As a wage lawyer I can help an employee recover unpaid wages either due to a job loss, or due to a labor violation. This article primarily deals with wages nonexempt employees must be paid. Nonexempt employees are hourly, but can also be salaried employees. Nonexempt employees use independent discretion less than half of the time, are generally not licensed, do not manage employees, and do not earn high enough wages to put them into the category of exempt employees.
Nonexempt employees are owed:
Nonexempt employees are entitled to reasonable breaks including rest periods.
Both exempt and nonexempt employees are entitled to be paid Contracted:
Bonuses, commissions, double time pay, minimum wage, overtime, and stock options are considered wages.
Minimum wage law is a basic rate of pay set by both Maryland and the Federal government.
As of July 1, 2016 Maryland Minimum Wage was set at $8.75 an hour. Maryland minimum wage increases to $9.25 an hour July 1, 2017, and $10.10 July 1, 2018.
The minimum wage for Prince George’s county was $10.75 per hour on October 1, 2016.
Tipped Employees (earning more than $30 per month in tips): must earn at least $3.63 per hour. In order to earn this lower hourly rate tipped employees must earn at least normal minimum wage with this rate and tips.
Amusement and Recreational Establishments must pay employees at least 85% of the State Minimum Wage Rate or $7.25, whichever is higher.
Employees under 20 years of age: must earn at least 85% of the State Minimum Wage Rate for the first 6 months of employment.
Under most circumstances overtime pay is due for all hours worked in excess of forty in a week. Exempt workers are not entitled to overtime pay. Overtime is calculated at 1.5 times the employee’s normal hourly rate.
Maryland Employees exempt from normal overtime rules are:
Bowling establishments, and institutions providing on premise care (other than hospitals) to the sick, the aged, or individuals with disabilities for all work over 48 hours per week
Certain employees selling/servicing automobiles, farm equipment, trailers, or trucks
Non-profit concert promoters, theater, music festival, music pavilion, or theatrical show
Employers subject to certain railroad requirements of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Act, and the Interstate Commerce Commission
It is best to describe your particular job to a qualified overtime lawyer so they can determine if you might be exempt. Employers intentionally or negligently misclassify employees as exempt. In the event of a large group of misclassified employees a class action may be appropriate.
If you believe your employer failed to pay you bonuses, commissions, or stock options you must consult with an experienced Maryland labor lawyer. Ideally the labor lawyer needs to see whatever written documentation you believes controls your bonus, commission, or stock option agreement with your employer. The language in the document matters. Proper advice cannot be given without seeing the document. Sometimes employees no longer have their pay agreement and a lawsuit must be filed in order to get it. If that is the case be prepared to accurately explain your pay agreement.
Lawsuits for unpaid bonuses, commissions, and stock options can be large. It is definitely worth your time to see if you were properly paid.