W. Baker Gerwig, IV
W. Baker Gerwig, IV
Associate Attorney, Atlanta, GA
Education
  • B.S., Biology, Washington College;
  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School.

I started my career as an assistant field scientist in several wildlife biology labs. I went to law school so that I could be more engaged with problem-solving in my community. I have always felt an urgent need to understand the nature of things—to cut to the heart of the issue—and law school equipped me with the analytical skills to do that for my community.

My career as an attorney began at a small law firm in Tennessee, where I represented employees in matters against their employers. That position taught me the ins and outs of employment law. Most importantly, I learned what mistakes a business could make to expose itself to liability.

Now, I’m proud to bring that knowledge and skillset to advise and defend employers. I believe in Stokes Wagner’s client-oriented, collaborative, and proactive approach to employment law. My clients’ issues are my issues. I believe in working tirelessly and performing excellently. This pursuit of excellence gets me out of bed in the morning, and I try to apply it to everything that I do.

Outside of the office, I enjoy sculpting, wildlife photography, and watching the Criterion Channel with my cats.

Historically, employers have used noncompete agreements to prevent competition or dissemination of confidential information when an employee leaves a company. However, the last few years has seen the erosion of their enforceability across the country. Frequent readers of our legal updates will recall that on July 9, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission “to curtail the unfair use of noncompete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” (See our legal update here.) State legislators and courts have begun restricting the noncompete before the federal government has had time to act.

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Employers who use biometric technology in the workplace should be aware of the developing trend towards legislation targeting the misuse of biometric information. Biometric technology, which is used to identify individuals by the measurement and analysis of their unique physical characteristics, including fingerprints and facial features, can be used for a variety of activities ranging from timekeeping to controlling and monitoring access to information and worksites. However, the increasing legislation around the collection and use of this information is creating a legal minefield for unwary employers.

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At the September 15 meeting, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a new policy that will affect hospitality businesses operating on Los Angeles County property. Policy 5.290 was recommended to the Board in a letter from the office of the County’s Chief Executive Officer. The Policy affects how labor disputes are handled at “hospitality operations” on County-owned or operated properties. “Hospitality operators” is defined in the Policy to include hotels, restaurants, and hospitality/food concessionaires. The Policy will apply regardless of whether or not the entity conducting such operations has leased directly with the County or with the County’s “lessee, licensee, or concessionaire.” It also applies to subleases, sublicenses, assignments, and transfers.

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Florida Governor Rick DeSantis has issued a statement that the State of Florida will appeal a recent preliminary injunction granted by US District Judge Kathleen Williams blocking the State from enforcing a recent law banning “vaccine passports” against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

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The Affordable Care Act requires covered employers to report that they offered minimum essential coverage to their employees by filing IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Until recently, the IRS offered “good-faith transition relief,” which allowed businesses to avoid penalties related to the submission of incorrect or incomplete information in Form 1094-C and 1095-C filings, including missing or incorrect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs), dates of birth, and other vital information. Under that policy, a business that submitted forms containing any incorrect or incomplete information could avoid penalties simply by demonstrating to the IRS that it had made a “good-faith” effort to comply with ACA regulations when furnishing the forms to individuals and filing with the IRS.

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