Blog

What Is My Unpaid Wages Claim Worth?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Employment May 30, 2018

filling out time sheetIf your employer failed to pay you overtime or the wages to which you are entitled, you may be able to file a lawsuit or claim with the state of Maryland to recover the money you are owed. You could also be entitled to additional forms of compensation that are meant to punish your employer for breaking the law.

If you would like to learn about your options for recovering your unpaid wages, contact an experienced Maryland unpaid overtime lawyer from The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl for assistance. We can explain your rights during a free initial consultation and develop a legal strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case.

Unpaid Wages

Employers are required to pay their employees for the hours that they have worked. Workers are entitled to at least their state's minimum wage. Maryland's minimum wage is currently $9.25 per hour and it increases to $10.10 per hour on July 1, 2018.

However, if the employer and employee agree on a higher rate, this rate must be paid. If your employer did not pay you for the hours that you worked, you may have a legal claim against your employer for unpaid wages.

In addition to your actual hours worked, you may also be entitled to wages for break times if your employer provides for breaks. This includes:

  • Short breaks during the workday
  • Time when you are required to work even if your employer refers to this time as a break, such as eating lunch at your desk just in case customers or clients come by

Unpaid Overtime

Overtime refers to any hours during a workweek that exceed 40 hours. Under state and federal law, compensation for overtime hours is time and a half, or 150 percent of your regular rate of pay. For example, if your hourly rate is $10.00/hour, your overtime rate for all hours worked over 40 hours is $15.00/hour.

Some employees are not entitled to overtime pay, based on the industry and type of position that they work in. For example, employees who are compensated on a salary basis are not entitled to overtime pay. However, employers may sometimes misclassify employees to avoid having to pay overtime compensation.

A lot of unpaid overtime claims involve employers paying employees at the regular rate for the overtime hours worked. In this type of case, the amount of damages would be equal to 50 percent of the hourly rate for each overtime hour worked.

Additional Forms of Compensation

In addition to being entitled to your unpaid regular and overtime wages, you may also be able to receive other forms of compensation, including the following:

  • Interest – You may be able to receive interest on the unpaid wages, based on a specific rate determined under state law.
  • Penalties – You may also be able to recover penalties under state law.
  • Final paycheck – Employers are required to give employees their final paycheck on the day they would have normally been paid. If your employer did not pay you on that date, you may be able to receive damages equal to three times the amount of your final wages.
  • Liquidated damages – Under Maryland law, you can request liquidated damages. These are a special type of damages available in situations when it is difficult to quantify the amount of actual damages that you have suffered. You can request liquidated damages that are equal to the amount of your unpaid wages.

Filing a Lawsuit Over Unpaid Wages

If you were not paid your wages, you may choose to file an administrative claim with the Maryland Division of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, or you may choose to file a lawsuit. A lawyer can explain your deadline for filing your claim. He or she can also discuss the damages that you can pursue through an unpaid wage claim, including reimbursement for attorney’s fees and costs to bring your claim.

Contact an Attorney

An employment law attorney can assess your case during a free consultation. He or she can also advise you if you may have additional claims against your employer, such as a breach of contract or wrongful termination lawsuit.

A lawyer can discuss your legal options so that you can make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case.

Schedule a free consultation today with one of our trusted attorneys.

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

GET WHAT YOU DESERVE

410-244-7005

Our Offices

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

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