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Protecting your business.
Council Baradel’s employment attorneys are widely respected for their knowledge and experience in the complex and constantly evolving area of employment law. We closely follow the rapidly changing developments in laws and technologies affecting the workplace in order to provide our clients with appropriate and up-to-date advice. Our attorneys litigate employment matters in federal and state courts and before government agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and other agencies.
Our attorneys routinely handle employment matters involving:
- Harassment, discrimination and retaliation
- Wage and hour matters
- Non-compete agreements
- Hiring and firing
- Confidentiality and trade secrets
- Disability and leave matters arising out of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act
- Compliance with other federal, state and local employment laws
- Handbook drafting and review
- Contract drafting and review
Our practice is based on four pillars essential to representing businesses in all aspects of employment law. The first pillar is the most imperative, providing our clients with a solid foundation to support their thriving work environment with documents and best practices to reduce risk. The second is offering on-demand advice, delivering answers regarding various employment law issues as they arise. The third is a strong defense, where we passionately advocate for our clients in negotiation and litigation, when the disputes cannot be avoided. The fourth pillar encompasses workplace investigations, which we conduct thoroughly when the employer needs to dig deeper. We take great pride in offering these pillars to our clients, and we believe they are imperative to their stability and prosperity.
1. Solid Foundation – Supporting healthy, thriving workplaces.
Our attorneys work with clients to prepare employment documents and develop best practices to reduce risk. We take a preventative approach in counseling clients to minimize conflicts in the workplace that may lead to costly litigation. Well-drafted contracts, non-compete agreements, commission policies, and related documents help businesses establish a solid foundation for their relationships with their employees.
Our attorneys regularly assist clients in the following areas:
- Preparation of employee handbooks and personnel policies
- Drafting of employment offer letters and agreements
- Development of drug and alcohol testing policies
- Compliance with wage and hour regulations
- Compliance with mass layoff and plant closing regulations
- Drafting of severance policies and separation agreements
- Preparation of confidentiality and trade secret programs
- Preparation of non-compete, non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreements
Our attorneys also develop and conduct training programs for both supervisory and nonsupervisory employees. The training programs are designed to meet a client's specific needs in a wide variety of workplace issues, such as harassment; prevention of workplace violence; compliance with employment discrimination laws; proper hiring practices; minimizing liability in discipline and discharge decisions; compliance with health and safety obligations; and wage and hour compliance.
2. On-Demand Advice – Answers when you need them.
Our attorneys counsel clients and Human Resources departments on issues arising out of hiring, disciplining, and terminating employees, as well as navigating the difficult and expanding web of laws governing employee leave, pay, and other elements of the employment relationship. We're available for our clients when issues arise because, so often, employment problems can be avoided with planning and guidance (see: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure). Proper planning may be the difference between quick resolution and costly litigation.
3. Strong Defense – Powerful advocates for clients.
When disputes cannot be avoided, our experienced employment litigators represent clients in administrative proceedings, state and federal courts and appellate proceedings. Our attorneys approach cases aggressively and efficiently, with the goal of achieving the best results in the most economical manner. We litigate and negotiate a broad spectrum of employment related law suits.
Council Baradel also represents executive and other employees in certain matters such as wage and hour claims, contract review, negotiation and disputes, non-compete disputes, and severance agreements, to name a few.
4. Workplace Investigations – Thorough and complete.
Our attorneys also conduct and counsel employers on workplace investigations, including allegations of employee misconduct. We are frequently called upon to assist with investigations into harassment, discrimination and retaliation; possession/use/sale of controlled substances; compliance with corporate ethics; workplace violence; and employee theft.
- Twelve Council Baradel Attorneys Recognized in What's Up? Magazine's "Leading Lawyers" 2021
- Council Baradel Elects Lee Ann Adams and Elizabeth A. Pfenson as Partners
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Recognized as Top 100 Attorney in Maryland
- Fifteen Council Baradel Attorneys Recognized by Maryland Super Lawyers 2021
- N. Tucker Meneely Inducted as Fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro to Speak on COVID Employee Leave Laws
- Twelve Council Baradel Attorneys Recognized in What's Up? Magazine's "Leading Lawyers" 2020
- Alex R. Mennie Joins Council Baradel as Litigation Associate
- Webinar: Helping Businesses Comply with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- Protect your Business with a Current Employee Handbook
- Council Baradel and Bay Title Company Operations Amid COVID-19
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Kevin M. Schaeffer Recognized as Top 100 Attorneys in Maryland
- Seventeen Council Baradel Attorneys Recognized by Maryland Super Lawyers 2020
- Council Baradel Named Top Workplace for Third Consecutive Year
- Ronald E. Council Marks 50 Years as an Annapolis Attorney
- Sixteen Council Baradel Attorneys Recognized in What's Up? Magazine's "Leading Lawyers" 2019
- Property Tax Reassessment Appeal Deadline Fast Approaching
- Council Baradel Employment Law Attorneys to Speak at Anne Arundel Community College Conference
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown Victorious in Federal Wage and Hour Trial
- Mollie Walsh Beigel Joins Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Board of Directors
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown to Present on New Maryland Sick Leave Law
- Maryland Super Lawyers 2018 Recognizes Nine Council Baradel Attorneys
- James P. Nolan to be Honored at Two Events this November
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown to Host Wage & Hour Happy Hour on September 14th
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro to Speak to Calvert County Bar Association on Social Media Evidence
- Maryland Super Lawyers 2017 Recognizes Eleven Council Baradel Attorneys
- Shapiro and Brown Speak to Restaurant Owners on Employee Wage and Hour Lawsuits
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Elected Vice Chair of the Historic Annapolis Board
- Council Baradel Launches Employment Law Blog
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro to Speak to Business Owners on New Federal Overtime Rule
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Moderated Panel at ABA Labor & Employment Law Section's National Symposium
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro to Speak on Preserving and Admitting Social Media Evidence
- Six Council Baradel Attorneys Named 2016 Maryland Super Lawyers.
