Rockville and Bethesda, Maryland, Employment Law Attorney
Dismissal of Gender Discrimination Claims
We won a solid victory in Circuit Court recently, representing a large construction company sued for gender discrimination. The court agreed with us that the claims of the plaintiff were not made timely, and dismissed the suit, The court lauded our ability to grasp the technical issues and important civil rights regulations that allowed us to make arguments other attorneys might have missed.
Age and Gender Discrimination in the Federal Government
We settled a case for a 55 year old GS13, who lost out on a promotion to a GS 14 to a younger man. We encouraged her to file a complaint with her agency, which agreed to mediate. The agency agreed to promote our client to a GS 14 within a few months, offer her training and mentoring, and reimburse her for selected costs.
Disability Discrimination in Private Hospital
We represented a physician who charged her hospital with failure to accommodate her disability and constructive termination. At stake were thousands of dollars in vacation pay, which she was only entitled to if she were laid off. Our client argued that she had no choice but to leave, tantamount to a dismissal. Hence she should get her vacation pay. The hospital agreed to mediate, and settled by awarding our client the pay she sought, including most of her attorney's fees.
Successful Defense in Non-Compete Litigation
We recently defended a woman who left one company for a larger entity in a related field, and was sued for breach of her non-compete. We successfully negotiated a settlement before any hearing in court, enabling our client to continue with her new job without any legal interference . The plaintiff's former employer withdrew its lawsuit.
Age Discrimination in Federal Employment
We recently settled a case with the United States Department of Agriculture, which offered our client a new, professional position, after she claimed she was laboring in clerical type jobs for ten years, as well as backpay. We also settled a case with the United States Department of Commerce, which offered our client a raise in grade retroactive six years, compensatory pay, and a chance for early retirement.
Failure to Notify of Pension Changes
We settled a case of a former employee of a company that had sold its assets to another corporation, which changed the pension policy and failed to notify our client of her time to opt for better benefits. The corporation paid out compensatory damages to redress the inequity she alleged.
Defamation of a business
We represented a company that was defamed by a competitor during a trade show presentation, at which time the competitor claimed our client was unlawfully using its materials. The competitor agreed in part to a retracting statement that was sent to a list of our client's customers.
Threatened Termination of Federal Employees
The law firm recently represented four different employees of three different federal agencies, all of whom faced imminent termination. In one matter the employee had worked for the Social Security Administration for 40 years. In the second the employee had worked for almost 25 years with the Department of Agriculture. In the third and fourth the employees had similar tenures with Health and Human Services. Three of the employees were over 60 and firing would have been a disaster. In each instance Ms. Farber was able to convert the dismissals to resignations and save their full benefits. Ms. Farber also negotiated for severance and agency recommendations and in one case helped the employee to secure disability retirement.
Threatened Downgrading of Federal Employees
The law firm recently represented two different employees of HHS, both of whom faced immediate downgrading as a result of reorganizations. In both cases Ms. Farber was able to implement the process to preserve their grades and secure comparable positions for them. Ms. Farber also represented another employee of the same agency who faced a performance improvement plan after 30 years. Ms. Farber worked successfully with the agency to find the employee another supervisor and expunge the PIP.
Settlement of Large Commissions Case
The law firm represented an employee of a federal contractor, which had promised him large commissions for bringing in certain types of work. Unfortunately, the parties had never executed a written agreement formalizing their terms. Nevertheless, after filing suit Ms. Farber was able to settle the case for a six figure number.
Settlement of Three Montgomery County Employees Cases
Ms. Farber represented two female employees who believed they had been significantly underpaid over their tenure with the county. Working with the County Attorney's Office Ms. Farber was able to secure a monetary settlement for each that fully redressed the inequities over many years. Ms. Farber also represented a county employee who was passed over for a promotion in part after the county misplaced his application. The county has agreed to settle this matter, too.
