In an earlier blog entry from September of 2010, we reported that when a claimant has misreported his or her wages to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation ("DLLR") while seeking unemployment insurance benefits, it is difficult for us to reverse the decision. Typically, when a claimant fails to accurately report his or her earnings, the DLLR has the right to recoup any benefits paid out as a result of the inaccurate phone or web certification. Consequently, in such cases, the DLLR will issue a finding of fraud, which becomes a part of the claimant's state record. Such a finding can be troublesome to anyone seeking employment, whether in the public or private sector. We are happy to report that through our involvement in an appeal, the DLLR Board of Appeals recently issued a favorable decision that now often allows us to successfully argue for the removal of fraud. Therefore, if the DLLR is demanding for you to pay back benefits, citing that you have committed fraud, call us to help you.
Sometimes, an employer's adverse action against a worker has consequences beyond the employer/employee relationship -- consequences that can impact one's profession. For example, we regularly defend nurses before the Maryland Board of Nursing ("MBON") concerning alleged violations. When a nurse has been counseled or discharged by the employer for a work infraction, the conduct may be reported to MBON. MBON, then, often seeks to investigate the alleged impropriety and can subsequently take action, including suspending or revoking the nurse's license. This process is slow, taxing, and often stressful since the outcome of the investigation and the impact on the nurse's license is uncertain. We are often called on to assist navigating through this arduous journey because the nurse realizes the potentially serious outcome. Action against a nurse's license can severely hamper one's ability to practice, so it is imperative that you get all the help you can in order to prevail. MBON does a good job advising nurses of their right to counsel, but not everyone heeds their advice, thereby compromising their ability to defend themselves. Make sure you follow MBON's advice -- don't go it alone -- hire us to help you.
We are receiving a large volume of calls from state and federally employees with pressing employment situations. They are workers who are facing serious adverse action -- demotions, suspensions, and most frequently, terminations of employment. Our law firm has been quick to respond to these workers' needs, and we are happy to report that we have established a stellar resolution record.
In some cases, our involvement early on has resulted in immediate reversal of the employer's action. Sometimes, this can be accomplished by a phone call or a well-crafted letter. For example, we recently assisted a Baltimore County worker employed in the school system who was facing a multi-step demotion, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost income annually. We immediately stepped in and the worker's position and salary were reinstated.
In other situations, when a phone call or letter do not suffice, we arrange for face-to-face meetings with the employer, sometimes through settlement conferences, and there we are typically able to achieve an outcome that the worker and we believe is desirable and just. In one recent case involving a Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) employee of twenty years, we were successfully able to convince the agency to conditions and terms that the agency disclosed had not previously been agreed to for someone in a similar work position as our client. In a case involving a Baltimore City Department of Social Services (DSS) worker with a most troublesome performance record, we successfully obtained settlement that included monetary compensation and, since the worker had no desire to return to the department, the department's termination for gross misconduct was converted into a voluntary resignation with a favorable reference -- all to make sure the worker's future employment prospects, whether public or private sector, were not hampered in any way.
Amicable resolutions are unfortunately not always attainable. Therefore, in those situations where litigation is the best way to pursue a matter, our zealous representation and experience provide our clients with the voice they need and require to be properly heard and get their matters resolved. In another recent example, we assisted a long-term Baltimore County teacher with a daunting task. Because of the difficulty of the matter, we realized that the case would likely have to go to hearing. The matter settled, on the county's initiative, literally hours before hearing, with the county agreeing to our demands.
Employment terminations are unfortunately inevitable and they constantly happen. If you have been wronged and face adverse action, instead of taking matters into your own hands, call on us to help you during this critical and daunting time. Without the proper know-how and experience, your matter can be severely compromised.