News

Recent trends show an increase in employee theft and fraud over the past few years, with potentially devastating consequences.  According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, U.S. organizations lose about 7% of annual revenues to fraud.  Moreover, the median occupational fraud loss is $175,000, and more than 1 in 4 frauds involves losses of…

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Maryland’s Prevailing Wage Law, governs, among other things, an employee’s rate of pay, working hours, and other employer obligations on construction projects for which the state expends more than $500,000, and when state public funds cover 50% or more of the construction expenses. For construction projects covered by this law, all contractors and subcontractors on…

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The Employer Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires large employers (i.e., those employing at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees) to offer group health plan coverage to their full-time employees.  As many federal contractors know, the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (the “Service Contract Act” or “SCA”) requires federal contractors to…

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Maryland employers are particularly wary of employee wage claims because Maryland’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) provides for enhanced damages (i.e., three times the amount of withheld wages) and attorney’s fees to a prevailing plaintiff in certain situations. However, the Maryland Court of Appeals has recently placed restrictions on a plaintiff’s right to enhanced…

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Recently, the Maryland Court of Appeals discussed a new restraint on the State’s “at-will” employment doctrine, one that is triggered by language commonly found in employment agreements.  Specifically, the Court held that an employment contract clause providing that the employee could be terminated “for-cause,” negates the presumption of at-will employment, thereby precluding an employer from…

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Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”) has become popular among businesses in recent years, with good reason, but at least one vital feature to check in any such policy is whether you have the right to use your current lawyer in defending any claim. EPLI policies cover employment claims brought by current or former employees for…

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As many businesses shift their seasonal focus to summer activities and services, it is helpful to know whether and to what extent the ubiquitous waivers signed by parents on behalf of their minor children, usually as a condition to participation, are enforceable. The Maryland Court of Appeals recently clarified the state of the law in…

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Fee-shifting clauses, enabling the prevailing party in a contract dispute to push its legal bills onto the other party, are subject to wide-ranging interpretation by courts. This provision, though popular, deserves a second look before you sign a contract or enter into litigation over a contract that has one in it. Landlords, tenants, and any…

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Next year the cost of dying in Maryland will drop, and keep dropping, for people with Maryland estates of more than $1 million. After years of resisting the trend among states, the Maryland legislature acted in this most recent session to reduce local estate taxes gradually over the next five years until the state exemption…

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