Employment Law

Our Maryland Employment Lawyers Help You Stand Up to Your Employer and Protect Your Rights

As an employee working in Maryland, it can seem like your employer holds all the power and that the law is always in their favor. This view is not completely accurate. While it is true that Maryland employers have a significant amount of control over how things are done in the workplace, they are not allowed to abuse and discriminate against their employees or violate any other established employment law. If you are involved in a Maryland employment dispute, we can help. An experienced Maryland employment lawyer at the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC can review your case and help determine whether or not your employer has violated any federal, state or local laws that may give rise to a claim against your employer. You do not have to go through this difficult time alone.

Know Your Rights in Maryland

Maryland employees have rights and protections that are afforded to them through our federal, state and, in some instances, local legislature. There are several laws, at both the federal and state level, that protect Maryland workers in the event an employment dispute arises. Our employment attorneys are familiar with Maryland and federal employment laws. We can help increase the chances of winning your employment case because of our firm’s in-depth understanding of what is necessary to meet your burden of proof. Some federal laws governing employment issues in Maryland include:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act: This act ensures American workers are paid a minimum wage for their work. The federal government sets the floor for minimum wage and several states, including Maryland, have set a higher minimum wage requirement at the local level;
  • The Occupational Safety & Health Act: OSHA, as it is typically referred to, sets industry-specific safety standards to which employers must adhere as well as imposes a general duty that prohibits any workplace practice that poses a risk to workers;
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Title VII of this Act makes it illegal for businesses to act discriminatorily against employees, or potential employees, based on certain protected classes; and
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act: This law requires employers with at least 50 employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off each year for illness and caregiving. Employers must continue an employee’s benefits if he or she is on family leave. Furthermore, the employee has the right to be reinstated into his or her prior position once the leave is completed or exhausted.

Beyond the above-mentioned federal laws, the State of Maryland has created its own laws that provide the same or more rights than those set by the federal government. Employers doing business in the State of Maryland must follow both state and federal laws, as well as local laws in some instances, in order to be operating in compliance. You should familiarize yourself with these laws and contact a Maryland employment attorney right away if you believe your, or someone else’s, rights have been violated by an employer.

The Benefits of Working With a Maryland Employment Lawyer 

The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC has years of experience protecting the rights of Maryland workers. We handle several types of employment disputes. No employment issue is too large or too small for our attorneys to review and provide advice as to whether or not we can help. Unfortunately, employees in Maryland and across the nation are taken advantage of by employers because these workers often are not aware of the employer’s obligations under the law. The following are some of the more common ways that employers violate the rights of their employees in Maryland.

  • Wage & Hour Claims (Paycheck Theft): No matter the circumstances, if you are not being properly paid for the hours you are working, this is a form of wage theft. This includes people who are not receiving proper overtime pay for the extra hours they are working.
  • Severance Agreements: Having an employment attorney review and negotiate a proposed severance package from your employer is one of the most important things you can do to protect your financial future. Our experienced employment attorneys will not only help you secure more money but also negotiate and counsel you on the provisions contained in the employer’s proposed severance package.  Because time is often of the essence, do not wait.  Contact us today.
  • Government Employee Issues: Government employees often have a variety of added rights and responsibilities that those in the private sector do not have. If your governmental agency does not provide these rights and responsibilities to you, it is important to demand them so you know where you stand.
  • Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment of any type is absolutely unacceptable, especially in the workplace. If you ever feel like you have been harassed sexually by a boss, co-worker, customer, or client, you have the right to be protected.
  • Age Discrimination: Employers are not permitted to fire or not hire someone just based on his or her age. If your employer is treating you differently because of how old you are, we can help.
  • Gender Discrimination: There is no such thing as a ‘guy’s job’ or a ‘girl’s job,’ but some employers seem to be stuck with an outdated mindset. If your employer is discriminating or treating you unfairly based on your gender, you may have a legal case that can be made.
  • Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Discrimination in the workplace based on sex, including orientation, identity, or associated traits is against federal and Maryland law. If you or someone you know is treated differently because of their sexual orientation, contact our firm so that our attorneys can review your case.
  • Race and National Origin Discrimination: Discrimination in the workplace based on race or national origin is unacceptable and illegal. If you are treated differently because of your race or national origin, do not hesitate to reach out to us to review your case.
  • Disability Discrimination: Some people assume that someone with a disability is unable to perform certain jobs. The law requires, however, that employers treat those with disabilities the same as those without, as long as they are able to complete the essential job duties with reasonable accommodations.
  • Wrongful Termination: Employers can fire employees for any or no reason, but it cannot be an illegal reason. If you have been fired because of your race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, pregnancy or some other reason that has nothing to do with your performance on the job, you may have a wrongful termination suit on your hands.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination: Getting pregnant should be a joyful experience, but some employers do not see it that way. If your employer is trying to fire you, get you to quit, or otherwise discriminate against you because of a pregnancy, you need to protect your rights under federal and state laws.
  • Religious Discrimination: Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for the religious beliefs of their employees, and they are never allowed to discriminate based on these beliefs. If your employer is putting an unreasonable burden on you based on your religious beliefs, we can help you protect your religious rights.
  • Workplace Retaliation: Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee for filing a harassment or discrimination claim. It is also unlawful to retaliate against an employee who participated in a harassment or discrimination claim on behalf of a coworker. The victim who was retaliated against might be entitled to damages from the employer.
  • Unemployment Benefits: If you have recently lost your job and your employer has challenged your claim for unemployment benefits, or your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal and have a hearing. You can also appeal an unfavorable hearing decision to the Board of Appeals (BoA). You can appeal the BoA’s decision with the appropriate circuit court.
  • Employment Contracts: Having an employment agreement in place can help provide significant protections to both the employee and the employer. Our attorneys can help cover all elements of an employment contract so that all parties are happy with the terms of the agreement. Additionally, we can help you with employment policies, executive employment agreements, and help explain exempt wages vs. non-exempt wages, among other employment regulations.

