Maryland Wage Theft Lawyer
Wage theft, or the failure to appropriately pay employees, is a serious problem in the United States. According to a 2014 press release from the Economic Policy Institute, wage theft costs workers in America billions of dollars each year.
Given how widespread and significant this problem is, it may be the case that you or a loved one has experienced wage theft at your place of work. If so, contacting a Maryland wage theft lawyer could make the difference in bringing your claim to a successful end and receiving the compensation you have earned. To get started or learn more, call and schedule a consultation with our Maryland employment lawyers today.
What are Employees Required to Pay?
Maryland workers are protected by federal law as well as state law. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law both establish precise guidelines for how employers must compensate their workers.
First, employers must pay their workers at least the state minimum wage, which in Maryland is $9.25 per hour. For tipped workers, like restaurant servers, the minimum wage is $3.63, though the total of hourly wage plus tips must at least equal the state minimum wage. Otherwise, the employer must pay the rest so that the worker is paid the minimum wage.
Additionally, employees who work more than forty hours per week must be paid at least one and a half times their normal pay for each additional hour. Maryland law also states that employers must pay workers for short breaks, meaning breaks that last no longer than 20 minutes.
As a Maryland wage theft attorney can explain, some workers are considered exempt from certain aspects of the FLSA, including overtime pay. An exempt employee must fulfill three main criteria, though there are some exceptions to that general rule.
First, the employee must be salaried rather than an hourly wage earner. Second, the employee must make more than $47,476 per year, as of December 1st, 2016. Finally, the worker must fulfill functions within the organization that are considered high-level, such as holding an executive position or performing administrative work. If you meet three of those criteria are met, then you are likely exempt and cannot bring an overtime or minimum wage claim against your employer.
Notable exceptions to this rule include teachers and doctors, who can be considered exempt even when paid per hour rather than on a yearly salary. Additionally, seamen who work on foreign vessels are considered exempt, as are employees of airline companies. Since it sometimes can be difficult to tell whether you are exempt—and subsequently whether you could bring a wage theft claim to court—it is usually best to consult with an experienced attorney prior to advancing your case.
Meet with a Maryland Wage Theft Attorney Today
If you suspect you were the victim of wage theft through unpaid overtime, illegally deducted paychecks, or compensation below the minimum wage, contact a Maryland wage theft lawyer immediately to begin the process of pursuing what you have earned.
The legal process is often challenging, so it may be in your best interest to retain an experienced wage theft attorney who could help you navigate the Maryland legal system and protect your federally mandated right to a fair and just wage. Call the Spiggle Law Firm today to find out what we could do for you.