Successful Defense of Company Against Tort Suit
Farber Legal had a resounding victory in October 2007, when the Circuit Count in Frederick County granted it summary judgment on behalf of its client, Goldbelt Raven, a Federal contractor sued by a former employee for negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court found that the employee's exclusive remedy was workman's comp ( which she failed to file under), not negligence, and she did not have the evidence to meet the very high standard for intentional infliction. The ruling, which came after oral argument by Ms. Farber, knocked out the need for a trial and ended the case with a great victory for our client.
Successful Defense of Church Against Sexual Harassment Suit
A Lutheran Church and its minister were sued for sexual harassment. After a 3-week jury trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $1,000,000. The Church and the minister retained our firm in an effort to get the judgment reduced. We filed a series of motions. After oral arguments, the trial judge threw out the million dollar judgment, then recused himself for committing errors at trial that resulted in the prejudiced decision. A second judge affirmed that the million dollar verdict should be overthrown, cited our persuasive arguments, and ordered a new trial. Based on our legal research, briefs, and oral arguments, the Court threw out the entire case on summary judgment, not even allowing it to go to trial. This is a difficult victory to secure in Circuit Court, and was doubly sweet because we prevailed against one of the larger law firms in the country.
Sexual Harassment of Employee in the Public Eye
The State's Attorney fired an Assistant State's Attorney, who hired us to represent her. The State's Attorney alleged job-related reasons, but we showed that he was actually trying to cover up their former personal relationship, which she had severed. He fired her for rejecting his advances. Despite his immense popularity, we convinced the county to settle with the Assistant State's Attorney. As a result of this case, the State's Attorney lost his office in the next general election.
Successful Defense of Company Sued for Sexual Harassment
The plaintiff sued a company for $1,000,000, claiming egregious sexual harassment and physical mistreatment. The plaintiff was represented by 3 lawyers. We represented the defendant company. The judge allowed witnesses who were former employees to testify about how the president of the company harassed them over many years. After a 2-week jury trial — with 10 witnesses testifying against the company — plus a PowerPoint presentation — the jury decided in the defendant's favor. Jurors said Mindy Farber was more credible and they made specific reference to her closing argument. The plaintiff got $0 — nothing.
A Million Dollar Verdict Against a Fortune 500 Company
A Canadian company sold security devices to major American airports for the multinational L2 corporation. After 9-11, when airports started revamping and improving their security, the company won profitable contracts. When the multinational L2 Corporation saw a lot of money coming in, it fired the Canadian company and cut the final deal itself. After a 2-week jury trial in American courts, the jury awarded the Canadian company over $1,000,000. The jurors met with Mindy Farber after the trial and called her "awesome."
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
We represented a man who had to take time off for chemotherapy for his cancer. His company kept reassuring him to take whatever time he needed, that his job was waiting for him. When he returned, on his very first day, the company said it had no work for him. In a deposition we learned that an employee had heard the company president say that our client was going to cost them too much in health insurance. We got this man a six-figure settlement.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
We represented an auto parts manager who developed cancer of the tongue. He had to go out for chemotherapy and radiation treatments. His employer terminated him, and smugly argued that he did not fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act because despite the cancer, he had no major life restriction. We pointed out that he could no longer speak, which was surely a major life activity. We got him a six figure settlement.
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
We represented one of the first AIDS victims in the United States. He was a dentist, whose companion was a well-known D.J. When the companion died — one of the first reported deaths — it made all the papers, which described the grief of our client. His franchisor then locked him out of his clinic when it saw his name published. At the time, there was no law protecting AIDS victims, so I told the franchisor all about its anti-trust violations in Maryland. It quickly settled.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
We represented a woman who had to take time off to care for her brain-damaged newborn. On her second day back at the job, her company, a Fortune 500 enterprise, told her that she had been part of a layoff while she was out and that she no longer had a job. We learned that she was the only employee purportedly laid off, and that no one had bothered to write or pick up the telephone and tell her she was laid off while she was home with her baby. We got her a settlement in the six figures.
