Maryland Employment Law Questions & Answers

Q: I need to sign a contract with an IT staffing Company and I don't understand a clause in it?

2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 20, 2019
Joseph D. Allen's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation, Employment Discrimination and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Answered on Feb 20, 2019
Joseph D. Allen's answer
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 employees for filing claims, nor can they provide false information about the circumstances of an injury in an attempt to have the claim denied.

Q: If your told via text that you will get a raise and the area manager says no. Is the text legally binding

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jan 24, 2019
Mark Oakley's answer
No, it's not legally binding unless you "gave something up" of substance in reliance on the promise of the raise (known as "detrimental reliance"). An example of that would be that you were offered another position by another employer, and your current employer then made you an offer of a raise to keep your from taking that new job, and in reliance on the promise of a raise, you turned down the new job. In that circumstance, the employer may be bound, because they knew you took an action for...

Q: My employer in Montgomery County md is refusing to put in my accrued sick pay while Im on maternity leave. What can I do

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 20, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Maryland employers (that have at least 15 employees) are required to offer only unpaid maternity leave, under the Parental Leave Act. However, under the Maryland Flexible Leave Act, those employers must allow employees on unpaid leave to care for a newborn to elect to use their earned/accrued PTO instead of unpaid leave. You could either inform your employer of that law and ask them to reconsider, file a complaint with the DLLR, or hire an attorney (who may or may not take your case on...

Q: can an employer change & reduce salary to hourly & say it was based on 45 hours per week if the pay stub clearly say 40?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 19, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
As long as the employer gives at least a pay period advance notice to employee of a reduction in pay, they are not violating any laws in MD. However, your question raises the issue of whether you were appropriately classified as exempt in the first place- if your job duties have truly remained the same, and you are now being called non-exempt.

A salary can be based on a 45 hour (or longer) workweek. But if you were in fact working more than 40 hours a week, and your job duties (and...

Q: Maryland sick/safe law, can you be forceto use your accrued PTO?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Nov 12, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
As long as the employer's overall PTO policy provides the minimum sick/safe leave, they can require the employee to use earned PTO. However, if the employer does not set aside leave that can only be used for sick/safe purposes, the DLLR guidance states that it "strongly encourages such employers to advise employees that sick and safe leave is covered by the existing PTO the employer provides and that any additional sick and safe leave will not be provided." But based on your question, it...

Q: non exempt W2 salaried in Maryland . Company website shows I work 5/40hrs but I work 6 and over 12hrs. Overtime pay?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 11, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
If you are classified as non-exempt (even if salaried), then an employer needs to pay you for any overtime you actually work- at your "regular rate of pay." It does sound like your supervisory duties might (or might not) allow the employer to classify you as exempt- as long as you make enough money. However, if you have been told you are non-exempt, and the employer knows you are working more than 40 hours a week, you might have a claim. You should discuss all the circumstances with an...

Q: A sick leave law was passed in Montgomery County md My employer refuses to comply anything I can do?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Both Montgomery County and Maryland now have sick leave laws, and the employer has to comply with the provisions that provide the most protection to the employee. But depending on the size of the employer, the benefits may be limited. And there are employee tenure (length of employment) and hours worked requirements as well. You should speak with an employment/labor attorney about the facts of your situation.

Q: W2 employee supervising sub contractor

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Oct 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The subcontractor's right to be paid/treated as employees is separate from your entitlement to be paid for your work. If you are not being paid for hours or overtime you work (and are non-exempt), then you would probably have a claim. On the other hand, if you are truly salaried exempt (and are classified appropriately), or simply think you should have a higher wage or salary, that would probably not be the basis for a claim.

Q: Does an employer have to provide a candidate a tentative offer letter of employment before conducting a background

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 29, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The EEOC strongly suggests employers give applicants a conditional (tentative) offer of employment before conducting background checks- for similar reasons that some jurisdictions have "ban-the-box" laws. It is to give people with histories of arrest or conviction a chance to get their foot in the door- after running the check and finding negative information, (with some exceptions) the employer is also supposed to do an "individualized assessment" of the applicant- as opposed to having a...

