Richard Vernon is an employment attorney at Lerch, Early & Brewer in Bethesda, Maryland who defends employers against all workplace claims made by individuals (applicants, employees and former employees), governmental agencies or other organizations. These encompass discrimination allegations, wage and hour disputes, EEOC complaints and sexual harassment claims, among others. Rick founded Lerch Early's Employment and Labor group.
Rick’s clients include private corporate employers in a wide variety of industries, ranging in size from small to very large firms with hundreds of employees. Some of the industries in which he represents clients are: transportation; property management; construction; education (institutions of higher learning); professional services (law firms, accounting firms, physicians’ practices, and architectural firms); automotive; technology; health care; associations; and travel. Rick earns his clients’ trust and appreciation by making their problems his own. His clients value his advice, geared toward practical solutions to employer challenges. Rick’s impressive record over the last two decades is highlighted by the fact that administrative agencies have ruled against his clients just twice in well more than 100 discrimination cases.
Rick’s wide-ranging practice also involves extensive counseling and advice to reduce the risk of litigation on issues relating to compliance with employment statutes and regulations, and with judicial and administrative rulings. He has successfully counseled employers in more than 1,000 employee discipline or discharge matters, with the end result that either no administrative charge or other claim was ever filed, or that any charge filed was dismissed. Rick also advises employers in matters involving union avoidance and negotiation of collective bargaining agreements in situations where a labor union actually represents a company’s employees.
Rick is the author of articles on various employment issues and frequently speaks on EEO issues, including the topic of employers’ rights and obligations with respect to employees who have health-related conditions.
Rick earned his Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College and his law degree from Columbia University School of Law. He served on the staff of the general counsel, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), in Washington, D.C., and as a trial attorney in the NLRB’s regional office in Philadelphia. He has been in private practice since 1972, and is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Rick is listed as a Super Lawyer in both Maryland and the District of Columbia; has been designated by the Washington Business Journal as a finalist in its "Top Washington Lawyers" Employment Law category; and named three times as one of SmartCEO magazine’s "Greater Washington Legal Elite."
Rick enjoys biking and spending time with his wife, a jeweler who exhibits at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Va.
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Super Lawyers Business Edition (2013-present)
- Listed in Maryland and District of Columbia Super Lawyers (2012-present)
- Named to SmartCEO's Greater Washington Legal Elite for employment law (2012)
- Ranked AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
- Named as "Go-To Attorney for Business" in SmartCEO's Legal Elite (2010)
- Named to SmartCEO's Greater Washington Legal Elite (2005)
- Finalist, Washington Business Journal "Top Washington Lawyers," Employment Law Category (2004)
- Maryland State Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Association (past Chair, EEO Committee)