Our firm represents 13 former employees of the Eshkol Academy, a religious school, who were bilked by the school's founder, former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The plaintiffs are seeking over $150,000 in back pay and $1,000,000 in punitive damages. Abramoff's lawyer again tried to get the civil case delayed, but a Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge rejected the request and insisted that our plaintiffs be allowed to move ahead.
Most national builders in this area (including Lennar, American Homes, and Century 21) had a rule that when real estate agents left their employment, either voluntarily or involuntarily, they gave up whatever commissions were in the pipeline. The rule said when the agent is gone, he/she cannot collect anything beyond the last day worked. Our firm has been very successful in collecting these commissions for agents, amounting to many thousands of dollars. Most builders have now rewritten their internal rules giving agents their commissions no matter when they quit working for the builder.
Civil Rights: Disability Discrimination
We represented a police officer candidate who received one of the highest scores on the test to become a policemen in the District of Columbia, but was rejected because he was epileptic. At the time, DC had a regulation that restricted all epileptics from working for the government no matter how controlled their disability was. Our client had no seizures since he was 14. A celebrated federal judge found in our favor, ordered him instated immediately, and awarded him the back pay, seniority and retirement benefits necessary to make him whole.
Civil Rights: Race Discrimination
We recently represented an African American accused of stealing from his company. We pointed out that his career had been marked by race discrimination, including having his office photos smeared with white-out. The accusation had resulted in his false imprisonment. We won him a six figure settlement before litigation began, just by dogged settlement negotiation and images of what we were prepared to show a jury.
Civil Rights: Age Discrimination
We recently represented two sisters who worked for the same company. They reported that management kept asking them when they were going to retire. In fact, they could not afford to retire. We found emails in a computer no longer used by a departing employee that confirmed that staff complained about having to work with "these old ladies who smelled like a hospital." We showed these emails to management. The case settled.
Non-Compete Agreements (Covenants Not to Compete)
This past year we were successful in breaking four non-compete agreements:
- One involved the founder of a successful diversity training program, who had sold out and signed a non-compete.
- The second involved a sales manager who wanted to go work for his competitor.
- The third involved a scientist who wanted to take some of his environmental clients out west to a new business venture in Washington D.C. And
- The fourth involved a founder of a company who sold the company for a considerable sum, signed a five year non-compete agreement, and then wanted to work elsewhere.
In each instance we were able to negotiate successfully with the other side and avoid expensive, time-consuming litigation. We are recommended by non compete websites as a leading MD firm working in this area.
Federal Service Regulatory Law
We represented an African-American female who over thirty hard years worked herself up to an SES position, only to have a new administrator try to take it away, claiming that her work was deteriorating. We beat a lengthy motion for summary judgment and then settled by having our client move to a comparable job in a different division.
Academic Tenure and Termination
We regularly represent administrators and faculty at all the major universities in this region, either because of denial of tenure or termination. We have also served as counsel to scores of public and private school teachers, staff and administrators who cannot get promotions or are fired.
- Football Coach: We represented a popular football coach at a very prominent private school, which has graduated many famous people over the last half century. The headmaster said they needed new blood. The coach was in his late 50s and took that to mean they sought a younger guy. Without litigating, we were able to marshal the alumni and convince the school to settle or suffer horrible publicity. We were able to get the coach a very generous severance and relocation package, which he preferred to keeping his job.
- University Dean: We represented a high profile dean at a major state university who learned that she was being relegated to professor with a cut in pay. She had always suspected that some of her colleagues resented her because she came from another country and was considered "pushy". We suggested to the President that there was an air of gender and national origin discrimination that just looked bad. Would a man be called "pushy"? We kept her deanship intact.
You're Invited to Call or E-mail.
"If you have questions about any aspect of employment and labor law — such as sexual harassment, any type of discrimination, compensation, non-compete agreements, academic issues such as tenure and termination, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or Federal service regulatory law — please don't hesitate to call or send me an e-mail. I'll be happy to help you in every way." — Mindy
For more information, contact an employment lawyer at Farber Legal. We offer an initial consultation at a discounted fee. We represent clients in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area, including Rockville and North Bethesda.