When Does a Baltimore Company Violate the Wage and Overtime Laws?

October 30, 2017
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

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According to an article in The Baltimore Sun, former M&T Bank employees have filed a lawsuit seeking overtime pay. A total of nine former employees of the bank filed a lawsuit accusing the bank of violating federal overtime law. According to the lawsuit, the former employees claim that they were hired to complete compliance and analytical work. Instead, they performed routine clerical tasks and data entry work.

Since the bank was allegedly understaffed and saddled with heavy caseloads, the former employees consistently worked about 60 hours per week. They alleged that they should have received time-and-a-half for the overtime they worked.

Their entire argument hinges on their work duties. Their exact work duties would make them eligible for overtime pay according to the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit sought overtime pay and double damages on behalf of themselves and others who may qualify for the lawsuit. At the time of the article, the bank had declined to comment on the lawsuit.

What are the Wage and Overtime Laws in Baltimore?

The minimum wage and overtime standards are generally established according to the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA. The FLSA regulates the overtime pay and minimum wages for all full-time and part-time employees across the country. It does not limit the number of overtime hours an employee can work. It does make sure that all non-exempt employees are paid the minimum of one and one-half times their regular rate for hours exceeding 40 hours per week.

The Maryland minimum wage, however, is higher than that mandated by the federal government.  In short, the FLSA sets the floor but each state can require employers to pay a higher minimum wage than that mandated in the FLSA.  Moreover, depending on the specific locality in which you work, your employer could be required to pay an even higher minimum wage than that required by the state, assuming your state is one that mandates a higher minimum wage than the one set under the FLSA.  For example, the minimum wage for workers in Montgomery County, Maryland is more than $2.00 per hour above the State’s current minimum wage requirement.  The same is true in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Not All Employees are Included in the Baltimore Overtime and Minimum Wage Provisions

As the article noted, the bank lawsuit hinged on the nature of the work done by the former employees. Some employees are exempt from the overtime and minimum wage provisions of the FLSA, including, but not limited to:

    • Certain recreational seasonal amusement workers;
    • Executive, professional, and administrative employees such as teachers;
    • Casual babysitters; and
  • Fishing operations employees.

Other employees are exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA, such as movie theater employees, certain domestic service workers, and announcers.

A current or former employee can file a lawsuit against an employer who fails to pay overtime or the minimum wage required under the FLSA. The lawsuit typically seeks damages to make the employee financially whole again.  Those damages can include back pay of wages owed (typically beginning two years before the complaint is filed), double damages, as well as attorneys’ fees, and reimbursement of out-of-pocket litigation expenses.

Contact The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, LLC Regarding Your Wage and Hour Dispute in Baltimore

If you are not being paid your overtime or minimum wage, you have the right to sue. Without question, you need an experienced wage and hour attorney to counsel you on your rights and to initiate litigation on your behalf. We founded our law firm to represent employees who have been wronged by their employers. You can contact us via our website or via telephone at 410-514-6099.  

(image courtesy of Tristan Colangelo)