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Maryland Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I was terminated after 9 months, employer stated I was not qualified. I had to complete presentations & pre-employment

Is this legal? I passed pre-employment skills testing, etc.No warings ( written or verbal), etc. No reviews or 1 on 1 meetings.

Kyle Anderson
Kyle Anderson answered on Feb 12, 2020

Generally speaking, you are working in an "at-will" state which means an employer may terminate you for any reason or no reason at all. Unless the termination was based on your membership in a protected class or you engaging in a protected activity, you likely do not have any recourse. I would file... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can employees who help supervise take part in tip pooling, when they are the ones working the floor and earning tips?

I’d like to add tipping to a service based diy art studio, but want to make sure it is fair to my whole staff. Staff help customers and potentially earn tips and do backroom work to finish customer creations.

Everyone is paid at or above state minimum wage, and I won’t be taking a tip... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 31, 2020

Unfortunately, there is no clear definition of supervisor or manager in the 2018 amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Nor is there guidance on how an employer should handle a situation where a "manager" does not always act in that capacity. There are policies and practices that can... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Election Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: I interviewed for a position that is a step above my current job. The woman that was hired has no experience

She is the president of the Board and as such was the appointing authority for the director who conducted the interviews. There is a close personal relationship between the two. Do I have any recourse?

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 29, 2020

There isn't generally a civil cause of action for nepotism or conflict of interest for an aggrieved employee. Depending on who the employer is, there might be an internal grievance procedure. Or, if it can be established that there was discrimination against the employee on the basis of a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I was fired for calling out for a family medical emergency do I have a legal recourse?

I was on the last stage of disciplinary action, my wife had an out patient procedure and the next morning she started hemorrhaging badly. I called my supervisor and told him that I have a family emergency and I would need a to be out with his permission given the position that I was . He said OK... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jan 23, 2020

Possibly- it depends on all the facts and circumstances, but the employer's action could be a violation of FMLA or the MD Sick/Safe Leave law. Employees faced with an unforeseeable medical emergency generally only have to give notice as soon as is practicable under the circumstances. But again-... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Employee broke time clock screen, can he be made pay for an entire new time clock or just costs to fix the damages?

The employee came to work and because time clock would not accept his punch in, he smashed the screen. The time clock did not work afterwards. He was disciplined and received a written counselling for his actions and made pay restitution for damages. Now they come up with a cost to replace the... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Dec 19, 2019

The general rule is that actual damages are all that can be recovered- a fancy upgrade to a piece of equipment might not be in that category. But additionally, there are separate Maryland and federal laws regarding withholding pay from an employee (as opposed to demanding they pay).

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, DUI / DWI, Employment Law and Car Accidents for Maryland on
Q: What about the driver is drunk and also do a hit and run

Ok got into a accident and the other driver was drunk and did a hit and run

Also getting on the bus the mta driver had ear phones in his ear so he didn't follow the rules so i want to sue both of them

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Oct 22, 2019

Contact a member of the Md. Assn for Justice. They give free consultations. Not clear if you were in a car, on the bus, or what, so I can't advise you further.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can an employer legally assign non-exempt duties to an exempt supervisor to avoid paying a non-exempt employee overtime?

I'm a supervisor in Maryland, and already overwhelmed with 60-80 hours of work/wk. Can my employer keep loading on responsibilities without any limits? And if I say that's not my job or I'm already overwhelmed with work, they can terminate me? Basically, I worked my way up and proved to be... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Oct 17, 2019

There are limits to how much an employer can get away with. One question is if the employee is appropriately classified as exempt, given their overall duties and responsibilities. Another is if the employee is actually performing two separate jobs (one exempt, and the other non-exempt), and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Does your company have to pay out accrued vac time if the maturity date in with in the last 2 weeks of your empowerment?

The company has a policy that they will pay out any unused accrued time if you give the proper notice. If u give 2 weeks and the anniversary date to release the time is in that window, is the company required to pay you out that time u have been accruing since last year even though these are the... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 28, 2019

It depends on exactly how the policy is worded. Or if it is silent about this situation, it becomes a matter of interpretation. You can either inquire with them (assuming you've already given notice, of course)- or wait and see what happens. If they deny it, then depending on how much you are... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Civil Litigation for Maryland on
Q: How do I protect myself from being sued by company staff for recording scheduled meeting without permission? my rights?

I was not aware you could not record for meetings so you can capture meeting notes. not a fast note taker and it was illegal. I was fired for doing it.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Aug 16, 2019

Unless the staff has some cognizable injury from the recording (like by publishing scandalous parts online), it is not likely that you will be sued. But if you get a demand from an attorney, you should hire one yourself.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
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... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Jul 24, 2019

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: If I'm already working for an company, can they fire me if a background check company doesn't provide a timely response

Let's suppose the background check company is the Federal OPM office, and the background check is for a standard public trust level job that doesn't require a secret or top-secret level clearance and that none of the jobs at your work site are classified. Further, Let's suppose the governments HR... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on Jul 13, 2019

This sounds like a hypothetical question. An employer can always come up with a reason to deny you a clearance, no matter how high or low the level of the clearance.

