The number of sexual harassment claims reported to the EEOC, as well as the amounts recovered by the EEOC and in jury awards, are on the rise. In 2015, 6,870 sexual harassment complaints were filed with the EEOC. Between 2010 and 2016, private employers paid nearly $700M to employees arising from harassment claims filed with the EEOC. As of October 2018, the EEOC had already filed 41 sexual harassment lawsuits – a more than 50% increase since 2017. Similarly, as of October 2018, sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC in 2018 increased by more than 12% from 2017 and the EEOC has already recovered nearly $70M in sexual harassment claims in 2018 – an increase from the $47.5M it recovered in 2017.
Jennifer S. Jackman
Jennifer S. Jackman, Partner at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and experienced member of the Business Litigation section in the D.C. office, represents large and small businesses, nonprofit associations, employers, community associations, and individuals in matters involving discrimination, business torts, products liability, professional liability, general negligence, and breach of contracts. Additionally, Ms. Jackman represents local county agencies and has experience defending grievances and matters before the Merit System Protection Board.
Ms. Jackman is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Virginia Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American Society of Association Executives, and the Newcomers of Great Falls. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the District of Columbia, the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Named "Benchmark Labor & Employment Star" by Benchmark Litigation: Labor & Employment Guide, 2019
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2018 - present
- Listed in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star," 2013 - present
- Recipient of the WMCCAI Rising Star Award (2010)
Memberships & Activities
- Member: District of Columbia Bar Association
- Member: Maryland State Bar Association
- Member: Virginia State Bar Association
- Member: American Bar Association
- Member: WMCCAI (Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Associations Institute)
- Co-Chair of the WMCCAI Annual Dinner Committee
- Panel Chair: Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities
- Board Member of the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (“SEEC") Board of Directors (2008-2010)
- President of the SEEC PTO (2009-2010)
- Vice-President of the SEEC PTO (2008-2009)
- Member: Peer Review Committee of the Attorney Grievance Commission (2006-2008)
- "Lawyer Power Couples," Legal Bisnow Newsletter, February 14, 2014
Labor & Employment Advice and Administrative and Court Litigation
- Representation of large and small businesses, nonprofit associations, employers, community associations, and individuals in matters involving discrimination, business torts, products liability, professional liability, general negligence, and breach of contracts
- Representation of employers and landlords in discrimination actions
- Counseling to employers regarding policies, handbooks, separation and hiring issues
- Employer and staff training on harassment policies
- Investigation of employee claims of discrimination including gender, race, disability, age, ethnicity, and hostile work environment claims
- Preparation of severance agreements and counseling as to termination issues
- Counseling of clients on compliance with applicable laws, avoiding costly litigation, and, when necessary, defending against individual and/or governmental challenges to employment policies and procedures
- Representation of multiple insurers in the areas of law including personal injury and professional liability
- Representation of insurance companies in bad faith claims Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Significant training in mediation
Community Associations Advice and Litigation
- Representation of condominium and homeowner associations
- Review and revision of governing documents for community associations
- Representation of community associations in developer warranty claims
- Defense of community associations as to environmental claims including smoke and mold
- General community association counseling
- Representation of commercial and residential condominiums
- Representation of associations before the Montgomery County Commission on Common Ownership Communities
- Representation of associations in prosecuting architectural violations and seeking other injunctive and declaratory relief and monetary damages
- Representation of associations in enforcement of obligations under Declarations, Bylaws, and Shared Maintenance and Services Agreements
- Representation of businesses and community associations in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association
- Judicial Clerkship for the Sixth Judicial Circuit (1998-1999)
Co-Presenter: “Lessons Learned from Hollywood”, Frederick County Society for Human Resources (FCSHRM) Annual Conference (May 2018)
Presenter: Montgomery County Employment Laws Updates & Information - Women in the Workplace, Montgomery County Office of Human Rights and the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission (May 2018)
Author: "The Shifting Landscape of Workplace Harassment Cases," Associations Now Plus e-newsletter (October 2014)
Lecturer at the 2008 ACCET Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX (FMLA and ADA Seminar)
Co-Author and Lecturer of Essential Litigation Skills for Washington, D.C. Paralegals, Institute of Paralegal Education (2002).
Consider this: An association employee attends the annual membership meeting. There is alcohol. A member becomes flirtatious with the employee and before anyone steps in, gropes her. Your organization cannot be held liable for conduct of a member, over whom you have no control, right?
What about this? A director makes comments at board meetings regarding his homophobic views. You have a staff member who attends these meetings who is gay. You can’t be liable for the board member’s conduct, right?
Proper classification of employees is critical to avoid potential liability for unpaid overtime.
If that did not get your attention, then consider this: In addition to unpaid overtime, misclassification of employees can result in liquidated damages, equitable relief, and reimbursement of attorneys' fees. Classification is particularly important now, in light of the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Proper classification of employees is critical to avoid potential liability for unpaid overtime. If that did not get your attention, then consider this: In addition to unpaid overtime, misclassification of employees can result in liquidated damages, equitable relief and reimbursement of attorney’s fees. Classification is particularly important now, in light of the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
There have been several recent changes in D.C. significantly affecting wages, employer notice requirements, and records maintenance as well as changes providing more protection to pregnant employees.
