An opportunity to work overtime is something many Maryland employees take advantage of. Maryland law allows most workers to receive 1.5 times their usual hourly wage in overtime, which is defined as any hours worked over 40 in a regular work week.
The term “wages” has various definitions beyond your hourly rate. Bonuses, commissions, tips and fringe benefits are all considered wages that your employer must legally pay you if you are entitled to them.
There are also many different activities that could constitute work. The definition of work is a service performed by an employee at the employer’s request, under the employer’s control and on the employer’s time.
You are not required to perform or accomplish anything to be considered working. If you show up to a job on time and your employer tells you to do nothing for a few hours, you are still considered working and entitled to your hourly rate and any overtime if it applies.
This law applies to all workers employed in Maryland, with some exceptions. If you qualify to receive overtime but believe you have not received the right amount, or if your employer is simply refusing to pay you, you have options.
There are requirements to meet before filing a claim
You could file a claim for unpaid wages through the Maryland Department of Labor if you performed more than 50% of your work in Maryland. It is important to note that you must have asked your employer for your unpaid wages and they must have refused before you can file a claim.
Requesting your overtime wages from your employer can be uncomfortable, but you must do it if you want to have any chance of receiving them. Additionally, your employer may approve your request and pay you, relieving you from the burden of filing a claim.
If your employer refuses and you decide to file a claim, make sure to follow all instructions and comply with all requirements. The Maryland Department of Labor then conducts an investigation and determines what, if any, amount you are owed.
They may try to settle the matter informally but you may end up in court if this is not successful.
Helping you receive exactly what you are owed
You might not even be aware that you are entitled to overtime or if the amount you received was correct. Calculating the correct overtime rate can be complex and sometimes employer’s calculations are wrong.
It is best to have your situation thoroughly reviewed by someone experienced with Maryland’s wage and hour law to help you determine exactly what you may be owed.
The time spent on this is worth it, since the law states that an employer may be liable for up to three times the amount of unpaid overtime, in addition to costs and attorney fees.
Many workers depend on overtime to help them stay financially afloat when times are hard. All workers deserve to be paid for their work according to the law and employers who violate Maryland’s wage and hour laws should be held accountable.