EMPLOYMENT LAW

At Seigel Rouhana Legal Group, Paul Rouhana leads the employment litigation department on behalf of employees. Clients of SR Legal Group injured at work invariably have employment law questions, and unfortunately suffer employment discrimination simply because they filed a workers’ compensation claim. At SR Legal Group, the firm will aggressively defend the rights of employees suffering from employment discrimination.

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Paul Rouhana is an experienced trial attorney, having successfully tried jury trials in state court and federal court in Maryland and Florida.  He is barred in the states of Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.  In addition to handling claims filed through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR), he also routinely handles trials before the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) in Accidental Disability Retirement (ADR) appeals.  Paul also has successfully handled Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims, as well as consulting and conducting FMLA audits and I-9 training and audits on the behalf of employers.

EMPLOYER ADVISOR

In addition to representing employees, Paul Rouhana also advises, consults and represents companies in employment matters. This includes audits of company policies, training of human resource departments and managers, as well as defending employers against employment claims before government agencies, state and federal court.

If you have an employment question, please contact Paul Rouhana and SR Legal Group, LLC at info@srlawgroup.com or at 443-470-1015.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the FMLA and what are my rights?

FMLA is a federal law that protects workers from being unjustly terminated due to a serious health condition for themselves and immediate family members.    You have the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave from work in any 12-month period to care for yourself and/or a family member.

Do I qualify for FMLA?

A:  In order to qualify for FMLA leave, you have to have done the following:

  1. been employed by the employer for at least 12 months;

  2. have worked for the employer for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months;

  3. and have been employed at a worksite with at least 50 employees at that location, or within a 75-mile radius.

I qualify for FMLA! What am I eligible for?
A: An eligible employee is entitled to FMLA leave:

  1. because of a serious health condition which has left you unable to work;

  2. to care for your spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition to care for the your newborn child or a newly-placed adopted or foster child;

  3. 12 work-weeks of unpaid leave;

  4. the right to take the leave on a full-time, part-time or intermittent basis;

  5. the right to be restored to the same or an equivalent position when you return;

  6. the right to continued health benefits during the leave; and

  7. the right not to be discriminated against for taking the leave.

I don’t want the employer getting away with discriminating against me.  Can I sue?

A: If after your free consultation with the the SR Legal Group, it is decided that a lawsuit should be filed, you would be entitled to certain damages allowed through the FMLA.  These damages would include back pay (including the benefits lost), liquidated damages, attorney’s fees, and recovery of costs. 

How much time do I have to take action?

A:  The statute of limitations for an FMLA claim is typically two years, three years in certain circumstances.  But, a lot of preparation and investigation has to go into an FMLA lawsuit, so the sooner you contact Paul Rouhana and the SR Legal Group the better chance we will have to evaluate your particular circumstances.   

I can’t afford to pay a lawyer for this.  How does the fee arrangement work?

A: In most cases, the SR Legal Group will represent you in your FMLA case on a contingency basis.  A detailed retainer agreement between you and the law firm will be drafted, reviewed with you and signed, outlining all of your rights and responsibilities during the litigation.  Do not wait to call if you think you have been discriminated against. 

 

EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION

I have a disability.  Am I protected?

A:  Possibly.  Employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities is prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This law applies to existing employees and applicants for employment.  A person is considered disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such disability.  Major life activities include seeing, hearing, speaking, walking, breathing, manual tasks, learning, caring for oneself and working.

Who is a qualified individual with a disability?

A:  A qualified individual with a disability is a person who possesses the skills, experience, education or other requirements for a job and can perform the essential functions of that job with or without reasonable accommodations

I asked my employer for an accommodation and they ignored me.  Is that wrong?

A:  When an employee needs a reasonable accommodation for a disability, the employee should ask the employer for the accommodation. An employer is generally only required to make accommodations for disabilities it knows about.  This is an informal and interactive process where you tell your employer what accommodations you need to help you do your job.  The employer then needs to discuss and explore your request with you.

I was discriminated against over three months ago! Do I still have time to file?

A:  Yes.  Federal law requires that you first file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before you can file a lawsuit.  Under federal law, you have 300 days for a Maryland-based claim to file your charge.  The state-equivalent Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) allows you to file within 180 days of the last event of discrimination. 

It is very important that you contact us as soon as you believe you have suffered discrimination at work in order to protect your rights.

Religious discrimination

 Discrimination and harassment on the basis of religion are prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  So is retaliation against people who file or support complaints of religious discrimination or harassment.  An employer with 15 or more employees must accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs unless this creates an undue hardship. 

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and is prohibited by federal, state and local laws.  It may include such conduct as unwelcome sexual advances, and/or physical or verbal harassment that is sexual in nature.  The law protects both males and females from sexual harassment in the workplace.

Discrimination claims

Workplace discrimination, or employment discrimination, occurs when a job application or an employee is treated less favorably than his/her peers because of the employee’s race, national origin, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, or religious beliefs.  Discrimination may occur in the hiring process or may be related to compensation and benefits, promotions, job assignments, training, or discipline, including termination.

Retaliatory discharge claims

 Retaliatory discharge occurs when an employer retaliates against an employee by terminating him or her for having engaged in “protected activity”, which is an activity protected by law or public policy.  Examples of protected activity include but are not limited to reporting a workplace injury; illegal discrimination, sexual harassment and discrimination.

Damages in employment discrimination claims

In an employment discrimination claim, a successful plaintiff is entitled to a range of damages, including back pay, front pay, compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering, and punitive damages in certain circumstances.  A successful plaintiff is also entitled to costs and attorney’s fees.

Whistleblower claims

 A whistleblower claim arises when an employer retaliates against an employee because he reported, threatened to report or refused to participate in illegal or improper activities, such as those that threaten the health, safety or welfare of others.

Non-compete and severance agreements

A severance agreement is a contract between an employer and employee setting forth the terms of an employment separation or termination.  The terms of such agreements vary, depending on the circumstances.  Some severance agreements include non-compete and/or non-solicitation provisions and as well as provisions requiring the employee to cooperate with the employer in transitioning work or during investigations of work or matters of which the employee has knowledge. 

Hostile work environment

 A hostile work environment exists where an employee is subjected to an environment of hostility or harassment based on a protected category such as race or gender.  An experienced employment attorney can review the facts of your situation and applicable law to determine how workplace conditions may be improved, and/or how you should be compensated for wrongdoing that has already occurred. 

WAGE & HOUR CLAIMS

Under both federal and state law, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to pay an employee for work already performed.  Likewise, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to pay an employee overtime and/or minimum wages when due.  If you believe you are being cheated out of your hard earned wages, call Paul Rouhana and the Law Offices of Seigel, Tully, Furrer, Rouhana & Tully today for your free consultation.