Freelancers are taking over the workplace!

According to one recent 2016 study, 55 million Americans are working as freelancers (which is 35% of the US Workforce). The use of freelancers by businesses raises all sorts of legal questions, but most significantly is the issue of worker misclassification.  Businesses routinely classify freelancers as independent contractors, not employees.  Is this correct?  It depends on a variety of factors.  In general, if the freelancer is truly independent (meaning that the business does not control…
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Divorce in the DMV

The Washington DC metro area is a curious creature. Generally, it includes Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, but it’s not unheard of for people to commute here from their homes in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware (as Joe Biden did during his time in Washington). While these are all separate jurisdictions, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia (“the DMV”) do share a similar culture.    The area is notorious for its high cost…
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Taking Your Real Estate Investments “On Tour”

Consider that you are a professional violinist who lives in Maryland. To build your career as a solo violinist you are planning your first tour to Pennsylvania and Ohio, and you need to attract local audiences in those states.  How would you connect with potential concertgoers?  Newspaper ads, Internet advertising, and mass mailings all could be effective in attracting individuals in Ohio and Pennsylvania who would be interested in hearing you perform. It would be…
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Minimum Wage in Montgomery County Set to Increase Again

While is seems like the minimum wage in Montgomery County, Maryland was just increased to $10.75, employers are now less than 90 days away from the next increase. On July 1, 2017, the minimum wage will rise to $11.50 per hour.   While this increase is not a surprise, as the legislation approving this lift in the minimum wage rate was passed several years ago, the fact remains that Montgomery County will have the highest minimum…
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The “Tourte” of a Real Estate Investment

Most people have heard of Antonio Stradivari, who likely is the most renowned violin maker of all time. Few outside of the violin world, however, have heard of Francois Tourte, who developed the modern violin bow and has been called the “Stradivari of the bow.” People understand that a quality violin can make a huge difference in the quality of sound produced. Students will spend weeks trying different violins to find the one which is…
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Do you have an advanced health care directive?

Do you have an advanced health care directive? If not, you have plenty of company as only 30% of Marylanders have an advanced health care directive in place. An advanced health care directive allows you to name an individual (and often a backup) to make health care decisions for you if you were unable to communicate your decisions to a health care provider. Many people are familiar with the term “living will” as well. Health…
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Employers Need To Be Aware Of Potential Retaliation Claims

Most employers are well aware that they cannot make employment decisions based upon a person’s race, disability, sex, age, national origin, religion and other classes protected under federal, state or local law. However, many employers seem to run afoul of the employment discrimination laws not because they engage in discriminatory conduct based upon a person’s membership in a protected class, but rather by retaliating against the individual for raising a possible discrimination issue.  In fact,…
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SIZING UP IN VIOLINS AND INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE

If you have ever attended an elementary school instrumental music concert, you may need your parental pride to outweigh the general cacophony that is inflicted on your ears. Sometimes, however, you may find a group of violins that sound pretty good. Why is that? Well, for technical reasons, string players can start younger[1]. As supply meets demand, violins can range from a 1/32 size up to full size.  Therefore, a child can start playing the…
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Do You Need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and plenty of people have engagements and weddings on their minds. Besides the perfect ring, what else do you need? Everyone plans for their marriage lasting forever but sometimes circumstances happen beyond your control. Knowing that you can’t protect yourself from divorce, any steps you can take to avoid litigation and provide security is key. Many people are unaware that even property titled in their own names, can…
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Non-Compete Agreements

Is a non-compete agreement enforceable? In Maryland, if the terms of the non-compete agreement are reasonable then the Court will generally enforce the agreement.  To determine what is reasonable, many factors need to be analyzed.  Such as, what is the duration of the restriction?  What is the geographic scope of the restriction?  What is the scope of work that is being restricted?  If the non-compete is narrowly tailored to protect the legitimate business needs of…
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