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Greenbelt MD Employment Law Blog

Understanding overtime laws in Maryland

Failure to pay appropriate wages to employees can get an employer in some serious legal trouble. In general, wage determinations are fairly straightforward. However, there are exceptions and exemptions that can complicate matters significantly.

For example, not all employees are eligible for overtime pay. If there is any confusion about whether an employee should receive overtime, it can be crucial to consult an attorney before a dispute snowballs into litigation.

What can employment contracts protect?

People agree to the terms contracts more often than they probably realize. There are many products, services and relationships that come with some type of agreement that protects one or both parties involved in an exchange. In some cases, the stakes of agreeing to a contract seem relatively low, so people may not even skim the information provided.

But when it comes to employment contracts, the stakes can be quite high, making it crucial that both an employer and employee thoroughly understand what it is they are agreeing to. 

US Supreme Court to hear cases regarding harassment on the job

To people who are unfamiliar with employment laws, the line between what you can and cannot do at work can seem quite simple to identify. For instance, readers may know that an employer cannot sexually harass employees or make hiring decisions based on a candidate's race.

But the truth is this: Employment laws are constantly being challenged, changed or clarified because in many cases, that line between lawful and unlawful behavior is quite blurry. To illustrate this point, we can look at a couple cases that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming months. These cases are good examples of how complicated it can be to truly understand the rights and limitations of employees and employers.

Which actions could be grounds for a sexual harassment claim?

Employers can go to great lengths to create policies that protect workers, but this may not insulate them from being named in lawsuit if these policies are not properly enforced. Developing a handbook that outlines what is and is not appropriate behavior in the workplace is just one step in avoiding employee disputes.

This can be particularly true when it comes to complaints of sexual harassment. A handbook may state that certain behaviors are not acceptable, but an employer must also follow up on complaints and take appropriate action if an employee violates these rules. This post should remind employers of some of the situations that may be grounds for a sexual harassment claim and therefore require immediate action to address the situation.

Employers can avoid potential problems with legal support

The relationship between employers and employees can be a fragile one. When there are no issues with wages, hours, employment contracts, harassment or discrimination, this relationship can be quite smooth and stable.

However, if a dispute arises, it can quickly pit employees and employers against one another. If and when this happens, legal claims, courtroom hearings and settlement negotiations may not be far behind. This is why it can be crucial for employers to seek legal guidance when developing workplace practices or at least as soon as there may be a conflict.

Business owners: Are you in compliance with the FLSA?

Prospective business owners and employers across Maryland may see these positions as a lucrative career move. Instead of working for someone else, they can be their own boss and run a business how they see fit.

It is important to remember that being an employer comes with some very real challenges in terms of operating a successful business. For example, once a business is started, an employer will need to be focused on complying with state and federal wage and hour laws. If you are considering starting a business or are looking to expand an existing one, it can be essential that you are aware of and adhere to the rules established by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

What groups are protected from workplace discrimination?

Experienced business owners likely have a fairly good grasp of the employment laws with which they must comply. New employers and entrepreneurs, on the other hand, may not. But no matter how long you have been in business, there may come a time when you find yourself facing a legal claim from an employee.

One such claim that may be filed is one stemming from discrimination allegations. Discrimination is a particularly visible offense, meaning that accusations are easily publicized and the reputation and success of a company can quickly come under fire. In order to avoid this, employers may want to be sure they understand who is protected from workplace discrimination in the U.S.

What employers should know about non-compete agreements

Protecting the best interests of a company can be a volatile process. Business owners need to balance developing and enforcing practices that do not violate employees' rights with establishing processes that benefit the business. In some cases, employers make mistakes that put them in an unfavorable light.

In order to avoid the consequences of negative business decisions, it is important for employers to make sure they are in compliance with the laws and review their employment practices with a legal representative. One of the common sources of tension is employment contacts, including non-competition agreements. Understanding how these contracts should be prepared can be crucial in avoiding lawsuits and negative publicity.

Yahoo makes risky move in response to harassment lawsuit

When a company is the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit, its reputation may be on the line. Determining the best course of action in terms of responding to the lawsuit can be critical, especially for large corporations that are already in the public eye.

This was the challenge that Yahoo faced when a senior director of engineering at the Internet corporation was named in a sexual harassment lawsuit. She was accused of getting into an employee's bed, making sexual advances and then threatening the employee's job if her advances were rebuffed. In response to the lawsuit, Yahoo made a surprising and aggressive move.

Company named in pregnancy discrimination complaint

Workplace discrimination is something that employers generally go to great lengths to avoid. There may be no intent to violate the rights of any particular person or group, but employees can still experience discrimination and they have the right to take legal action.

However, employers have the right to defend against these claims. Defending against these claims can be a fairly sensitive process, as it requires employers to explain employment decisions without minimizing the issue of discrimination. In many cases, news about alleged discrimination is biased against an employer so responding to the claim can be tricky situation.

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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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