Class Action

Maryland Fair Labor Standards

Fair Labor Standards

Employees in Maryland are guaranteed certain basic rights and protections from employers’ unfair labor practices. This includes the right to minimum wage and compensation for overtime.

If you believe your employer has failed to provide you adequate compensation for your work, contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl as soon as possible. For more than 30 years, our lawyers have been dedicated to protecting the rights of workers. We have worked with numerous victims of wage and hour violations throughout Maryland to recover the wages they were rightfully owed. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to determine if your rights as an employee were violated. Our Maryland fair labor standards attorneys do not charge upfront legal fees or costs and only require payment if you recover the compensation you deserve. There is no risk in scheduling a free review of your claim to find out if you have a valid case against your employer.

Call 410-244-7005 to schedule a free consultation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was created in 1938 to establish the standards for fair treatment and adequate compensation for workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments.

The FLSA provides employers with federal standards on how to treat and compensate employees, such as:

  • Paying employees minimum wage
  • Paying eligible employees overtime pay
  • Requiring employers record the number of hours each employee has worked

In addition to the protections offered by the FLSA, Maryland workers are also protected under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, which outlines how employees must be paid, and the Maryland Wage and Hour Law, which covers minimum wage and overtime. Employers are required to follow whichever law has a higher standard and offers better protections for employees.

At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, our attorneys have a detailed understanding of the laws that protect employees. We will conduct a thorough review your employment status, pay rates and number of hours worked to reach an informed decision about whether you have a case against your employer.

Complete our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

Maryland Minimum Wage Requirements

As outlined in the FLSA, most employees are entitled to receive a minimum wage. The federal minimum wage as of July 24, 2009 is $7.25 per hour. However, if a state has its own minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to receive the higher of the two wages.

Because of this, most Maryland workers are entitled to receive the state’s higher minimum wage of $9.25 per hour, effective July 1, 2017. On July 1, 2018, that rate increases to $10.10 per hour.

Although this applies to most employees, certain types of employees have different requirements.

Tipped Employees

If tipped employees regularly receive more than $30 in tips each month, employers may apply a tip credit toward the hourly minimum wage that is owed to the employees. However, the amount must be adjusted so that each employee receives at least minimum wage for every hour worked.

Tip credit laws exist at the local, state and federal level, and employers are required to apply the credit that gives the employee the highest wage after the credit is applied.

To calculate a tip credit, the required amount an employer must pay a tipped employee is subtracted from the total minimum wage rate due. In Maryland employers must pay at least $3.63 per hour. Under the FLSA, employers must pay at least $2.13 per hour.

If an employee does not receive enough tips to make up the difference between the direct wage payment and the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

Additionally, if an employee receives only tips and is not paid cash, he or she is owed the full minimum wage. Furthermore, an employer cannot make deductions from an employee’s paycheck or tips for cash register shortages, walk outs or broken items.

Amusement and Recreational Establishments

Maryland law requires that amusement and recreational establishments pay employees at least 85 percent of the state minimum wage or the full federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, whichever is higher.

Employees Under 20

Employees who are under the age of 20 must receive at least 85 percent of the state minimum wage for the first six months they are employed by a company.

If you were not paid minimum wage for all hours you worked, you may have a claim against your employer. Contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl for a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.

Learn more about your right to minimum wage by calling 410-244-7005.

Overtime Requirements in Maryland

Both the FLSA and Maryland law require that most employees be paid at least one and one-half times their usual hourly rate for all hours work in excess of 40 hours per week. This is known as overtime pay.

In Maryland, there are special requirements for certain employees:

  • Employees of bowling establishments and businesses that provide on-site care for the sick, elderly or disabled (except hospitals) must work more than 48 hours per week to receive overtime pay.
  • Agricultural workers receive overtime pay after working more than 60 hours per week.
  • Tipped employees are entitled to have their wages calculated based on the full minimum wage, not the lower wage payment. Employers cannot take a larger tip credit for overtime than for an employee’s regular hourly pay.
  • Taxicab drivers and certain other employees are exempt from receiving overtime.

If you believe you did not receive the overtime payment you were owed for the hours you worked, you may have a claim. Contact our trusted attorneys for a free and confidential review of your claim.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to contact our attorneys.

Exempt Employees

While most employees are entitled to these minimum wage and overtime requirements, both the FLSA and Maryland law identify certain employees who are exempt from these protections.

Salaried employees who meet one of the following descriptions are considered exempt employees who are not required to be paid overtime regardless of how many hours they worked in a week.

  • Executive – An employee is considered an executive employee if he or she earns at least $913 per week, or an annual salary of $47,476. His or her primary duties must include the management of the business or a subdivision of the business where he or she regularly directs the work of at least other two fulltime employees and has the ability to hire, promote and fire employees.
  • Administrative – To qualify as an administrative employee, the person must receive a salary of at least $913 per week, or an annual salary of $47,476. His or her primary duties must include doing office or non-manual work that is directly related to the management or operation of the business. He or she has the ability to exercise independent judgement on matters of importance.
  • Professional – This type of exempt employee also must earn at least $913 per week, or an annual salary of $47,476. His or her work must require advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning for which he or she received specialized education.

