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Greenbelt MD Employment Law Blog

Maryland wage and hour laws many people may not be aware of

We often discuss wage and hours disputes or issues that affect employers and employees across Maryland in this blog. The most common topics that we discuss in this subject are those involving minimum wage compliance and unpaid overtime.

However, there are many other types of violations and rules in regards to what a person earns through employment. In this post, we will look at some wage and hour laws that set rules for issues with which people may be less familiar. Violations of any of these laws can lead to serious employment disputes that can prove to be quite costly.

Discriminatory practices prove to be quite costly for business

Discriminating against employees based on their gender, race, religion, age or disability can get an employer in some serious legal trouble. In some cases, employers may feel like they are not doing anything wrong or they are may argue that they were unaware that certain discriminatory acts were taking place. However, these claims can quickly come under fire if and when an employee files a lawsuit citing discrimination.

That appears to be the case for one company and seven former employees. Although the case was heard in another state, it can serve as a serious reminder to employers and employees all across Maryland that discrimination can prove to be a costly mistake.

Does your partnership agreement address these business issues?

Starting your own business is extremely difficult; starting it alone can make things even more challenging. This is why many people choose to work with at least one business partner.

In an article on our website, we discuss the important of having a well-drafted partnership agreement. Without this critical document, the success of a business could be in danger and a business owner's rights, responsibilities and financial obligations could be dramatically impacted. In order to protect yourself, the business and the interests of your partners, it can be crucial to have a clear and enforceable partnership agreement in place.

Can I be fired for something I wrote in an email?

Privacy is something that every person takes very seriously, and we often go to great lengths to protect our privacy. Unfortunately, violations of privacy happen all too often, especially these days when so much of our personal and professional information is kept and can be accessed online.

People may understand that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to things like their personal email accounts and banking information. However, in the workplace, people generally do not have the same right to privacy that they have in their home. This can create some complications and misunderstandings when an employee is fired or penalized for something he or she wrote in an email.

The limitations and freedoms employers have regarding wages

Every worker in Maryland depends on the income they earn at their jobs, which is why it is crucial for employers to be in compliance with strict wage and hours laws. Failure to properly compensate workers can turn into a very messy legal battle that can take a lot of time and money to resolve.

In previous blog posts, we have explored the importance of understanding minimum wage laws, overtime rules and even child labor restrictions. In this post, we will look at some of the more general limitations and freedoms employers have when it comes to wage standards in Maryland.

Employment disputes can be resolved in several ways

Arguments between employers and employees can be very unpleasant. Even when they start as minor disagreements, employment disputes can escalate to being complicated courtroom battles. 

There are many different ways that disputes can be resolved, but each solution can come with legal challenges and issues that can be difficult for any person to understand, anticipate and tackle without a thorough understanding of state and federal employment laws. 

Woman files suit citing violation of employment contract

Losing a job can be emotionally, professionally and financially devastating. Unfortunately, it is also something that most people will experience at one time or another in their lives. While all job losses can be upsetting, some can actually violate a worker's rights and be grounds for legal action.

For example, one woman in another state recently filed a lawsuit against her former employer. She cited breach of an employment contract in her claim and is requesting $25,000 in damages.

Whistleblowers have protection from retaliation

If an employee releases confidential or damaging information about a company, an employer will likely be very concerned about how or if their business will be impacted. It is also common for an employer to consider how or if they are permitted to reprimand the employee.

Because Maryland is an at-will employment state, employers may be inclined to think that they are allowed to terminate any worker at any time for any reason, including the report of damaging information. However, this can be a dangerous generalization to make, especially if the employee in question is considered a whistleblower and therefore protected by state and federal laws.

Take a proactive stance against workplace sexual harassment

Employment disputes can be quite costly to a business, and depending on the allegations, can hurt a company's reputation. This is why it is important to take a proactive approach to avoiding these disputes, while also having legal counsel on hand should these disputes arise. 

A recent sexual harassment case involving Zillow and a former employee highlights just how quickly allegations can spin out of control. 

Protections in place for pregnant workers in Maryland

In a recent blog post, we discussed a case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Readers interested in that post can read it in full here. That case involves claims of pregnancy discrimination by a former worker for UPS. While there have not been any developments in that case just yet, this can be a good opportunity to look at the current laws regarding pregnancy and discrimination and explore how they affect employees and employers across Maryland.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects women from being treated unfairly in the workplace based on pregnancy-related issues. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against pregnant women at any phase of employment, from hiring to firing.

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Greenbelt, MD 20770
Phone: 301-441-2420
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Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-266-9909
Fax: 410-266-8425
Annapolis Law Office

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Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-323-5620
Fax: 703-323-5621
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