Employment Law

A Maryland Employment Lawyer Will 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.

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 at 410-514-6099 to set up a consultation with an experienced Maryland employment lawyer.

 

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