Crude Comments Alone May Create an Actionable Hostile Work Environment

February 7, 2019

For years lawyers have advised employers in the Fourth Circuit (the federal circuit for appeals from United States District Courts of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina) that crude and boorish sexual comments alone are not generally sufficient to create a hostile work environment for purposes of proving a sexual harassment claim under Title VII. Generally, in the Fourth Circuit, courts have found that comments alone are not sufficient to create an environment that is severe and pervasive enough to constitute harassment as a matter of law.

District of Columbia Enacts New Law Providing Increased Protections for Pregnant Workers and Nursing Mothers

February 7, 2019

The District of Columbia joined Delaware, Illinois, West Virginia and Maryland by enacting legislation to give additional protections to pregnant workers.  On October 24, 2014, the District of Columbia enacted the “Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014” (PPWFA or the Act).   Provided that Congress does not disapprove of the PPWFA, the PPWFA will become effective sometime in late 2014.  The PPWFA gives pregnant employees and applicants, and recently pregnant employees (those who have recently given birth) and applicants, broad protections that might not otherwise be available to t