Cumberland, MD asked in Employment Law for Maryland

Q: I am an hourly employee, but regularly contacted outside of working hours regarding work matters. Is this legal?

My direct supervisor does not prohibit me from clocking in when working outside usual hours, but this is not always practical since I receive texts/phone calls unexpectedly and at all hours. This is not specifically an expectation of my job, but it is implied that my employer desires me to be available to respond. I believe if I did not answer, it would jeopardize my job. What is the best way for me to protect myself and my job while being fairly compensated?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen
  • Hunt Valley, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: There are two considerations here. The first is that if you are an hourly employee, you should be paid for all time and overtime you are "suffered" to work by the employer. Overtime might also apply if you are salaried/non-exempt. The second is how much it is worth to you to get paid the extra time vs. how much it is worth to have a happy employer. Technically, retaliation for demanding to be paid for work is illegal- but that doesn't always deter an unhappy employer. Depending on your resolution of those competing considerations, you might want to discuss with a labor/employment attorney.

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