prohibits District of Columbia employers and employment agencies from refusing to consider or hire an applicant for employment because of the individual’s status as unemployed. In addition, employers and employment agencies are prohibited from publishing job vacancy advertisements or announcements that state or indicate (i) unemployed status disqualifies a person for the job or (ii) an employment agency will not consider or hire someone based on the person’s unemployed status. The law also prohibits retaliation against anyone who exercises any rights under the law.
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights is responsible for enforcing the law and may impose the following penalties: $1,000 per claimant for a first violation, $5,000 per claimant for a second violation, and $10,000 per claimant for each subsequent violation, with a maximum penalty of $20,000 per violation.
The Maryland General Assembly has passed, and the Governor is expected to sign, a bill prohibiting employers from requesting employees or job applicants to provide their login information (user name, password, etc.) for accessing a personal account or service (such as a personal email account or social media service – Facebook, etc.) through computers, smart phones, PDAs, tablets and other electronic communication devices. Employers are also prohibited from (i) failing or refusing to hire any applicant because the applicant refuses to provide such information or (ii) discharging, disciplining, or otherwise penalizing, or threatening to discharge, discipline or otherwise penalize, an employee who refuses to provide such information. Employees are prohibited from downloading unauthorized employer proprietary information or financial data to an employee’s personal web site, an internet web site, a web-based account, or a similar account. Once signed by the Governor, this law will go into effect on October 1, 2012.
The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group or the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work.
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