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Greenbelt MD Employment Law Blog

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. 

Avoiding litigation can be crucial for Maryland employers

Employment disputes of any kind can prove to be very costly to employers. The time and money it takes to deal with a legal claim in court takes away from the time and money that could be spent on the company itself, and this can lead to serious problems for a business.

This is why it can be crucial for employers to take steps to avoid disputes and work toward a swift resolution in the event that an issue does require legal intervention. For example, in regards to discrimination, employers can do two things to protect themselves from costly litigation: create anti-discrimination workplace policies and proactively seek resolutions in the event that a claim is filed. 

What are the possible solutions to a wrongful termination claim?

Employers that terminate an employee under complicated terms or after a contentious dispute can find themselves facing a wrongful termination claim filed by that employee. Whether a claim is legitimate or not, employers could be very nervous about what the ramifications of the complaint may be.

If an employee is pursuing a wrongful termination claim, employers need to know that they have the right to defend their actions and work toward a satisfactory solution either inside or outside the courtroom. Identifying and pursuing these remedies can be very complicated, but legal representatives can help employers determine what may be in their best interests.

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.

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