In the majority of employment-related disputes, the employee bears the burden of establishing that his or her rights were violated by a Maryland employer. For this reason, it is vital that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable Maryland employment dispute attorney to handle your case. The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC has extensive experience and can provide you the skilled legal representation necessary to ensure your rights are protected under state and federal laws. If you or someone you know has been the victim of any of these prohibited behaviors, contact us today for a confidential consultation with a knowledgeable Maryland employment attorney.

How Maryland Employment Lawyers Can Help You in an Employment Dispute

1. Investigating Your Claim

If you believe that you have a claim against your employer, a government agency or court won’t just take your word for it; you must prove that your version of events is the correct version. To do this, your attorney will help you gather all of the evidence you will need to present a compelling case, such as:

  • Interviewing witnesses to the dispute (including your employer)
  • Obtaining records and files related to the incident (such as your hours log, workplace entry/exit records, photos and video surveillance, etc.)
  • Reviewing your employment contract (if applicable)
  • Investigating similar past incidents by your employer

2. Evaluating the Legal Merits of Your Case

Even though you may feel that you have been wronged by your employer, not all employer conduct is legally actionable. In order to prevail in an employment law case, you must prove all of the elements of each cause of action, whether your claim is for wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract, or any other type of employment dispute. At the federal level, most employment law claims arise under one or more of the following statutes:

  • The Civil Rights Act
  • The Equal Pay Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act

The state of Maryland also prohibits discrimination in the workplace through the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act.

A skilled Maryland employment lawyer will be able to apply the requirements of each of these statutes to the specific facts of your case to weigh the strength of your claim. 

3. Calculating Your Damages

“Damages” is the legal term for the harm you suffered (in monetary terms) as a result of the defendant’s conduct. Generally, the amount of damages to which a successful plaintiff is entitled is the amount necessary to put him or her in the same position he or she would have been in had the incident not occurred. In employment law, this can include:

  • Lost pay
  • Lost benefits
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Bonuses or commissions to which you were entitled
  • Consequential damages (e.g., medical bills, job search costs, relocation expenses, etc.)
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Punitive damages (typically in discrimination cases)

Calculating the exact amount of damages you suffered can often be a complex undertaking, but an employment attorney has extensive experience doing so and can help you determine the correct amount.

4. Advocating on Your Behalf

Once an employment lawyer determines that your employer likely violated one or more federal or state laws, he or she will then initiate legal proceedings on your behalf, including:

  • Representing your interests in mediation or settlement negotiations with your employer
  • Filing official complaints with the appropriate government agency (such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights)
  • Representing you in administrative hearings and appeals
  • Filing and pursing civil suits on your behalf at the federal or state level

For more information about what employment attorneys do and how they can help you, contact a Maryland employment lawyer at the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Contact a Maryland Employment Lawyer Today

You can rest assured that working with the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC is confidential, uncomplicated, and efficient. No matter what type of legal issues you are having related to your employment in Maryland, our attorneys can help. We will take the time to go over your case and provide you with honest and accurate information about what legal options are available to you. We have represented many workers in their employment disputes and will aggressively fight on your behalf.  Contact us today to set up a consultation with an experienced Maryland employment lawyer.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

Mr. Stafford was fair and just, which is exactly what one hopes for in an attorney. He handled all rising issues in the best ways possible, and his choices and results were always good ones. I would hire Mr. Stafford again in a heartbeat, and would encourage anyone seeking litigation to do the same.