- Shapiro Joins Historic Annapolis Board
- Council Baradel attorneys came out in force for the Anne Arundel Bar Association's Bar Weekend in Hershey, PA.
- Ten Council Baradel attorneys named 2015 Maryland Super Lawyers.
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro gave a webinar to the Maryland Medical Group Management Association regarding changes to OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements becoming effective January 1, 2015.
- CRTC Taps Shapiro for Social Media Marketing Forum
- Susan Shapiro named "Power Player" by SmartCEO
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro to speak at CRTC.
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Celebrates 20 Years at Council Baradel
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Becomes Editor of The Barrister
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Named Trustee of Anne Arundel County Bar Association
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro accredited by International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Speaks to American Bar Association
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Becomes CRTC Ambassador
- Five Council Baradel Attorneys Named as"Leading Lawyers" by What's Up? Annapolis Magazine
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Speaks to Chesapeake Regional Tech Council
- Frederick C. Sussman and Suellen M. Ferguson Speak at MML Convention
- Matthew J. Bernhardt Joins CBKN as an Associate
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Included in SmartCEO Magazine's 2012 Legal Elite
- Frederick C. Sussman Appointed City Attorney for Aberdeen
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Speaks to Business Leaders about Social Media
- Susan Stobbart Shapiro Speaks to Anne Arundel Bar Association
- Feel Like Screaming Already? The New Federal Overtime Rule Explained Paying employees at the minimum salary threshold, alone, is not sufficient to make an employee exempt from overtime.
- New Year New Wage Laws for Non-Exempt Workers Effective January 1, 2020, the State of Maryland increased its minimum wage to $11.00/hour for most businesses.
- Minimum Wage to Increase July 1, 2018 Maryland employers should be aware that the minimum wage in Maryland will increase effective July 1, 2018.
- Maryland's Impending Sick and Safe Leave Law: Don't Wait to Review your Policies Currently working its way through the Maryland General Assembly is an emergency bill that is aimed at delaying the implementation of the new sick and safe leave law until July 1, 2018.
- Understanding the New Maryland Healthy Working Families Act Maryland has passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act ("MHWF") – which has been commonly referred to as "the sick leave bill."
- Maryland Sick Leave Legislation – Votes Verse Veto on Maryland Employers' Sick Leave Obligations When you're sick, trying to weigh the pros and cons of whether to go to work is something business owners and employees know all too well. While burying yourself in a pile of blankets on your couch while watching the Price is Right, and reminding Drew Carry that he will never be Bob Barker, may sound like a great way to kick a cold, many business owners and employees simply can't afford to take the time off. To address this issue, at least on behalf of employees, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation that would require employers to provide paid or unpaid sick leave to their employees.
- New Overtime Salary Rule Blocked by Federal Court Injunction On November 22, 2016, a Federal Judge for the Eastern District of Texas entered a nationwide preliminary injunction that stops the Department of Labor's (DOL) Final Rule from going into effect December 1st, 2016.
- Warning: Recent Court Decisions Invalidate Standard Non-Compete Language in Maryland Recent court decisions have eviscerated some non-compete and non-solicitation provisions that Maryland employers have used for years. Generally speaking, non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions will be upheld if they are "narrowly tailored to protect a legitimate business interest" – but not if they are found to be "overly broad."
- Tipping Off Your Tipped Employees About the FLSA Tip Credit is Just the Tip of the Ice Berg – What You Need to Know About the Tip Credit. Despite the common awareness that wait staff are paid lower hourly wages but supplement those wages with tips, restaurant owners still have to do more than say, "duh" when explaining pay to their new employees.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – the importance of keeping wage and hour records for your employees. What's remarkable about records is that it seems as though you never know how much one is worth until you don't have it. As a small business owner, this is especially true about the records you're required to keep for your employees.
- Non-Competes: Get More by Asking for Less A properly drafted non-compete agreement is a beautiful thing. Sadly, a large percentage of non-competes die on the drafting table. These deaths are preventable.
- New Minimum Wage Rate Effective July 1st, 2016 The Maryland Minimum Wage Act of 2014 imposes a schedule of minimum-wage increases, one of which takes effect Friday, July 1st, 2016.
- New Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Overtime Standards On May 18th, 2016 the United States Department of Labor announced its Final Rule that increased the salary standards for the executive, administrative, and professional overtime exemptions.
- The Fantastic Four – Four Documents that All Employers Should Consider Every business is different, but the majority of employers would benefit from spending time with their legal counsel to review their basic employment documents. These documents are what I call "The Fantastic Four".
- Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant Small business owners, you may be the most vulnerable to harassment and discrimination suits right now. Why? Because you have employees but aren't big enough to have a human resources department, and you feel that you are too busy trying to run your business to flesh out every rumor that you hear about employee complaints. This is where you put your business at risk.
- The Real Congress Members of DC: Solving Employment Law Problems through Reality TV I'm bothered by the unnecessary complexity of employment laws. Solution? We harness the awesome power of reality TV to kick Congress into gear. The revolution will be televised.
- Chaucer, the Prioress, her Lip, and your Employee Handbook Too many handbooks are written in a style popularized by bewigged and pompous barristers who practiced law circa 1791. This can cause employees to tune out.
- We're Smiling at Each Other and Shaking Hands – What has Just Happened? Business owners and managers approach lawyers with complex problems. The lawyer lays out the options and related risks and the business decides which path it thinks is best. During these discussions, it is easy to focus on the path to the point that one loses sight of the goal. Without a clear goal in mind, there is little chance of choosing the correct path.