Employment and Labor Law

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Tydings’ employment and labor lawyers have achieved numerous successes representing clients in employment litigation claims in federal and state courts and before state and federal agencies.  We counsel employers, large and small, on issues ranging from legislative compliance to workforce management and employee benefits.  We are accomplished in all facets of employment law, on the federal and state level, and in many local jurisdictions.

Legislative Compliance

Tydings is well-versed in all aspects of legislative compliance.  We counsel clients on legislative requirements, and we audit employer compliance policies and practices.  Our defense of clients against discrimination and harassment claims has led to successful verdicts in courthouses around the state and the country.  We are experienced not only in protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, but also state and local civil rights laws.  Our compliance experience extends to matters including:

  • Discrimination and harassment claims made on the basis of sex, race, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, family responsibilities, genetic information, pregnancy, or other characteristics protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Maryland Human Relations Act, and other civil rights laws;
  • Compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and discrimination claims based on family/medical leave status;
  • Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Equal Pay Act, and state wage and hour laws;
  • Employee disabilities and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act;
  • Compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and other veterans’ rights issues;
  • Regulations involving plant closures and the Workers Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act (WARN);
  • Employee hiring issues, such as drug-testing requirements, background checks, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act;
  • Compliance with state and local affirmative action laws and Executive Order 11246;
  • Compliance with the National Labor Relations Act;
  • Employee immigration issues and compliance with work authorization (I-9) requirements; and
  • Compliance with COBRA, ERISA, HIPAA, unemployment, workers compensation, workplace safety, OSHA, False Claims Act, and others.

Workforce Management

Businesses of all sizes deal with personnel management issues.  Our goal is to handle them proactively, before they become business problems.  Tydings' depth of practice allows us not only to assist with workforce reductions, discipline, and discharge concerns, but also to provide assistance with employee hiring, performance evaluations, and performance counseling.

We handle the full spectrum of management training issues, including respectful workplace protocol, discrimination and harassment claims response, developing and implementing complaint procedures, and strategies to avoid retaliation claims from employees.  Our workplace-management experience also extends into areas such as:

  • Resolving corporate successorship issues;
  • Handling collective bargaining and labor relations, including unfair labor practice claims;
  • Managing wage classification issues; and
  • Assisting with internal investigations of sexual harassment and other employee complaints.

Policies

Establishing corporate protocol and policy is vital in today’s complicated corporate world.  Clients frequently retain us to draft, revise, and review their employee handbooks, employment applications, trade secret protections, and policies on drug and alcohol testing, among other essential policies and procedures.  This ensures that their policies are in compliance with local, state and federal regulations.  We routinely review clients’ electronic-systems policies, including policies relating to e-mail, voice mail, Internet access, social media, fax machines, and computer use, as well as policies relating to all other aspects of the workplace.

Agreements

The employment relationship may encompass a multitude of agreements designed to protect both the employee and the employer.  Tydings has years of experience in drafting virtually all of the agreements required in a company’s day-to-day operations, regardless of its size. We regularly draft and review:

  • Employment agreements, severance agreements, noncompete agreements, and confidentiality agreements;
  • Key-man and executive compensation agreements, as well as stock option agreements;
  • Consulting and independent contractor agreements;
  • Stockholder agreements with employment/managerial provisions;
  • Temporary employment company contract claims; and
  • Commission plans.

Benefits

Employee benefits are a key component in the hiring and retaining of quality management and other personnel.  Regulations involving these benefits can be overwhelming.  Our attorneys advise clients on, and litigate cases involving, benefit plans, benefits law, and fiduciary obligation compliance.  We also assist employers with deferred compensation plans and ‘Rabbi Trusts,’ as well as phantom-stock plans and Stock Appreciation Rights Plans (SAR Plans) to motivate key personnel.

Auditing Services

Human resource audits allow employers to confirm that they are in compliance with state and federal regulations.  Audits also determine areas at risk of non-compliance and help a company develop action plans for limiting potential liability through proactive, preventative, or corrective measures.  Conducting audits on a regular basis enables employers to remain current with legal requirements and human-resource best practices.  Tydings provides auditing services in the following areas:

  • Wage and hour practices;
  • Employment policies;
  • Record keeping;
  • Work authorization; and
  • Benefits.

Leadership

Melissa C. Jones is chair of the firm's Employment and Labor Law Group.  She is an active member of Meritas, a network of law firms in major cities around the world, and currently serves as a member of the organization’s Labor & Employment Section steering committee and as co-chair of its Mediation Section.  She is also a past member of its Board of Directors, served two terms on its Executive Committee as Vice-Chair of Finance, served as co-chair of its Labor & Employment Section from 2006-2014, has served on its Finance and Business Development committees, and was a member of its Leadership Institute Class of 2006.

William W. Carrier, III, the firm’s Managing Partner and a member of the Employment and Labor Law practice group, has been listed by Benchmark Litigation since 2010 as a ‘local star’ in the state of Maryland and cited by Baltimore Magazine for the past seven years in an annual list of Maryland “Super Lawyers.”  Mr. Carrier has a lengthy record of accomplishment in defending companies in employment litigation and general commercial disputes.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended IBM Corporation in United States District Court in many discrimination actions over a 20-year period;
  • Successfully defended IBM in hundreds of lawsuits in Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia, alleging repetitive stress injuries from use of computers and supermarket scanners, all of which were either dismissed before trial or won on motion before trial;
  • Represented Becker CPA Review in the first lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice under the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Successfully defended a retailer/distributor against claims brought by its former HR Director, including claims for vicarious liability, negligent hiring and supervision, gender discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • Represented Select Restaurants, Inc. in a lawsuit, brought by former employees alleging violations of the WARN Act; the complaint was dismissed on summary judgment;
  • Successfully defended Best Buy, Inc. in a discrimination action brought by a former manager;
  • Successfully defended a nationally known law firm against an FMLA claim in federal court;
  • Represented Ventiv Health Sales, Inc. in an age-discrimination case before the United States District Court; the case was dismissed on summary judgment;
  • Successfully represented multiple clients in an employment discrimination case in D.C. Superior Court; and
  • Represented numerous clients before the Equal Opportunity Commission, as well as state and local fair-employment-practices agencies.

Representative Clients

We have represented or currently represent these clients with their employment needs:

  • 180s LLC
  • Adams Express Co.
  • Advance Bank
  • All Risks, Ltd.
  • American Office Equipment Company, Inc.
  • Becker CPA Review
  • Best Buy, Inc.
  • Bob Davidson Ford
  • Cloverland/Greenspring Farms Dairy, Inc.
  • Friends Nursing Home, Inc.
  • Hearn Kirkwood
  • Holly Hill Manor, Inc,
  • IBM Corporation
  • Mars, Incorporated
  • MM&P MATES Program (a multi-employer training fund)
  • Ryder Systems, Inc.
  • Select Restaurants, Inc.
  • Sheet Metal Workers National Pension Fund
  • The Classic Catering People, Inc.
  • U-Haul Company of Maryland
  • Ventiv Health Sales, Inc.
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