Delaware News & Analysis

  • Adventures in cybersecurity: How to respond when workers are duped by cyberattackers

    One of the most exciting aspects of employment law is the inexhaustible list of ways that employees find to get themselves—and their employers—into trouble. Recently, we've observed an uptick in electronic security breaches, which makes the close of 2018 a perfect time to refresh ourselves on the "do's" and "don'ts" of cybersecurity.

  • Happy holidays, with a helping of the flu bug

    The 2017-18 flu season was unusually bad, and many employers found themselves stuck between meeting their staffing needs and avoiding the spread of a virulent flu strain. Although the 2018-19 cold and flu season is forecast to be less brutal, you should take this opportunity to revisit your pandemic preparedness. Here are some thoughts on preventing and preparing for the next big outbreak.

  • Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

    When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.

  • Wrap up 2018 with new or revised handbook

    This year has brought an unusual number of changes in employment law. Various federal agencies got into the groove of aggressively undoing a lot of requirements their predecessors in the Obama administration had put into place. In addition, there has been an increasing number of employment-related requirements from state and local governments.

  • Don't give employees a legal claim for the holidays

    It's the holiday season again. The holidays can be a great time to foster a sense of community and a positive corporate culture. However, don't let down your guard on issues that carry potential liability.

  • Agency Action

    DOL announces record amount in recovered wages. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced in October that its Wage and Hour Division (WHD) had recovered a record $304 million in wages owed to workers in fiscal year (FY) 2018. The WHD also announced it set a new record for compliance assistance events in FY 2018, holding 3,643 educational outreach events to help employers understand their responsibilities under the law. The DOL also announced an extension of the voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is a compliance initiative aimed at helping workers receive more back wages due in an expedited manner.   

  • Workplace Trends

    Research shows slow growth for middlewage jobs. A study from CareerBuilder shows that high- and low-wage job growth is overshadowing the increase in middle-wage jobs. According to the study, the United States is expected to add 8,310,003 jobs from 2018 to 2023, with just one-fourth of them in the middle-wage category. Factored into the total job growth is an expected loss of 369,879 jobs over the same period, with middle-wage occupations experiencing the majority of the decline. The research shows that a total of 121 occupations will experience a decline in jobs between 2018 and 2023, and 75 of them are middle-wage jobs. High- and low-wage occupations are expected to have the highest net job growth from 2018 to 2023 at 5.71% and 5.69%, respectively. Middle-wage employment will grow at 3.83%. STEM-related occupations will continue to dominate fast-growing occupations, according to the research.

  • Employee with cancer gets disability discrimination claim reinstated

    Like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B requires covered employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified handicapped individuals, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship on their business. A block leave of absence is often a reasonable accommodation. However, it's well settled that an employer is not required to provide an employee an indefinite leave of absence as an accommodation. In other words, you are entitled to an anticipated return-to-work date from an employee who requests a block leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. Although it may initially seem clear that an employee is requesting an indefinite leave, a recent case highlights just how careful you must be when you evaluate whether to continue employing an employee on a leave of absence related to a disability.

  • An update on Delaware's antiharassment legislation

    As all Delaware employers should be aware, the Delaware General Assembly passed and the governor signed House Bill (HB) 360 in July 2018, formalizing the well-established fact that sexual harassment is unlawful under state law. Here's what we know about the enforcement of HB 360 six months later.

  • 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 since the advent of the #MeToo movement, we have seen a marked uptick in requests for advice about and assistance in conducting sexual harassment investigations. Below are some thoughts to keep in mind when you approach this issue on your own—and when to bring in the professionals.