New Trend in Maternity Leave

pink baby showerHere’s a headline that caught our eye: “Donating vacation time to new moms is a trendy co-worker baby shower gift.” That’s right, according to Good Morning America, it is becoming more popular for employers to allow their employees to donate their paid time off to their pregnant coworkers to allow them to have a longer maternity leave. Continue reading

Fly Like an Eagle . . . Or Not

FA2Ahh, the luxury of flying. Getting to sit incredibly close to strangers, being cut off from your email, and having a delicious choice of broken cookies or bland pretzels to snack on. Bliss. Well now you can add sexual predators to that charming list of flight hazards. Continue reading

Sexual Harassment Training Now Mandated: An Update on the Passage of House Bill 360

On June 12, 2018 House Bill 360 (HB360) was substituted in the House by House Substitute 1(HS1). It was voted out of Committee on June 20 and the final bill was passed on July 1 by the General Assembly. The final bill that passed had an amendment that changed some of the wording, which we discuss below. This bill will take effect on January 1, 2019. In the meantime, we have broken down the most significant differences between the original bill and its substitute. Continue reading

Big Legislative Takeaways for Delaware

Saturday June 30 (and into the wee hours of Sunday July 1) saw the end of the fiscal year and with it came midnight and last minute (literally) deals in the Delaware General Assembly. Here were some of the biggest takeaways that will affect employment law: Continue reading

Woah, Baby! Pregnancy Discrimination Update

business babyRegular readers of this blog will know that we have written pretty extensively on Women in the Workplace and Pregnancy (First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Flex-Time and a Baby Carriage, The Maternal Profiling Debate Continues, to name a few). In 2008 we wrote about a new study that focused on trends in Pregnancy Discrimination. 10 years later we are still having problems. Continue reading

Women First, in the First State: But Is It Enough?

As we have been reporting for years, the Delaware General Assembly is highly active on employment issues. Some initiatives are successful, some are not, but the trend continues.  In recent years, however, the General Assembly has had a more targeted focus:  women’s issues.  Below, we outline the recent history of legislation on issues impacting women in the workplace, and whether they reflect the right focus. Continue reading

New Sexual Harassment Bill on the Horizon

If you attended our Annual Employment Law Seminar on April 12, then you already know that the ways in which employers deal with sexual harassment is changing. Even if you didn’t attend, you probably have a sense that the cultural attitude towards sexual harassment is changing. This is primarily due to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp that are striving to bring attention and accountability to issues of sexual harassment. Continue reading

Employment Law Alliance Releases Results of #MeToo Survey

#metooThe Employment Law Alliance recently conducted a survey gaging the effect of the #MeToo Movement and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. As part of the Employment Law Alliance, Young Conaway was one of 382 firms from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico who all helped to contribute information regarding these topics. Their survey yielded the following results: Continue reading

Traveling for Work and Late-Night Emails

Traveling for work has its pros and cons.  I spent the last two weeks in sunny Santa Monica, California.  I was there to take multiple depositions in an expedited proceeding, which meant that I escaped my hotel room / conference room for a combined total of approximately 4 hours over a 14-day period.  In fact, I didn’t leave my hotel room or the conference room from which we were working at all until Day 4, when I took the extreme liberty of walking to the beach and back.  (Picture below).  I was out of the room for about 10 minutes-I didn’t even put my toes in the sand for fear that I’d never return to the room.

Two weeks felt like a long time to be away from home.  But it also felt like a long time to be away from my regular work routine.  In particular, my email Inbox expanded beyond my normal comfort level, as I prioritized the case that required my attention the most.Sunny Santa Monica

It wasn’t until late in the evening that I was able to make meager headway in responding to emails I’d received for other matters.  But, had it not been for those late-night (and, sometimes, very early morning) email binges, I would never have been able to get caught up upon my return.  I also would have had some very unhappy clients, who require their lawyer’s prompt attention to deal with emergency issues as they arise.

So I have to question the premise of a recent opinion piece in the NYT, titled, End the Tyranny of 24/7 Email.  The piece features companies, such as Daimler, the German automaker, that sets limits on when employees can send and receive emails.  According to the article, “limiting workplace email seems radical, but it’s a trend in Germany,” where some companies have “adopted policies that limit work-related email to some employees on evenings and weekends.”

On the one hand, putting technical barriers and/or policies in place that restrict certain employees can have its benefits.  In particular, it limits the risks associated with non-exempt employees who send emails during off-hours and who must be paid for that time as time worked.  But it also seems to have some less-than-ideal outcomes.  Specifically, as we move more and more towards a flexible work schedule in an increasingly mobile society, the ability to respond to emails when and where we want can be very important.  And limitations on that ability may not be all its cracked up to be.

Alas, the work-life balance continues to be more of a juggling act than a graceful performance on a balancing bar. Either way, it’s good to be home.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Earlier this month, the President proclaimed October 2012 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The observance is intended to raise awareness about disability employment issues and to celebrate the contributions of our country’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?”

In conjunction with NDEAM, he U.S. Department of Labor has launched an online Workplace Flexibility Toolkit to “provide employees, job seekers, employers, policymakers and researchers with information, resources and a unique approach to workplace flexibility.”

According to the U.S. DOL, the toolkit “points visitors to case studies, fact and tip sheets, issue briefs, reports, articles, websites with additional information, other related toolkits and a list of frequently asked questions. It is searchable by type of resource, target audience and types of workplace flexibility, including place, time and task.”