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Questions Answered by Joseph D. Allen
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it unlawful for an employer to provide a false reason for placing an employee on administrative leave?

On March 16th, I was informed that members on my team have been laid-off/furloughed due to the epidemic. On March 19th, using my employers Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline, I submitted a report of racial discrimination for an issue that had been occurring for several months. The next day,... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 31, 2020

It's not entirely clear what the substantive difference between being on administrative leave and laid off/furloughed would be in this situation. Also, if the entire building was laid off prior to the complaint (or leave request?) being made, it might be difficult to establish a case of... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Libel & Slander and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: Can I sue in Maryland for loss wages, attorney fee, emotional distress, slander, etc

Hi. I’m a 22 year old female who’s life was flipped

Upside down. My ex charged me with theft over 100k, embezzlement, and theft scheme after I broke up with him. I was indicted, arrested, and two years later my case was nolle prosequi.

My ex never told the state’s attorney... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 29, 2020

To add on to Mr. Oakley's good answer, in a malicious prosecution action, the fact that the criminal charges were dismissed by the prosecutor (nolo prosequi) does not give the plaintiff the benefit of a legal presumption that there was no probable cause for the former employer to "bring" the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: My job description/classification in HR does not reflect job scope or duties. This has prevented access to benefits.

I was hired under an open job position, to quickly get me in the door with the understanding that I would be quickly reclassified as I established myself in the company. I have been made to apply for the job I am already performing several times, and have been told that I do not qualify. I received... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 28, 2020

The question raises several issues, and requires more facts and discussion to fully answer. Generally speaking, entitlement to union benefits (or eligibility for membership) depends on the applicable CBA scope. There are federal (FMLA and the recent COVID-19 changes) and Maryland (sick/safe... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can my job refuse to reemploy me because I enlisted in the US ARMY. I gave my resignation and sent copies of paperwork.

I gave my job my notice of resignation due to enlisting in the US ARMY. I just found out that my ship out date was pushed out to at least May 19 due to the coronavirus. I was only able to give them a one week notice due to the original date being 3/24/20. When I tried to ask if I could back to work... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 24, 2020

On the limited facts given, USERRA would seem to apply to this situation, and might protect the right to reinstatement following the change in ship out date. However, you'd need to discuss all the facts and circumstances with an attorney. It might be a situation where hiring an attorney to talk... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: If I won a OAH case and the other party filed a motion does the judge have to grant it
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 19, 2020

Depends on what sort of motion. Most "motions" are ruled on by judges by applying the law and facts to whatever it is the party is requesting the judge to do. If the "motion" is something like a timely filed notice of appeal, then there would generally be no discretion to disallow the appeal to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: We rent a house to a single man, his daughter and boyfriend came in to stay with him for a while! a year later we need

out! do we have to give a 30 notice?? since they are not on the rental agreement and pay nothing, what is the legal way of having them removed!! we live in Maryland, thank you!

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 12, 2020

It depends on all the facts and the lease (whether written or not). It might be properly a wrongful detainer, or tenant holding over, or breach of lease, or failure to pay rent- all are theoretically possible under the limited facts in the question.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Personal Injury and Sexual Harassment for Maryland on
Q: fired for mistakenly putting on a another person coat simerlar to mine. happen after expressing sexual harassment issue

coat was put on to do a task outside. our simerler coats were hung side by side. not sure if this sounds sensible but to me im still dumbfounded they used this as the reason the get rid of the problem. which all I wanted was the sexural harassment issues to be known so I didnt have to feel... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 10, 2020

Sexual harassment claims (as well as retaliation/wrongful termination claims based on employee complaints about harassment) are very fact-specific and require detailed analysis of the applicable law. There are strict deadlines for filing charges with the EEOC/MCCR, so you should discuss soon with... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Maryland on
Q: Looking for a MD attorney specializing in 14-12B and my rights as an health club center against the buyer. Thank you.

I’m looking for a MD attorney who specializes in small business health club services and non/compliance to Maryland Code Commercial Law Title 14 - Miscellaneous Consumer Protection Provisions Subtitle 12B - Health Club Services.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Feb 18, 2020

You might be searching in vain for an attorney who specializes in that narrow of a field. However, it seems like the type of question that could be answered by any attorney capable of interpreting the statute sections and any applicable regulations and applying them to your situation.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Maryland on
Q: I work in Maryland was wondering does law account for employees at multiple store or if it’s just employees at 1 store

I work for arbys. The law was passed in 2018 it states for an employer with 15 or more employees they owe 1 hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours. I said something to my area supervisor he said since we only have 10 employees at my store it doesn’t affect us

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Feb 18, 2020

The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (aka Sick and Safe Leave) is a vague about whether franchises of the same restaurant chain would be counted together as the same employer for purposes of the 15 employee threshold. However, it is clear that if the national chain is properly the "employer"-... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Personal Injury for Maryland on
Q: My landlord removed all of my property valued over $100.000 and included a pick up truck. 4 days before I was to vacate

That happened in September 2016 while I was out of state. He also broke a lease of farmland depriving me of 11 acres and my 4 acre vineyard (20 yr lease start 2011). Estimated annual income from wines at $7,000,000 conservatively.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Feb 6, 2020

Given the amount of time that has passed, it is possible that your potential complaint might be barred by the statute of limitations. You'd need to discuss all the facts and circumstances with an attorney, including the issue of when you discovered the problem(s).

