Delaware Employment Law Blog
Recent Blog Posts
- An Update on Delaware’s Anti-Harassment Legislation As we should all be aware, in July 2018, the Delaware General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, House Bill 360 (HB360), which formalized the well-established fact that sexual harassment is unlawful under Delaware state law. Here’s what we know about enforcement, six months later.
By way of refresher, HB360 is comprised of three elements. First, it codifies the definition of sexual harassment, and the pre-existing legal defenses to sexual harassment, including the federal Faragher-Ellerth defense, which says that an... More
- Internal Investigations: Get It Right or Pay the Price It will come as no surprise to most of our readers that, in the 12 to 14 months following the advent of the #MeToo movement, we have seen a marked uptick in the request for advice and assistance in the conduct of sexual harassment investigations. Below are some thoughts to keep in mind when approaching this issue, and when to bring in the professionals.
What’s Different Now?
We all know that, especially in light of the current climate, sexual harassment allegations must... More
- Know Your Neighbors: A Gentle Reminder to Multi-State Employers While Delaware does not have laws that pertain to paid sick leave, two of our neighbors have recently enacted their own laws on this subject. Maryland and New Jersey have both created new sick leave policies affecting most employees who work in their states.
New Jersey’s new law just went into effect on October 29, 2018. Most employees are covered by the new rules. Exceptions include people working in the construction industry with a collective bargaining agreement, per diem health... More
- We’re Not Done Yet! FLSA2018-19 The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) have been busy bees! The newest opinion letter, written by Acting Administrator Bryan L. Jarrett, provides insight into how to compensate employees who take numerous FMLA-protected breaks throughout the day (FLSA2018-19).
FLSA2018-19 was directed to an employer attempting to determine if a non-exempt employee, who must take extra 15-minute rest breaks as required by their health care provider and covered under FMLA, should be compensated for those breaks under FLSA.
Jarrett clarifies that... More
- Wage and Hour Update: New Opinion Letters The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) resumed their practice of issuing opinion letters in 2017. Since then, they have issued several, including one last spring that pertained to paid travel time when attending a conference or other work-related matter (FLSA2018-18).
Opinion letters are the WHD’s way of communicating clarification on certain topics pertaining to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The practice of writing opinion letters had been abandoned between... More
- EEOC Sees Uptick in Sexual Harassment Charges, Lawsuits Filed in 2018 As the #MeToo movement reaches its first anniversary this year, we have been reflecting on what a dynamic year it has been for employment law. It’s almost hard to believe that it has only been one year since the earth-shattering allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public, catalyzing the movement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the biggest effects of the #MeToo movement has been an increase in the number of sexual harassment charges and lawsuits filed in 2018. A similar swell... More
- Local Case of Note: DDOL Wins Summary Judgment The Case
The Third Circuit recently had the opportunity to rule on a case brought against the Delaware Department of Labor’s Office of Anti-Discrimination (“OAD”), by its former Acting Administrator. The OAD was awarded summary judgment, and the Third Circuit confirmed the award, holding that even accepting all of the employee’s allegations as true, there was no legal basis to conclude that OAD had violated the federal Equal Pay Act.
Trina Gumbs began working at the DDOL in 1996 as an administrative... More
- Paid Leave 2.0: Why Some Companies are Paying Their Workers to Quit Have you ever started a job and realized that it was not what you thought it would be? Or have you ever hired someone who seemed like a perfect fit in the interview and then was a total dud when they were on the job? Most of us have. But in a novel approach, some companies have taken charge and started to pay their employees to quit.
New employees at Zappos are offered one month’s salary in the first three months of... More
- McDonald’s says #MeToo The news has primarily focused on the effects of the #MeToo movement in high-profile industries. The numerous falls from grace of once-prominent men (and occasionally women) in politics, comedy, and film have percolated throughout news cycles for the last twelve months. Often, the women reporting the harassment or assault had their careers stunted or completely derailed by their harassers, typically (but not universally) men who were in a position of power. But on September 18 a group of women who... More
- New York Sexual Harassment Guidelines New York State released final, state-wide Sexual Harassment Guidelines on October 1. Employers must adopt the model policy—or publish their own that complies with the model—on or before October 9, 2018.
While these new guidelines only affect employers with operations in New York, Delaware employers should take note. Delaware passed an amendment to the Discrimination in Employment Act this year, which requires mandatory training and notices specific to sexual harassment. The Delaware Department of Labor has indicated, informally, that it will... More