The D.C. Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 (“the Act”) became effective March 3, 2015. Under the Act, D.C. employers are required to provide accommodations, when requested, to employees when they are needed due to pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions or breastfeeding.
The D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (WTPAA) became effective February 26, 2015. Under the WTPAA, all D.C. employers must provide new hires with specific information about their employment. Further, effective May 27, 2015, D.C. employers must provide all existing employees with updated information about their employment. This new notice requirement applies to all D.C. employers regardless of size. Both new hires and existing employees must be given notice of the terms and conditions of their employment in the format set forth in the Notice of Hire- Employment Status and Acknowledgement of Wage Rate(s) (Notice of Hire). A copy of the Notice of Hire can be found at the D.C. Depart of Employment Services website, http://does.dc.gov.
Associations should exercise care when hiring new employees -- not only in selecting the right candidate but in avoiding questions that could create liability. This can be especially important when boards of directors, who typically include directors with little to no experience in the human resources and hiring arenas, are involved in the hiring process. Make sure to review these areas of inquiry with your boards to ensure they understand what they can and cannot ask in an interview or consider in the hiring process.
Can employers can be held liable for harassment of their employees by third parties (non-employees)?
To minimize risk, the decision to terminate an employee requires consideration of multiple factors before action is taken.
You have probably heard of the federal government's COBRA law -- it requires employers to continue group health coverage for some former employees or their dependents for a specific period of time after the end of employment. However, the federal COBRA requirement only applies to companies with 20 employees or more, so you may think you're off the hook if your property management company or community association has under 20 employees.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has shifted the burden in disability discrimination cases and now requires associations to prove that a requested accommodation was unreasonable.
Having good rules is one thing; enforcing them is another. Particularly if your board has the power to impose fines on violators, you need to be careful to follow the correct process. In effect, your board is acting like a judge and jury, so local laws may require safeguards to protect the owners.
Employers often underestimate the importance of providing training to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace until they find themselves defending a claim of harassment or discrimination. Conducting appropriate training, however, can mean the difference between having a defensible claim and being automatically liable for the unlawful conduct of a supervisor.
On April 26, 2012, the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest Court in Maryland, held that pit bulls are "inherently dangerous" and imposed strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their pit bulls or pit bull mixes. This strict liability standard applies not only to the dogs' owners, but also to other persons who have the "right to control the pit bull's presence on the subject premises" and know, or have reason to know, that there is a pit bull or cross-bred pit bull mix on the premises.
Jim Kahl will deliver opening remarks to attendees at ASAE's Association Law Symposium welcome breakfast. Jennifer Jackman and Tiffany Releford will co-present "Human Resources and Employment Law: Key Topics for Your Association." The presentation will focus on best practices to minimize liability for discrimination and harassment claims and review topics such as protected classes, essential policies addressing harassment and discrimination (for employees and members/directors), hiring do’s and don’ts, responding to complaints of harassment, and termination of employment.
ACC/NCR Live Webcast - Nonprofits & Associations Forum: "Maximizing Impact Through Volunteers, While Minimizing Associated Risks" - WTP Speaking & Sponsoring
Jennifer Jackman and Jim Kahl co-present a live webcast for both in-house and virtual attendees for the Association for Corporate Counsel (National Capital Region), hosted in our DC office. Jennifer and Jim will be joined by Angela Ciccolo, Chief Legal Officer of Special Olympics, and Rhonda Lees, Senior Counsel of the American Bankers Association. The presentation will focus on how to utilize volunteers to maximize an organization’s mission impact, covering best practices and compliance tips for managing volunteers.
In this session, Tiffany M. Releford and Jennifer S. Jackman, Partners at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP, will offer practical advice and provide an overview on laws, discuss sexual harassment and your volunteers, the impact of claims on your association, and your duty to prevent these claims. For more information and to register, click here, or feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Frederick County Chapter Society for Human Resource Management 2017 Annual Conference. For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that thirteen of its attorneys are listed among the 2018 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in D.C. and Virginia.
59 lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 (copyright 2017 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Maryland, Washington and Virginia offices. Client comments are posted on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers web site, at bestlawfirms.usnews.com.
In addition, two lawyers were selected as “Lawyer of the Year” for their particular areas of practice.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that thirteen of its attorneys are listed among the 2017 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in D.C. and Virginia.
Drew Terrell Among Seven Whiteford Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Washington, D.C.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that Andrew J. Terrell, Falls Church office Managing Partner and former co-chair of the Community Associations practice is named a 2016 Super Lawyer. All seven of the WTP attorneys listed among the 2016 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in DC are indicated below.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that seven of its attorneys are listed among the 2015 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Washington D.C.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that eleven of its attorneys are listed among the 2014 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in the Washington D.C. metro area, including four who are listed for the first time.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that seven of its attorneys are listed among the 2013 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in the Washington D.C. metro area, including two who are listed for the first time.
Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP (WTP) is delighted to announce that Robert S. Collins, Michael C. Gartner, Kevin G. Hroblak, Jennifer S. Jackman, Jennifer Ryan Lazenby, Dennis J. Shaffer, and J. Daniel Vorsteg have been made partners.