Employment Litigation Lawyer Hanover, MD
Even the most well-meaning employer is bound to have conflicts with its employees. Some of these conflicts result from a bitter break-up, others stem from an honest misunderstanding regarding agreements between a business and its employees, and, unfortunately, others result from reckless or intentional wrongdoing by an employer. Whatever the nature of the issue, Crepeau Mourges is positioned to advise businesses and individuals of their options and, where necessary, to vindicate their rights in a court of law.
Wage and Hour Claims
In recent years, there has been a significant uptick in claims made under federal wage and hour laws and their state counterparts. Pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to pay “time and a half” to any non-exempt employees when they work more than 40 hours in a week. Failure to comply with this federal law, the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL), and other related state wage and hour laws can result in double or treble damages payable to the employee for all underpayments from the last two or three years. Making matters worse for employers, plaintiffs’ attorneys are incentivized to fully vindicate their clients’ rights – and sometimes not come to a pre-litigation resolution – because employers are statutorily required to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by damaged employees. As a result, a failure to pay an employee for overtime can result in a judgment or monetary settlement costing well in excess of any wage payments that would have been due. And, furthermore, for those employers that engaged in the systematic underpayment of a class of employees, they can expect to see a single plaintiff attempt to transform the matter into a consolidated case or a class action. If this procedure is successful, the case can quickly turn into a matter of life or death for an employer.
At Crepeau Mourges, we are experienced with the procedural framework of these types of matters, have experience in reviewing and analyzing payroll documentation, and have helped many employers resolve substantial potential liability through out-of-court negotiations or favorable in-court settlements. If your business receives a notice and demand or a confidential settlement communication from a prior or current worker, you should contact an attorney immediately to ensure that can resolve a matter before it quickly escalates. Contact Crepeau Mourges today to discuss your options.
Wage Payment Claims
Similar to wage and hour claims, there has been a significant recent uptick in claims related to violations of wage payment laws. Under the federal framework, as well as most related state laws, employers can be held responsible for damages if they fail to comply with minimum wage laws or do not promptly make payments that are due. Both minimum wage laws and wage and hour violations can occur where a non-exempt employee is wrongfully classified as an independent contractor. Similarly, where a worker is promised or expects to receive a bonus or other remuneration and an employer attempts to withhold payment as a set off for some other liability or for a host of other reasons, a wage payment claim – which requires that earnings and wages be paid promptly – can quickly arise. As in the context of wage and hour claims, if this action is systemic and willful, it can result in double or treble damages, the requirement to pay an employee’s attorneys’ fees, and can result in other individuals making similar claims under a class action lawsuit.
Crepeau Mourges understands the many regulatory requirements governing the classification of workers, their status as an exempt or non-exempt employee, and the penalties that can beset an employer with a claim of noncompliance. We can also help a business to position a contentious matter in such a way that liability is minimized. If you have a question regarding your potential exposure to a wage payment claim or related actions, or if you simply want to engage in a due diligence review of your current practices, your business should contact Crepeau Mourges today for a no-cost consultation.
Other Employment Litigation: Wrongful Termination, Discrimination, Enforcement of Non-Competes and Non-Solicitation Agreement, Defending Employee Benefits Claims, and More
Aside from the experience of Crepeau Mourges in matters involving wage litigation, our professionals also have experience advising and defending employers in a host of other actions involving their relationship with their workforce. In many of these cases, careful planning and advice can help to avoid or minimize unnecessary and expensive litigation. Proper documentation and substantiation are a must in order to avoid investigation and substantiation after-the-fact. The knowledge and experience of the attorneys at Crepeau Mourges have assisted employers to understand and defend their rights in the following types of matters:
- Defending against wrongful termination or discrimination claims
- Enforcement and/or drafting of non-compete agreements
- Enforcement and/or drafting of non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements
- Defending claims against the business and/or its fiduciaries regarding employee benefits
- Defending against claims related to alleged mis-classification of workers
If your business is concerned with potential liability or is facing imminent litigation in any of these matters, contact a professional at Crepeau Mourges to see how we can help you. We will aid you in defending against alleged employer violations, properly structure future agreements and future conduct to minimize potential exposure, and help you to plan for the continued success of your business.
Crepeau Mourges Can Help You Prepare for an Ever-Changing Workforce
These are but a few of the types of claims that may be brought by an employee against a business or its owners and operators. As the regulatory environment continues to change, more and more statutory causes of action have been created and/or strengthened. For instance, changing working conditions have created an environment where discrimination claims, based on disability, age, race, or other conditions, may be more commonplace and allow litigants to recover attorneys’ fees. Moreover, the shift to a more mobile economy with stay-at-home employees creates issues relating to the scope of an employment arrangement and when an employee may be considered working (and relatedly creating potential duties and liabilities to the employer). Many, if not most, management and human resources departments are ill-equipped to deftly adapt to these changes and to ensure compliance with applicable laws.
Accordingly, it is more important than ever to ensure that your business is reacting to these changing market conditions and is prepared to defend their position before a state agency or in a court of law. Call Crepeau Mourges today to consult about employment-related matters, to ensure that you are prepared to meet changing requirements, and to defend your business from employment-related claims.