Jennifer S. Jackman

Jennifer S. Jackman

PARTNER
jjackman@wtplaw.com
WASHINGTON
T: 202.659.6794
F: 202.327.6144



Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Section, Jen Jackman represents employers in state and federal courts in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, as well as throughout the United States, on all aspects of employment, from hiring to discharge. She is an experienced advisor on employee handbooks, employment contracts (including confidentiality agreements, non-solicitation and non-competes), pay equity, wage and hour, avoiding discrimination claims, family and medical leave, fair labor standards, disability accommodations, discipline, performance improvement plans, termination and severance agreements.  She regularly conducts investigations into internal complaints of harassment and discrimination and counsels boards of directors regarding employment matters and in ensuring they meet their fiduciary duties in responding to claims.  She is experienced in representing executives in separation of employment issues.

Ms. Jackman is a seasoned litigator on behalf of corporate clients, business owners, executives and board members, including in connection with claims for breach of contract, wrongful termination, discrimination, breach of fiduciary duty, defamation, tortious interference and enforcement of restrictive covenants.

In addition, Ms. Jackman regularly provides management and staff training on a comprehensive range of employment-related issues, including anti-harassment, sensitivity, diversity and inclusion, dealing with difficult employees and hiring practices.  In the areas of higher education and sports law, she is an experienced provider of training in Title IX compliance for athletes, coaches and staff, as well as in conducting investigations into complaints and providing overall employment counsel.

Recognitions

  • 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
  • Listed in Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers 2014 - present
  • Recipient of the WMCCAI Rising Star Award (2010)
 

Memberships & Activities

  • Member:  Whiteford Taylor & Preston Executive Committee
  • Co-General Counsel for Whiteford Taylor & Preston
  • Co-Chair Whiteford Taylor & Preston Labor & Employment Section
  • Member:  DRI
  • Member:  SHRM
  • Member: District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member: Maryland State Bar Association
  • Member: Virginia State Bar Association
  • Member: American Bar Association
  • Judicial Clerkship:  Sixth Judicial Circuit (1998-1999)
  • Best Lawyers Designation
PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS

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).

ARTICLES

Is the Playing Field Level?

The issue of gender equality in sports is front and center.  While not a new issue, recent lawsuits are challenging the practice of paying female athletes substantially less for similar work than male athletes. 

In 2017, the history of gender inequity in sports was highlighted in the motion picture, Battle of the Sexes.  The film depicted the epic, nationally televised, 1973 tennis match between female tennis star Billie Jean King and her male counterpart Bobby Riggs, portrayed as a male chauvinist.  King was the first female tennis player to win over $100,000 in a year prior to this epic match.  The tennis match between these players sent an important message that women deserved the same amount of prize money and respect as males.  As set forth in this article, this message continues to resonate today in sports.

Setting Expectations and Minimizing Risk Through Remote Working Agreements

Remote working is commonplace in the workplace today, though some organizations treat this as an informal perk.  If your company allows this flexibility, be sure that you have taken appropriate steps to adopt a formal policy that includes the requirement for execution of a telework agreement between the company and the employee in order to minimize the risk that can accompany this arrangement.  When adopting the policy, ensure that it works for your organization.  There is no one-size-fits-all policy and certainly not every position is suitable for remote working, which needs to be clearly articulated in the policy.  Once the policy is adopted, educate the managers and apply it consistently to avoid claims of discrimination.

Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Era and Minimizing Risk

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.


Association Liability for Harassment at Meetings

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?


Why You Should Review Your Employee Classifications

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.


New DOL Regulations: Proper Classification of Community Association Employees Matters

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”).


Check Your Community Association's Policies - They May be Unlawful

On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) General Counsel issued a Memorandum with the intention of providing guidance to employers as to employment policies the NLRB considers unlawful.  This Memo is extensive and covers many policies your Association likely has in its employee handbook.  Many associations incorrectly believe that the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act”) does not apply to their association if they are not unionized.  To be clear, unless your association falls within a few very limited exceptions, you should assume that it is covered by the Act which covers most organizations, including community associations.

D.C. Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

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.


New Required Notices for D.C. Employers

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


Check Your Policies - They May be Unlawful

On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) General Counsel issued a Memorandum with the intention of providing guidance to employers as to employment policies the NLRB considers unlawful.  This Memo is extensive and covers many policies you likely have in your employee handbook.  Many employers incorrectly believe that the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act”) does not apply to their organization if they do not have a union.  To be clear, unless your organization falls within a few very limited exceptions, you should assume that your business or organization is covered by the Act which covers condominiums, service providers, non-profits and employee-owned businesses.

Check Your Policies - They May be Unlawful (Answer Sheet)

On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) General Counsel issued a Memorandum with the intention of providing guidance to employers as to employment policies the NLRB considers unlawful.  This Memo is extensive and covers many policies you likely have in your employee handbook.  Many employers incorrectly believe that the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act”) does not apply to their organization if they do not have a union.  To be clear, unless your organization falls within a few very limited exceptions, you should assume that your business or organization is covered by the Act which covers condominiums, service providers, non-profits and employee-owned businesses.

The Hiring Process: What You Should Never Ask

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.


"Mini-COBRA" for Small Employers

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.


Enforcing Covenants in Maryland and the District of Columbia

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.


Minimizing Risk: The Importance of Conducting Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Training

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.


Maryland: Strict Liability for Pit Bull Attacks

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.


EVENTS

ASAE's Association Law Symposium - WTP Speaking & Sponsoring

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. 


ASAE DC Idea Swap - WTP Presenting

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.


NEWS

Managing Liability in the #MeToo Era (A Webinar)

On 11/13, Tiffany Releford and Jennifer Jackman presented a webinar sponsored by Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and LeadingAge Maryland, that outlined best practices to minimize liability for discrimination and harassment claims, including sexual harassment, by reviewing essential policies addressing harassment and discrimination (for employees and members/directors) and responding to complaints of harassment.

Three Whiteford Lawyers Recognized as Benchmark Labor & Employment Stars

Benchmark Litigation has announced that three lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been named to the First Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Annual Guide as Benchmark Labor & Employment Stars: Steven Bers, Jennifer Jackman and Tiffany Releford.  The firm is “simply top-notch,” states Benchmark Litigation, and clients flock to the firm for its excellence in litigation skills and experience.”

57 WTP Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2019, Four Named "Lawyer of the Year"

57 lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019 (copyright 2018 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken S.C.). The lawyers selected are based in the firm’s Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington offices. Client comments are posted on the U.S. News & Best Lawyers web site.

59 WTP Attorneys Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2018, Two Named "Lawyer of the Year"

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.


WTP Elevates Seven Attorneys to Partners

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.