Posts by: A. Howard Metro

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Failed To File Personal Property Tax Return? CASE DISMISSED

In a recent case,  the Court of Appeals of Maryland dismissed the appeal of a Maryland limited liability company (“Company”) in a breach of contract action because the Company failed to file a personal property tax return.  After September 30, of each year, the Comptroller of Maryland issues a proclamation with a list of every…READ MORE

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Exempt Employee: What Is The Level Of Discretion That Qualifies?

Our clients have generally recognized that providing an employee with a salary is not enough to exempt that employee from overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) established the forty (40) hour week, minimum wage, overtime and what jobs were exempt from these requirements. The administrative exemption to FSLA requirements permit an employer to classify…READ MORE

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The Social Security Numbers Do Not Match!

Recently, we have learned that our clients are receiving letters from the Social Security Administration indicating that the Social Security Numbers submitted with payments for FICA and, presumably, Medicare, do not match.  This often may involve an undocumented worker; however, it could simply mean a clerical error. The employer who receives a no-match letter stands…READ MORE

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Do Your Employees Understand Their Duty of Loyalty?

All of your employees are subject to an array of implied common law duties. This includes the “duty of loyalty” which requires an employee to serve his or her employer faithfully and refrain from knowingly or willfully acting to harm the business. It also requires the employee to refrain from conflicts of interest with the…READ MORE

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Employer FAQs regarding Montgomery County’s “Earned Sick and Safe Leave”

Are you an employer? Do you conduct business in Montgomery County or do your employees perform services there? Are any of these employees excluded from your company’s leave policies? If so, a new Montgomery County law means that you likely have to change your practices. Montgomery County enacted a new “Earned Sick and Safe Leave…READ MORE

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Beware of the “Harmless” Letter of Intent

When you sign a “non-binding” Letter of Intent or Term Sheet before negotiating a lease, you might logically believe that you will not be bound by it. Unfortunately, based on recent trends and case law, that is not true. Letters of Intent and Term Sheets (both referred to as “LOIs” here) serve the same purpose:…READ MORE

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Big Issues, Short Takes – June 2013

“Rain Tax, Rain Tax, Go Away!” You can chant “Rain Tax, Rain Tax, go away”, but it won’t stop Maryland’s new levy, implemented to offset the costs of runoff from impervious surfaces into the Chesapeake Bay. The Rain Tax affects you if your home, business or non-profit is located in Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick, Anne…READ MORE

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Big Issues, Short Takes – April 2013

Cyber Security – Stronger Passwords A few years ago, we thought 8-character passwords were strong. Then the Georgia Institute of Technology tested 8-character security using commonly available programs and cracked the passwords in two hours. But it would take thousands of years to crack a 12-character password using the same technology. Moral of the story:…READ MORE

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The Mistake – “Just Sign Here” Software Development Contract Problems

Businesses often call us about disputes involving signed contracts that require payments of thousands of dollars for software development, although the software was never fully developed or made functional. Unfortunately, our assistance would have been far more valuable before the software development contracts were signed. Too often, form software development contracts protect only the developers….READ MORE

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But the Employment Manual was on the Internet!

So often, we hear this from our clients who use employment manuals drafted by attorneys or human resource managers, which were posted on the internet. Unfortunately, more often than not, the manual does not comply with the appropriate laws and is not narrowly tailored to meet the needs of the employer’s unique business. This could…READ MORE

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Tradesecrets: Protect Them or Lose Them

Every business has trade secrets consisting of confidential and proprietary information such as its business processes, marketing plans and client and price lists, all of which are integral to the success of the business. The absence of affirmative action by the business owners to protect trade secrets can be catastrophic. The primary threats to a…READ MORE

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Annual Report Nightmares: Forfeitures and Deficiencies

To maintain good standing, entities formed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, such as corporations, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies (and the list goes on…) must file annual (Maryland or Virginia) or biennial (District of Columbia) reports (annual reports for cooperatives/associations), pay fees and in some states taxes, based on the report…READ MORE

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With the Internet There Is No Need for Lawyers. Wrong!

Case #1: A client, who recently used an agreement that he found on the internet, called us for help. The agreement was used to hire a subcontractor for a $100,000 task to be performed over several months, yet payable at a daily rate of $1,500 per consultant. The agreement had a beginning and an end…READ MORE

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Employee Theft – Can It be Avoided?

Be careful of the thief who masquerades as your bookkeeper. The law is not as kind to employers as it once was. Recently, McMillan Metro, P.C. was called upon to represent two different employers for claims of employee theft, with one claim involving over $1M. What happens when someone inside your business forges your signature…READ MORE

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Have You Reminded Your Employees of the Duty of Loyalty?

All employees are subject to an array of implied common law duties arising from the unwritten contract requiring the employer to pay wages in exchange for the employee’s performance. While the duty of loyalty provides protection for the employer as well as a powerful enforcement instrument, it is often overlooked and ignored. Too often employees…READ MORE

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