Changes coming to Delaware’s discrimination law

by Lauren E.M. Russell

Changes that will expand the Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (DDEA) to include discrimination based on family responsibilities and reproductive health decisions are set to take effect on December 30.

Under the revised law, it will be unlawful for a covered Delaware employer to discriminate against employees because of their family responsibilities. “Family responsibilities” are defined as “the obligations of an employee to care for any family member who would qualify as a covered family member under the Family and Medical Leave Act [FMLA].”

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Delaware businesses get new recordkeeping obligations

by Molly DiBianca and Lauren Russell

Delaware’s new law related to the safe destruction of documents containing personal identifying information will take effect on January 1.

The law requires commercial entities to take all reasonable steps to destroy a consumer’s personal identifying information within the business’s custody and control when the information is no longer to be retained. Destruction includes shredding, erasing, or otherwise destroying or modifying the personal identifying information to make it entirely unreadable or indecipherable through any means.

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Delaware governor signs ‘ban the box’ bill

by Molly DiBianca

Delaware has joined the ranks of states adopting “ban the box” laws, measures that limit how employers can request criminal history information during the hiring process.

Delaware’s law, signed into law by Governor Jack Markell on May 8, makes criminal histories and credit scores off limits on applications for public-sector jobs. Here are key aspects of the law:

  • Public employers and state contractors are prohibited from inquiring into or considering the criminal record, criminal history, or credit history or score of an applicant before making a conditional offer of employment.
  • Employers may perform a background check once a conditional offer has been made, but they may consider felonies for only 10 years from the completion of the sentence and misdemeanors for five years from the completion of the sentence.
  • The law also requires employers to consider several factors when deciding whether to revoke a conditional offer of employment because of the results of a criminal background check. Those factors include the nature of the crime, rehabilitation, and the criminal activity’s relationship to the position.
  • Although the law applies to public employers, including state contractors, it provides for an exception for contractors that are subject to conflicting state or federal laws. For example, a child-care facility that contracts with the state isn’t subject to the law because it’s obligated by other state laws to comply with certain background-screening requirements.

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Delaware same-sex marriage changes take effect July 1

June 17, 2013 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The amendment to the Delaware Domestic Relations Act legalizing same-sex marriage goes into effect July 1. Under the law, the same rights, benefits, protections, and legal responsibilities apply to married same-sex couples and married opposite-sex couples.

In 2012, Delaware’s Civil Union Equality Act (CUEA) established that civil unions are to be treated as marriages under state law, so employers shouldn’t see much change as a result of the legalization of same-sex marriages. One exception is if your business provides marriage-related services (for instance, a facility that rents out rooms for wedding receptions). In that case, if you refuse to provide marriage-related services to same-sex couples, you could be subject to a discrimination claim under the Delaware Equal Accommodations Law.

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Fearing State Employee Liability, Delaware Douses Medical Marijuana Law

February 13, 2012 - by: Wendi Watts 0 COMMENTS

by Molly DiBianca and Michael P. Stafford

Delaware’s medical marijuana program has been extinguished. According to the Delaware News Journal, Governor Jack Markell “has suspended the regulation-writing and licensing process for medical marijuana dispensaries — effectively killing the program.” The decision comes in response to a letter from U.S. Attorney Charles M. Oberly III.

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Categories: Delaware

December 30 Deadline Looms in Vote for Top ‘Blawg’

December 20, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Time is running out to cast your votes in the ABA Journal’s fifth Annual Blawg 100 contest to choose the most popular law blogs. To vote for your favorites, go to by December 30.

The blogs are divided into 12 categories, and voters are allowed 12 votes. But you are allowed to vote more than once in each category.

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Categories: Arizona / Commentary / Delaware / Texas

Delaware’s Law on Same-Sex Unions Takes Effect January 1

December 13, 2011 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

By Adria B. Martinelli and Lauren E. Moak

The new law allowing same-sex civil unions in Delaware and recognizing civil unions performed in other states goes into effect January 1, 2012 after being passed last spring. The law also changes all sections of the Delaware Code that mention marriage by requiring that the word “marriage” be read to mean “marriage or civil union.”

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Categories: Delaware

Four ECN Blogs Make LexisNexis Top 25 Listing

September 15, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Employers Counsel Network LogoFour employment law blogs published by law firms that are part of the Employers Counsel Network (ECN) have been named to the LexisNexis Top 25 Labor and Employment Law Blogs of 2011.

Those making the list are: read more…

Delaware Becomes Seventh State to Approve Same-Sex Civil Unions

April 15, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by Lauren A. Moak and Adria B. Martinelli

Beginning January 1, 2012, Delaware will allow same-sex civil unions and also will recognize similar unions performed in other states. Yesterday, the Delaware House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 30, a bill that establishes and recognizes same-sex civil unions while also requiring that the word “marriage” where it appears in the Delaware Code be interpreted to mean “marriage or civil union.”

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Delaware: Tea Party Push Energizes Democrats

November 04, 2010 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

by William W. Bowser, Young Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, LLP

Delaware voters soundly rejected the candidacy of Christine (“I am not a witch”) O’Donnell. Indeed, her campaign clearly energized the state’s democratic base, sweeping into office her opponent Chris Coons and Democratic candidates all the way down the ticket. This “blue wave” also enabled former Lt. Governor John Carney to win the race for Delaware’s sole U.S. House seat, formerly held by moderate Republican Mike Castle. Carney’s win represented a rare Democratic pickup in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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