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Greenbelt MD Employment Law Blog

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.

What requirements must be met for a child to work in Maryland?

Over the holidays, many students are out of school and looking to make some money by getting a job. This can be an important time for employers -- and potential employees -- to be sure they are in compliance with Maryland laws regarding employment of children.

In this state, a person under the age of 14 is prohibited from working, except in a few specific roles. Minors over the age of 14 are allowed to work, but they are required to have a work permit and employers must observe strict rules regarding wages and hours.

Keeping your office parties and decorations holiday-neutral

We are now right in the middle of the holiday season. It tends to be a great time of year no matter what your religious beliefs (or lack of beliefs) may be. But it can also be a dicey time of year as far as company parties and workplace etiquette are concerned.

Many employers in Maryland and around the country like to decorate the office and reward their employees with a holiday party. In order to avoid offending anyone or risking claims of religious discrimination, it’s important to be sensitive to the fact that it truly is the “holiday season,” and not all employees necessarily celebrate the same ones.

Supreme Court hears pregnancy discrimination case

The outcome of a case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court today could have an extensive impact on employers and employees in Maryland and across the country. 

The case involves UPS and a former female worker who lost her job as a result of her pregnancy. The woman filed a lawsuit seeking damages and is claiming that she was the victim of pregnancy discrimination. UPS has argued that it never discriminated against the woman because of her pregnancy, but rather enforced a corporate policy that happened to unintentionally affect the woman. The Supreme Court will hear the case and determine if that decision and that policy discriminated against the woman.

What is employment arbitration?

Employment agreements and contracts can be very useful tools for both employers and employees. They can define compensation, specify certain workplace policies and identify pieces of information that is considered confidential and protected.

If either party fails to comply with the terms set in an employment contract, there may be grounds to take action. It may be easy to assume that filing a lawsuit and going to court is the most appropriate course of action because that is what we often read about in the news. However, many employers take steps to protect themselves from lawsuits by including an arbitration agreement in an employment contract. Any person who has signed or will be signing an employment contract should be aware of what this clause means.

Multiple claims of sexual harassment made against Ford

Sexual harassment claims are at the center of a contentious dispute between numerous employees and two Ford Motor plants in another state. As any business owner in Maryland can likely appreciate, the situation has been attracting some unfavorable and unwelcome attention to business practices at the company.

The story started with four women filing claims of sexual harassment at the plant where she worked. However, the situation quickly escalated when reports suggested that "over a hundred complaints" have been filed by workers at the plants regarding sexual harassment. 

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Annapolis, MD 21401
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Alexandria, VA 22314
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