What Happens When State and Federal Overtime Laws Differ?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Unpaid Overtime Nov 12, 2021

desk with overtime pay sticky noteEach state in the U.S. is different for a variety of reasons, from weather, culture and food to car insurance requirements and laws on overtime pay. In some cases, state overtime laws differ from federal overtime laws.

It is important to know some of the basics about state and federal overtime laws and what happens when state overtime laws conflict with federal laws. You should not count on your employer to inform you about the law or rely on your own assumptions about this issue.

If you were denied overtime pay by your employer, and have been unable to resolve the situation, give us a call today at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl. We offer a free consultation and have a proven track record of recovering unpaid overtime for employees.

Differences Between Maryland Law and Federal Overtime Law

Both federal and state law require eligible employees to be paid one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay for overtime hours. Overtime hours are any hours worked over 40 in a week.

However, some states completely exempt farm and agricultural employees from overtime pay, but Maryland does not. They can receive overtime pay for any hours worked over 60 in a single week. There is also a state-specific overtime limits for employees of nursing or retirement homes. They must receive overtime pay if they work more than 48 hours in one week. Under state law, registered nurses cannot be required to work overtime unless they follow certain procedures.

While your overtime pay is based on your regular rate of pay, the regular rate of pay for Maryland workers may be higher than in some other states. Maryland’s minimum wage for 2021 is $11.75 per hour. That means, at minimum, overtime-eligible employees receive $17.63 for overtime hours.

In some ways Maryland wage laws are more generous than federal overtime laws and the overtime and wage laws in some other states. When there is a discrepancy between state and federal overtime laws, the more generous laws apply.

How Much do Employers Need to Explain About Wage Laws?

Any employer that has employees who are overtime eligible is required to post a notice about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a conspicuous location in all its establishments so employees can read it.

Employers may explain things in more detail when employees are hired or put it in an employee handbook. Employees should be able to get their questions answered by their employer.

However, employees are regularly misclassified as exempt from overtime laws. Sometimes employees are led to believe they are exempt simply because they are paid on salary. However, that is not true, under federal or state law.

Some weeks you may work more hours than others. Employers may try to average your hours and pay you based on that average to avoid overtime pay. However, that is illegal. It is also important to note it is not up to you to keep records of your hours worked. This responsibility falls to your employer. They cannot get out of paying overtime by saying you did not tell them about overtime hours your worked.

You should be paid for hours spent training, traveling or being on call. These need to be counted toward the total number of hours worked in a week.

If you have more questions, you can do your own research. If you notice a pattern of not being paid overtime, filing an FLSA complaint may not be enough. You may need to get an experienced attorney to advocate for your rights and help you pursue the wages you were denied.

Were You Denied Overtime Pay? Give Us a Call Today

There are no upfront fees or obligations with our services. Our Maryland unpaid overtime lawyers are prepared to help you recover the wages you were wrongly denied, and we do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

There is no risk in contacting us to learn more about our services. We are here to explain your options and how we can help.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.



Our Offices

Local phone 410-244-7005
36 South Charles Street, Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21201

Local phone 757-397-6424
355 Crawford Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704