Silver Spring Employment Attorney Serving Employers and Employees in Maryland
Silver Spring employment lawyer Joyce E. Smithey provides experienced representation for employers and employees in Maryland. From developing comprehensive compliance programs to vigorously representing clients in employment-related litigation, Ms. Smithey has focused her practice on employment-related matters for more than 18 years.
Employment law is complicated.
Getting into compliance with all state and federal laws is not an easy task for employers. Many federal laws protect workers, and employers are expected to know them and how to implement them into their business structure. Here are a few laws employers need to comply with:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 – This law prohibits discrimination within the workplace that is based on race, religion, national origin, gender, or sex.
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 – This rule prohibits employment discrimination based on age. It applies to all employees or applicants that are 40 years old or more.
- Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 – This act protects people with physical or mental disabilities from being discriminated against during the hiring process and while employed.
- Civil Rights Act 1991 – It clarifies the rules provided for in Title VII and bolsters the rules for enforcement.
These anti-discrimination laws are extremely important. In an “at-will” work state such as Maryland, discrimination of any sort (as mentioned in the above laws) is one basis for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Health and Safety Laws
- Occupational Safety and Health Act – Commonly known as OSHA, this act establishes general safety guidelines for all businesses as well as setting up specific standards for individual industry needs. It also mandates that employers document all accidents that occur on-premises and contains rules regarding inspections and penalties for violations of the act.
Compensation and Labor Laws
- Right to Work Laws – About half of the states in the US have enacted what are called “Right to Work Laws.” These are essentially laws that make it illegal for anyone to force a particular employee (or potential employee) to either join – or refrain from joining – a labor union. In years past, it has been mandatory in certain industries that employees belong to and pay dues to labor unions. In contrast, some shops do all they can to stomp out the formation of labor unions, thereby prohibiting employees from joining a union if they wish to keep their job.
Under Right to Work Laws, either end of this spectrum is prohibited. But what about Maryland? Our state has yet to pass any actual Right to Work laws, but we do have Section 4-304 of the state’s Labor and Employment Code. This code prohibits any action by the employer towards the employee that is based on the employees’ membership, or lack of membership, in any labor union.
- Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 – Although many people today may not realize it, but this is the law that changed the working landscape in the United States drastically. Why are workdays only 8 hours and not 10, 12, or even higher? Because of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Why do you get paid overtime if you work over 8 hours a day? Because of the FLSA. Why do children not work in America (although they certainly still do in other countries)? Because of the FLSA. Before this monumental law was passed in 1938, people in the US were paid poorly and often worked inhumane hours for a mere pittance of a paycheck. Children were not immune to these horrid conditions, either. But the FLSA changed all of that, and although initially unpopular, it has taken root in our country so much so that now we have many states demanding even higher minimum wages than the Federal Government mandates. We honor workers’ rights in this country, and it all started with this law that codifies that employers must pay minimum wage and overtime.
- Equal Pay Act of 1963 – Although the struggle for equal pay began in 1870, it would take almost 100 years for the Equal Pay Act to become law. In 1961, women only earned 59 cents for every dollar that men made – doing the same job at the same company. Finally, in 1963, the Equal Pay Act became a law that simply requires employers to pay men and women equally for equal work
- Wagner Act and Taft Hartley Act – The Wagner Act established the National Labor Relation Board. These acts also layout the basics relating to unions, how they can organize, what they can and can’t do. It also patrols both employers and labor unions to ensure that neither entity uses any unfair practices. They also give states the right to pass laws making it optional for employees to join unions.
With so many laws requiring employer compliance, seeking out a qualified Silver Spring employment attorney to assist you in implementing these rules is highly recommended.
There is no other way to put it. For employees, knowing when an employer has violated your rights requires a thorough assessment of the facts and circumstances involved in your case – and then, you still need to go through the process of actually enforcing your rights to an administrative agency or in court. For employers, developing a comprehensive compliance program is just the start of the process. As regulations, technologies, and case law change, employers in Silver Spring must maintain an active focus on protecting their interests while first and foremost respecting their employees’ rights.
