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Lawsuit alleges Laurel law firm failed to pay overtime wages



A former employee of McCabe, Weisberg & Conway LLC in Laurel is suing the law firm, alleging her employer violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by incorrectly classifying her as a salaried employee in order to avoid paying her for overtime work.

Dena Hodges was hired by the foreclosure and bankruptcy firm in October 2012 as a “team lead,” and worked in the firm’s Laurel office until November 2013, the lawsuit states. But “despite her title,” Hodges’ main duties involved data entry, such as preparing deeds, ordering checks and recording foreclosures, the complaint states.

In November 2013, Hodges was transferred to the Leesburg, Virginia, office, where she worked in the firm’s deed recording department until April 2014. Here, she held no specific title, according to the lawsuit.

Throughout her time at the firm, Hodges began work at 7 a.m., Monday through Friday, and was required to work until 4 p.m. but often stayed into the early evening hours, the suit states.

According to the lawsuit, the firm knew she was working late and that she was “misclassified” as a salaried employee who received biweekly pay in the amount of $2,333.94.

“Defendant willfully and intentionally did not compensate Plaintiff for the overtime wages she was owed by unjustifiably paying Plaintiff under the guise of a salary,” the complaint reads. “There is no bona fide dispute that Plaintiff is owed overtime wages for work performed for Defendant.”

Laura H.G. O’Sullivan, managing attorney for the firm’s Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., offices, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on the lawsuit on Tuesday.

The firm continued to withhold overtime wages after Hodges inquired about her pay, according to the suit.

The lawsuit, which alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Maryland Wage and Hour Law, requests overtime wages for all weeks in which Hodges worked more than 40 hours at the firm, at at least 1.5 times her regular hourly rate, as well as an equal amount of liquidated damages and both pre- and post-judgment interest.

James Lanier, an attorney for Hodges, did not immediately return a request for comment on Tuesday. Lanier is with The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl in Baltimore.

The case is Dena Hodges v. McCabe, Weisberg & Conway LLC, 1:15-cv-02248-GLR.


About Lauren Kirkwood

Lauren Kirkwood covers the business of law beat at The Daily Record.