It is not uncommon for employers to attempt to misclassify workers as exempt employees to avoid having to pay overtime. However, if the employee does not fit one of these descriptions, he or she is entitled to overtime pay regardless of how the employer classified him or her.

Certain other Maryland employees are also exempt from both the minimum wage and overtime laws:

  • Commissioned employees
  • Outside salesmen
  • Certain establishments that sell food or drink on their property and make less than $400,000 per year
  • Drive-in theaters
  • Businesses that can, package or freeze seafood, poultry, vegetables or fruits
  • Trainees of a public school special education program
  • Certain agricultural employees

Our attorneys can help you determine if you have been improperly classified as an exempt or nonexempt employee and if you are owed minimum wage or overtime pay.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to learn more.

Employees vs. Independent Contractors

Additionally, the FLSA and Maryland labor laws only protect employees. They do not require that independent contractors receive minimum wage and overtime protections.

When determining if you are an employee that is entitled to the provisions of the FLSA, the law considers several factors, such as:

  • If the work you do is an integral part of your employer’s business
  • The level of control the company has over what you do and how you perform your job
  • The permanency of your relationship with your employer
  • If you exercise independent business judgment and decisions

In Maryland, workers in the landscaping and construction industries also have additional requirements for being identified as an employee or independent contractor.

Employers often misclassify employees as independent contractors to attempt to avoid paying minimum wage and overtime. Our attorneys can help you determine if you were incorrectly labeled as an independent contractor and if you are entitled to additional wages.

Call 410-244-7005 to find out if you are entitled to FLSA benefits.

Reporting an FLSA Violation

If you believe your employer has violated the FLSA you may file a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

The WHD is the federal agency charged with overseeing employers to ensure they follow the guidelines of the FLSA. This includes providing nonexempt employees with minimum wage, keeping certain basic payroll and employment records, and limiting the number of hours and types of jobs for children under the age of 18.

To report an FLSA violation, you must contact your local WHD field office and provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your address and phone number
  • The name of the company where you work or were previously employed
  • The company’s phone number or contact information
  • The name of the manager, supervisor or the company’s owners whom the WHD should speak to
  • The title of your previous occupation and typical job duties
  • How you were paid, such as check or cash
  • When you were paid, including the day of the week and frequency each month

Additionally, you should provide any records or documentation that details the course of your employment. This includes copies of pay stubs, personal records of hours worked or other information detailing your employer’s pay practices.

However, you only have two years to report an FLSA claim and collect any back wages or unpaid compensation you may be owed. The two-year deadline begins on the date the FLSA violation occurred. However, if your employer intentionally violated the FLSA, the statute of limitations will be extended to three years, according to 29 U.S. Code § 255.

During a free consultation, our Maryland unpaid overtime attorneys will advise you on which employment documents you need to properly file an FLSA clam. We will help you compile as much evidence as possible to build a case that supports your claim.

Call 410-244-7005 to find out if you have a case.

Investigating an FLSA Claim

If you have filed an FLSA violation complaint, the WHD may investigate your FLSA claim to determine if your employer has complied with federal and state wage and hour laws, to review any potential employment law violations, and to ensure your employer complies with federal and state labor standards.

The WHD investigator will review your employer’s employment and labor practices to determine if you and other employees have been properly paid according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) standards. Typically, a WHD investigation will involve the following steps:

  1. The investigator will examine your employer’s records to determine which federal laws or exemptions apply. These records may include ones that show the employer’s annual dollar volume of business transactions, involvement in interstate commerce, and work on government contracts.
  2. Next, the investigator will likely examine the employer’s payroll and employment records. The investigator will take notes or make transcriptions or photocopies for documents or information related to the investigation.
  3. The investigator may also interview certain employees in a confidential and private setting. The purpose of these interviews is to verify the accuracy of the employer’s statements, payroll and time records, to identify workers’ particular duties in sufficient detail to determine if they are exempt or whether the employer has violated child labor laws.
  4. Once the investigator has completed his or her investigation, he or she will meet with the employer or its representative. The investigator will reveal any violations that occurred and how they should be corrected. For example, if back wages are owed after the employer failed to pay minimum wage or overtime compensation, the investigator will request payment of any owed wages be made.

Typically, the WHD will not disclose the reason it is investigating a company or employer. Additionally, the WHD will protect the claimant by making his or her identity confidential.

As experienced attorneys in Maryland, we are familiar with how the WHD investigates FLSA violation claims. We will assist you during the WHD’s investigation by informing you of your rights and helping you interact with the investigator.

To get started, complete a Free Case Evaluation form.

Contact Our Attorneys to Discuss Fair Labor Standards in Maryland

If you believe your employer has violations your protections and rights under the FLSA, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl for a free, no obligation consultation.

We will review your claim to determine if you have a valid complaint against your employer. Our experienced attorneys will help you report your employer to the WHD and help you recover the compensation and wages you deserve.

All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge our clients upfront legal fees or costs. You will only have to pay us if we recover compensation for your claim.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.  

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