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1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: If you don't take a break at work, can your employer still take the time out from your check?

You're over 18

You've worked over 10 hours

2 hours and 30 minutes worth of money was taken out of the check

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jul 12, 2019

An employer must pay employees for time worked. An employer cannot refuse to pay an employee who could not take a break and who actually worked through the break. If this is the situation, you may wish to consult with an employment lawyer. The laws are set up so that the employer can be forced... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I work in Maryland, my employer has not provided a pay stub for months and refuses to provide pay history information.

ADP hasn't been updated since May, logging in/and out doesn't register so I don't know if I'm receiving correct wages or if taxes are being withheld. Every two weeks I am put in the position of having to beg for my pay, asking how will I be paid this week..will it be check, wire transfer (which... Read more »

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley answered on Jul 6, 2019

File a complaint with the Maryland Wage and Labor Board on the DLLR website; or retain an employment lawyer. You can check whether payroll taxes are being properly paid by checking with Maryland SDAT and the IRS. An accountant can assist you with obtaining those records, if you are not able to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can you be legally denied employment consideration if you choose not to complete a voluntary company form?

Can you be legally denied employment consideration if you choose not to complete a (voluntary company form) outside the standard background check/security clearance forms submitted?

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jul 3, 2019

Very generally speaking an employer has the right to use any criteria it wants for hiring purposes (excepting illegal criteria, like ethnicity for instance). A company ordinarily has no obligation to consider candidates who don't care to follow the company's hiring protocol.

The above is...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Job knew I had disability. Sent a letter to say come to work, if no note in 6 days your fired. Was time to short?

I identified as a person with a disability. There was a class coming up I needed to be out for 2 days of a 10 day class for disability. Lead said her and manger discussed my request and said I should rethink going to my appointment, resign or they may terminate me. I was unable to attend that... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on Jun 30, 2019

No, not necessarily. It all depends on the facts, intent, and motivation of your employer, as well as whether or not you followed the law on requesting a reasonable accommodation. The employer knowing you are disabled is not enough. You must make a request for a reasonable accommodation, your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can a employer force a employee to work 12 hr shifts after they were hired for 8 hr shifts? Notice verbal or written?

I will be losing 8 hrs in my paycheck going to 12 hr shifts plus I will be losing my shift differential. We were made aware of this by the unit manager verbally. Shouldn't it be in writing to be legal and come from company CEO? Would greatly appreciate any insight.

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann answered on Jun 19, 2019

Very generally speaking an employer can freely change work hour requirements. An employer must honor overtime laws and child labor laws and in some cases retail break laws but otherwise can set work hours and shifts pretty much as the employer sees fit. There is no law requiring changes to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Q: Im a federal supervisor. I manage a staff of 8. One of my employees is harassing me with frivolous emails and demanding

Over the last 2 years I have given this employee a letter of reprimand, a PIP, and a proposal for a seven day suspension. My upper level supervisor failed to sign off on the suspension. My upper level supervisor has promised over the last year that this employee would be moved. After a few month of... Read more »

Andrellos Mitchell
Andrellos Mitchell answered on May 20, 2019

Just based on what you have presented I can't advise you. It requires meeting to discuss the case, review of paperwork, and research. However, it sounds like you may be open to getting in trouble with upper level management and should hire counsel to protect your rights.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Company losing contract but new company wants me to come work for them. Non solicitation for employees and customers

Restricted period is 1 year and includes prior contracts. Non solicitation references not providing similar services to the business. Can I go work for them? It's almost like being black mailed to only work for my current company.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on May 9, 2019

You'd need an attorney to review the non-solicitation clause in the context of the entire agreement, to see if it is enforceable or applies to your planned new job. Your question sounds like it could possibly implicate a non-compete clause rather than non-solicitation.

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: I need to sign a contract with an IT staffing Company and I don't understand a clause in it?
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Feb 20, 2019

You'd need to ask an attorney to tell you what the clause means. It might be a good idea to have the entire contract reviewed also.

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Q: Is it ethical for an employer to have 1 person who does Human Resources for the entire office inccluding the hiring,

Firing an the disciplinarian, a supervisor to some and the payroll person? I feel it’s very bias but I am not sure if under (Maryland) state law it’s considered legal or ethical? Also, is it ethical or legal for an employer to tell you they are going to deny the a workers conp claim before you... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Feb 20, 2019

There is nothing illegal about only having one HR staff person. If an employer complies with the laws and regulations applicable to it, that's all that matters. It's just difficult to do without professional help, as the workers comp incident illustrates. Employers can't retaliate against... Read more »

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