Q: Good evening, I was hired as a delivery driver, but my boss keeps giving me other jobs to do without compensation.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 27, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The answer depends on whether you mean "extra" compensation for the other work, or "no" compensation. Generally, as long as the employer is paying you for the time you spend working, they do not need to pay you more for taking on extra tasks.

However, the minimum wage rules allow for the employer to pay a tipped employee less than minimum as long as the employee receives tips that at least make up for the difference. If these extra non-driving tasks (assuming you are a tipped...

Q: Do employers have to pay for work even if its under an hour?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 20, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Employers can round up or down as much as 15 minutes, as long as the overall effect is not to fail to pay employees for time they work. As described, this practice does not appear to fit within permissible rounding- if they are simply not paying for shifts under an hour.

Q: what is the statue of limitations for employment contracts where compensation is owed?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 15, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law gives you 3 years to sue for unpaid earned wages or overtime. There is the potential (not guaranteed) for punitive damages up to 3 times the unpaid wages. If you truly had an employment contract, that might control whether you have the right to file suit (as opposed to being limited to arbitration). You should contact an employment lawyer to discuss the facts of your situation.

Q: Can in employer deny your job and say you’re not qualified if in the requirements section it does not state it

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 13, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
The job description is not definitive when it comes to the question of who is qualified to do the job. It can be strong evidence of what the employer considers qualified, but it is not a contract. But the larger issue is that the employer is not bound by their promise to promote you when you turned 18. Unless you have a written employment contract, they can always change their minds- for instance, based on their misunderstanding that you had a high school degree. Based on the facts you put...

Q: I was fired by a major retailer for breaking their external shoplifting policy when I did not. Do I have a case?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 10, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
There are two separate issues here. The first is whether the employer broke the law by terminating you without good cause (or even any cause). Unfortunately, without more facts indicating that you were retaliated or discriminated against, your employer may legally terminate you- even if it isn't fair. The second issue is whether you are entitled to unemployment benefits. There it sounds like you have a fairly strong case that you were not terminated for gross misconduct. Depending on where...

Q: Is it legal for your employer to get video surveillance and proof of purchase receipts from another establishment?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 7, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
There does not appear to be anything wrong or illegal about gathering the surveillance video and receipts. However, if the only employee that was fired was not drinking (the video should back this up)- and the only one fired- this could potentially be a discrimination claim. Your partner should discuss with a labor and employment attorney.

Q: I applied for a promotion with the company and was turned down for the job and someone was hired but was asked to do the

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Aug 2, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
There are too many unknown factors involved here for a comprehensive answer. Generally, an employer can ask you to do additional tasks without an increase in pay. You suggest that there could be discrimination involved, but provide no basis on which to evaluate whether there is any sort of discrimination by the employer in the failure to promote/give raise or the disciplinary action. It may be worthwhile to speak with an employment/labor attorney who offers free initial consultations.

Q: Should I take legal action against my boss?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Employment Discrimination for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 26, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
As far as injuries to yourself and related medical expenses, your situation seems to fall squarely under the workers compensation system. Any non-injury related damages you incurred (or potentially damages to the unborn child) might or might not fall outside workers compensation. It certainly seems inconsiderate and foolish of your employer to have you fill out the incident report form before getting medical care- but it is not clear whether that would create civil liability outside the...

Q: Is it legal for a company to reduce a salary rate of a tenured employee because the position has been eliminated?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jul 7, 2018
Joseph D. Allen's answer
Generally speaking, it is legal for a Maryland employer to reduce pay and eliminate job positions. Tenure is typically a separate matter governed by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA)- which would define your rights by contract. That said, there could be other motivations that would potentially make the action illegal- such as age or other discrimination, or retaliation.

Q: I have a promissory note from may 2018, hired april 2016. Doesnt this supersede employee handbook signed april 2016?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Answered on Jun 26, 2018
Mark Oakley's answer
Insofar as the specific terms of the promissory note go, yes. On other matters not addressed by the promissory note, the employee handbook, which presumably is made part of the terms and agreement of your employment contract, then it still governs.

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