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can employees who help supervise take part in tip pooling, when they are the ones working the floor and earning tips?

I’d like to add tipping to a service based diy art studio, but want to make sure it is fair to my whole staff. Staff help customers and potentially earn tips and do backroom work to finish customer creations.

Everyone is paid at or above state minimum wage, and I won’t be taking a tip... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 31, 2020

Unfortunately, there is no clear definition of supervisor or manager in the 2018 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Nor is there guidance on how an employer should handle a situation where a "manager" does not always act in that capacity. There are policies and practices that can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: I am looking to hire an attorney to help me with admission to Maryland Federal Court. I am admitted in NY Fed Court.
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 29, 2020

If you mean pro hac vice, that is simple enough. Regular admission requires some work by the sponsor if they don't know you:

Each applicant to the bar must be sponsored by an active member of this Court’s bar. The sponsor must know the applicant for at least one year. See Local Rule...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Election Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: I interviewed for a position that is a step above my current job. The woman that was hired has no experience

She is the president of the Board and as such was the appointing authority for the director who conducted the interviews. There is a close personal relationship between the two. Do I have any recourse?

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 29, 2020

There isn't generally a civil cause of action for nepotism or conflict of interest for an aggrieved employee. Depending on who the employer is, there might be an internal grievance procedure. Or, if it can be established that there was discrimination against the employee on the basis of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I was fired for calling out for a family medical emergency do I have a legal recourse?

I was on the last stage of disciplinary action, my wife had an out patient procedure and the next morning she started hemorrhaging badly. I called my supervisor and told him that I have a family emergency and I would need a to be out with his permission given the position that I was . He said OK... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 23, 2020

Possibly- it depends on all the facts and circumstances, but the employer's action could be a violation of FMLA or the MD Sick/Safe Leave law. Employees faced with an unforeseeable medical emergency generally only have to give notice as soon as is practicable under the circumstances. But again-... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Family Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Maryland on
Q: Once I am deemed the "legal father" by the affidavit of parentage (Maryland), am I protected by the 14th amendment?

Once being deemed the legal father by Maryland's Affidavit of parentage, does this give me full legal rights to have a relationship with my child, and be an active father? Even if the mother has since moved to another state? Do my rights disappear because she, and the children crossed over an... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Dec 19, 2019

You should consult with a family law attorney- they will be able to tell you whether you would need to file something in Maryland or the other state to challenge the ruling/judgment (most likely the other state). It is unclear what the due process/14th Amendment violation would be if you had... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Employee broke time clock screen, can he be made pay for an entire new time clock or just costs to fix the damages?

The employee came to work and because time clock would not accept his punch in, he smashed the screen. The time clock did not work afterwards. He was disciplined and received a written counselling for his actions and made pay restitution for damages. Now they come up with a cost to replace the... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Dec 19, 2019

The general rule is that actual damages are all that can be recovered- a fancy upgrade to a piece of equipment might not be in that category. But additionally, there are separate Maryland and federal laws regarding withholding pay from an employee (as opposed to demanding they pay).

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury for Maryland on
Q: Would the statue of limitations be based on date of injury or the date I became aware of the injury?

A little over 6 years ago Oct 2013 I was humiliated by an instructor at work in front of a group of people. It was unbelievable and malicious. (Additional details usually result in people being aghast and shake their head in unbelief.) At the time I did not realize I suffered a mental health injury... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Dec 19, 2019

Most likely, if the employment was in North Carolina, then that state's laws will control the statute of limitations and when the cause of action accrued. So you should post your question in that forum, or consult with a North Carolina attorney. Generally speaking, the "discovery rule" starts the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury, Environmental, Internet Law and Mergers & Acquisitions for Maryland on
Q: I have been traumatized due to a situation where my spouse and I hippa rights have been violated by the news station .

We have a big lawsuit that needs to be resolved sooner than later I have contacted a lawyer but she is way to expensive. She said I have a very big lawsuit and definitely been traumatized . this is something that will follow our life living here in our town. We only want justice and to live without... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Oct 18, 2019

There is no private cause of action for a HIPAA violation- in other words, an individual may not sue for damages based solely on such a violation. However, the Maryland Confidentiality of Medical Records Act does allow a person to sue for recovery of actual damages. It is possible that the same... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: Hello! landlord/tenant issue how do I get back possession of my house. quickest possible way?

house does not have Use & Occ permit but has city certified rental license. Final Plumbing/HVAC, Final Electrical, Lead Inspected. Tenant I yr lease expires end of month. paid 7 months. in default 5 months. Tenants went to court and got FTPR dismissed bcoz of U & O. I gave them30 day notice to... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Oct 18, 2019

In a tenant holding over action (as opposed to FTPR), there is no requirement that the landlord be in compliance with all local licensing ordinances. There is Maryland case law that the lack of a rental license in and of itself is not a justification for a court to award a refund of paid rent-... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Maryland on
Q: Can I get out of paying?

My lease ended 8/31/19. My landlord sent me a list of damages that we owe for, the letter was stamped 10/15/19, we received it 10/16/19. MD law gives them “within 45 days”, was this within the time frame? They held my security deposit and sent bill for damages. Also, I believe they are supposed... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Oct 17, 2019

30 days have September... The statute doesn't say the list of damages has to be received within 45 days. If the landlord actually paid for repairs, they would reasonably need to list that (as opposed to an earlier higher estimate). But if the damages are estimates, the statute merely requires... Read more »

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