Failure to Pay Wages

Baltimore Wage and Hour Attorney

Every Maryland employee has the right to be paid for the work that he or she performs. Federal and state laws provide workers with appropriate remedies in the event they are not paid their agreed-upon wages in a timely manner, or if their employers attempt to pay less than required by minimum wage or overtime laws. At the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, Baltimore wage and hour attorney Jamaal (“Jay”) W. Stafford can help you recover any unpaid wages that you are owed.

Understanding Your Rights Under Maryland Law

Aside from certain educational, professional, and administrative employees, Maryland workers must be paid on a regular payday at least once every two weeks, or twice per month. An employer must give you a paycheck unless you voluntarily agree to a direct deposit of your wages into a bank account. Your employer cannot require you to take direct deposit.

Nor can an employer “withhold” or make deductions from your paycheck except as required by law, i.e. for payroll taxes. If an employer attempts to keep some of your wages as a contingency against some future event, that is against the law. Similarly, an employer cannot refuse to pay you on time because of some unrelated business issue, such as the employer not getting paid by a client.

Your Minimum Wage and Overtime Rights

The federal government mandates a nationwide minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Maryland and some of its localities require a higher minimum wage. The statewide minimum wage for Maryland is $9.25 per hour as of July 1, 2017. On July 1, 2018, this will increase to $10.10 per hour. In the D.C. suburb of Montgomery County, the current minimum wage is $11.50 per hour.

There are special rules in place for employees who regularly earn customer tips, notably in the food and service industries. If an employee earns more than $30 per month in tips, the employer may credit those tips against its minimum wage obligations. The employer must still pay tipped employees at least $3.63 per hour. Employers cannot legally take an employee’s tips, but they can require regularly tipped employees participate in a “tip pool.”

Most non-salaried employees who work more than 40 hours per seven-day workweek are also entitled to overtime pay. Overtime is considered 1.5 times an employee’s regular hourly wage for any excess hours. In other words, if you normally make $10 per hour and work 45 hours in a given week, you must be paid $15 per hour for the five overtime hours.

Get Help With Your Baltimore Wage and Hour Case Today

If you have not been paid the wages to which you are legally entitled, it is important to take action. You may be confused about your legal rights, especially if your employer has lied or misled you. This is why you need to contact an experienced Baltimore wage and hour attorney who will look out for your best interests. At the Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, we can review your case and help determine the appropriate legal response, including filing charges with federal and state regulators or initiating litigation directly against your employer. Call us today at (410) 514-6099 or contact us via our website to schedule an initial consultation.