Silver Spring employment attorney Joyce E. Smithey brings more than 18 years of experience in representing employers and employees. As the city continues its astronomical rate of development, more and more businesses are setting up shop and opening new offices in this thriving community. A dedicated Silver Spring employment attorney, Ms. Smithey is available to represent new and established businesses in both claim prevention and employment-related litigation, and she provides experienced counsel to employees in the area who need help standing up for their legal rights.
Silver Spring Employment Attorney Joyce E. Smithey’s Areas of Practice
A talented Silver Spring labor lawyer, Ms. Smithey focuses her practice exclusively in the areas of employment and labor law, but within these areas, she maintains a diverse practice devoted to providing full-service representation tailored to her clients’ individual needs. Ms. Smithey regularly represents both employers and employees in Silver Spring and throughout Maryland with respect to the following matters:
- Employment Contracts and Severance Negotiations
- Equal Pay Act Violations
- Medical Leave Issues
- Retaliation and Reprisal
- Sexual Abuse and Harassment
- Wage and Hour Issues
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN Act) Violations
- Workplace Privacy
- Wrongful Discharge
While a significant portion of her practice is devoted to administrative matters, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and litigation, our Silver spring labor attorney at Smithey Law Group LLC also has extensive experience working closely with Maryland employers to develop comprehensive compliance and claim prevention programs tailored to their unique business circumstances.
Choose Joyce E. Smithey for Your Employment and Labor Law Needs in Silver Spring, MD
When it comes to labor and employment issues, your choice of legal representation can make all the difference. Here are five facts that you need to know about Silver Spring employment attorney Joyce E. Smithey:
1. She is Experienced.
Ms. Smithey has well over a decade of experience representing employers and employees in employment-related legal matters. Our Silver Spring employment lawyer works with employers across Maryland and has successfully represented numerous employers and employees in complex employment disputes and litigation.
2. She Has Broad Knowledge in a Narrow Field.
By focusing her practice exclusively in the areas of employment and labor law, Ms. Smithey has been able to develop deep insights into the legal issues affecting her clients. From hiring decisions to terminations, our Silver Spring employment lawyer is well-versed in all facets of Maryland and federal employment law.
3. She is Respected by Her Peers.
Ms. Smithey is well-respected by her peers in the legal community. She is widely recognized for her knowledge of employment law, and she has been named both a Maryland Super Lawyer and one of Maryland’s Top 50 Women Attorneys.
4. She is an Authority on Maryland Labor and Employment Law.
As a result of her extensive experience, Ms. Smithey has become an authority on Maryland labor and employment law. Our knowledgeable Silver Spring employment lawyer authored the Fourth Edition of the Maryland Rules Commentary and was a contributing author of the MSBA Maryland Employment Law Deskbook, and is a regular writer and speaker on employment law topics in Maryland.
5. She Does What is Best for Her Clients.
Above all else, Ms. Smithey is committed to doing what is best for her clients. Whether that means researching the latest developments on a niche issue or aggressively fighting for an employer or employee in court, Ms. Smithey is passionate about making sure her clients are protected.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the sick leave law in Maryland?
In 2018, a new law was passed in Maryland that addresses sick leave at work. Under the law, one hour of sick time is earned for every 30 hours that an employee works at a given job. If the company has 15 or more employees, each worker is entitled to up to five paid sick days per year. And if a company has less than 15 employees, they must still provide sick days. However, the employee is not entitled to be paid for that time off.
How do I know if I was wrongfully terminated?
Because Maryland is an “at-will” work state, it can be difficult to know if you have been discriminated against in a way that entitles you to compensation. “At will” essentially means that you can leave a job, or let go for any reason or no reason at all. So how can you know if your termination is “wrongful” if the law allows such flexibility? Well, the key factor here is to look for red flags, which would be any of the discriminatory reasons that violate the Civil Rights Act. This would include being fired for reasons such as sex, gender, race, age, or ethnicity.
Questions? Schedule a Free Consultation with Silver Spring Employment Lawyer Joyce E. Smithey
If you would like more information about Ms. Smithey’s experience, or if you have questions about a unique employment-related issue, please feel free to schedule a confidential consultation. To speak with Ms. Smithey about your employment or labor law needs in Silver Spring, MD, call (410) 919-2990 or get in touch with her online today.