Defending Decency
And Civil Rights In The Workplace

When and why can I file a wage claim?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2023 | Employment Law

In Maryland, workers who are not paid the wages they are entitled to under the law must understand that they have the right to file a claim about it. This is often viewed as a simple failure to pay workers on time and in full based on the minimum wage, but there are other ways in which wage violations can and do take place.

Often, workers do not protest when they are not paid their legal wages plus overtime because they are unsure of their rights. They might also be reluctant due to fear that they might lose the job. Employers must adhere to the law and when there are violations taking place, workers should have a grasp on when and why they can file a wage claim. Having help can be essential for reaching a successful outcome.

Key points to know about wage issues and how to address them

Employers are not doing workers a service by paying them for work they have done. They are legally required to do so. These are services that are completed at the request and under the supervision of an employer. For that, workers are entitled to payment.

People are frequently under the mistaken impression that workers are required to do more than fulfill the requests made by the employer. They are not. Hypothetically, if an employee is asked to report to work at a specific hour and there is little or even nothing for them to do, they should still be paid for it.

There are many reasons why an employee who believes they were deprived of pay and benefits can lodge a wage claim. Simple matters like not getting the pay in the agreed upon amount or not getting paid at all will obviously justify a complaint. There are other reasons such as not getting paid commission.

Workers who are in sales may have an agreement where they get a percentage from the cost of what they sold. If they do not receive it, they can complain. For some workers, they have a working break. This too should be paid. Those who have been terminated from the job even have rights to certain payments. That might include severance, unused vacation time or benefits they had been guaranteed but did not receive.

The employer being late on the payments can be cause for a claim. Those who are entitled to overtime should receive it. Tipped workers could be deprived of what they are owed based on an illegal policy at a restaurant or tavern. Checks that bounced could be cause for complaint.

Having legal guidance can take the steps to get the wages that are owed

In some instances, the failure to get the agreed upon and legal wages is nothing more than a mistake. Simply informing the employer may be good enough for them to make the payment and get the employee current on what they are owed.

In other cases, it is done as a strategy to cut costs and mistreat employees under the expectation that they will not take the necessary steps to hold the employer accountable. For these situations, it is useful to have help from trustworthy professionals who know the law for wage and hour claims and can pursue the unpaid wages and other forms of compensation.