Employment Law & Litigation
The attorneys at Anderson & Quinn have been representing employers on various matters for over 50 years. Employment law involves the relationship between an employer and its employees. Unless governed by a contract, the relationship is subject to State laws. Unless carefully worded, an employee manual could, in some instances, constitute a contract of employment. For instance, employment in the State of Maryland is typically “at will.” That means that an employer may terminate the employment of an employee for any reason or no reason at all, so long as it is not for a reason prohibited by law, such as age, national origin, race, etc. Where an employee manual is in existence, care should be taken to reiterate that the employment is “at will.”
Even without a contract, there are laws throughout the United States that provide certain requirements to which an employer must adhere. For instance, there is a minimum wage that must be paid and overtime obligations in the event that an employee works more than 40 hours per week. Additionally, the employer must provide workers’ compensation insurance for its employees.
Employers sometimes attempt to circumvent the employment laws by deeming their employees to be independent contractors. Whether or not a person is an independent contractor or employee depends upon the circumstances of the relationship. Much of this determination centers on the control which the employer exerts over an employee. Classifying a person as an independent contractor can have disastrous consequences if the classification is deemed wrong. It is also true that failure to comply with minimum wage and overtime obligations can result in severely adverse consequences to the business.
Where disputes arise between employers and employees, to the extent that they cannot be resolved informally, they often end up in litigation. When employment litigation occurs, it is advisable to retain the services of a lawyer which can become very expensive.
Before making any decisions regarding the relationship between an employer and employee, it is important that you talk to an attorney.
Anderson & Quinn Employment Law & Litigation Attorneys
Alice Kelley Scanlon
John A. Rego
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