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Practice Areas and Information

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Employment Law

I represent both employers and executives in all types of employment law proceedings.  I have litigated many different discrimination and grievance claims for federal, state and local employees, including law enforcement personnel.  I represent companies in defending claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state and federal courts.  I represent federal employees in claims of discrimination, harassment, and reprisal against agency employers.    


I help prevent wrongful employment practices by drafting appropriate policies and handbooks and guiding employers through every step of the employment relationship.  I also represent employees in addressing employment abuses and resolving employment disputes.  Over the years, I have prepared and negotiated a great many employment agreements, benefits packages, restricted covenants, and severance agreements.  


In every case, I focus upon the legitimate business considerations of the employer and any protected status or conduct of the employee.  I use my expansive knowledge of the employment laws to guide my clients to their business goals in each and every employment issue.  Contact me to assist you today.

Business Law

When it comes to helping business owners and assisting in corporate formation and management, I carefully explore every option and describe every aspect to each client in layman's terms. These issues include choice of corporate form, where to incorporate, how to structure and staff the business, and key considerations to ensure legal compliance. I focuses on taking care of the legalities to leave you free to succeed at your business.


Whether you are looking to start a new business, have an employment lawyer review your current employment policies and practices, or expand your business, you can count on me.

Wage and Hour Law

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) describes how most employers must compensate their employees for hours worked.  The FLSA generally requires employers to pay overtime compensation to employees who work over 40 hours in a workweek, unless an exemption applies to the employee's duties and the employee is paid the required minimum salary for all hours worked in a week.  The Department of Labor has proposed regulations to the FLSA to require overtime compensation for more employees.  


Currently to satisfy the salary basis test, employers must pay an employee at least $455 per week (which is $23,660 annually) as a salary for all work performed in a week.  This means that the employee’s salary cannot be docked for partial-day absences except in limited circumstances.  (Otherwise the employee is essentially paid on an hourly basis.)   Under the duties test, the majority of an employee’s duties must be exempt Executive, Administrative, or Professional work, or certain types of outside sales or high-level computer work.  .


Whether a worker qualifies as an employee or independent contractor is a hot topic in wage and hour law.  An independent contractor must exercise control over the method and manner of performing his or her duties, use his or her own tools for performing the job, and otherwise work on a finished product or service to be provided.   


Because of the complexity of the federal and state laws covering payment of wages to employees, employers are often confused and do not act in compliance with the law.  As a result, consultation with a qualified attorney knowledgeable in federal and state law is an essential first step to ensuring compliance.

Non-Competition Agreements

Employers and executives have many concerns when it comes to non-competes.  Employers need to prevent loss in hiring staff to service their valuable clientele and use their trade secrets.  Employees need to know what terms an employer can legitimately enforce and when an agreement goes too far in curtailing their future ability to make a living. 


Non-competes are disfavored by the law in most states, including Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. They generally run counter to the prevailing  public policy in favor of free and open competition. Nevertheless, non-competes are valid and enforceable if they are supported by a legitimate business interest of the employer and are narrowly tailored to protect that interest.  As a result, a non-compete should never be offered or signed without first obtaining legal advice from experienced counsel.


I have drafted a great many restrictive covenants, including non-competes, non-solicitation clauses, and non-disclosure agreements.  I represent employers in enforcing them and executives seeking to defend themselves from overbroad previsions in state and federal courts. 



Representation of Medical Professionals

Physicians and Surgeons

  

Over the years, I have represented many physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals. They often have specific employment issues that require an experienced eye to review and advise.


As a condition of employment, physicians and surgeons often must agree to work for a long duration – even several years – at the same practice. This runs counter to cultural norms against involuntary employment but may still be enforceable depending upon the contract’s provisions. 

Physician Contracts

Some physician contracts allow resignation with an extended notice period (6 months or more), or resignation for good reason if the nature of the employment changes dramatically. Otherwise, the physician or surgeon must continue working for the entire term or risk a claim for damages based on the practice’s inability to treat patients while seeking a replacement. 


Similarly, physicians and surgeons often must agree to burdensome non-competes when they start with a hospital or practice. While some jurisdictions prohibit non-competes for medical professionals because they limit patient choice, Virginia, Maryland, and DC do not bar physician non-competes. Experienced counsel may still challenge the enforceability of such agreements based on their terms and the practice limitations that they contain.

Nurses and Medical Staff

For nurses and other medical staff, many hospitals have grievance and appeal procedures that allow them to challenge disciplinary actions or termination. These procedures vary but may give medical staff the opportunity to select a person or panel to appeal to and even present evidence and witnesses in their defense. In addition to these special protections, medical professionals also may make use of the civil rights laws and protections available to non-medical employees.