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Maryland Employment Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Family Law for Maryland on
Q: My job is changing me from full time to part time 3 weeks before my short term disability leave. Can they do this?

Small company less than 50

Haven’t completed a year yet

Have worked full time my whole pregnancy

Others were let go, I was given part time due to COVID-19

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Apr 14, 2020

Depending on all the facts and circumstances, an argument could possibly be made that the employer is retaliating against you for asking for anticipated foreseeable FMLA/maternity/Maryland leave (even if you might not yet be eligible at the time of the request). However, the pandemic and layoffs... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: received termination saying I executed confidentiality and invention assignment agreement from amazon.

on my day off I received a termination letter from Amazon stating that the reason for termination is I executed a confidentiality and invention assignment agreement. What does this even mean? I am so confused right now.

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Apr 13, 2020

To speculate, given the lack of facts- perhaps the company is alleging a violation of their confidentiality agreement, rather than alleging that you signed one with another company. It might be advisable to discuss with a labor/employment attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination and Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Is it unlawful for an employer to provide a false reason for placing an employee on administrative leave?

On March 16th, I was informed that members on my team have been laid-off/furloughed due to the epidemic. On March 19th, using my employers Ethics and Compliance Reporting Hotline, I submitted a report of racial discrimination for an issue that had been occurring for several months. The next day,... Read more »

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

It's not entirely clear what the substantive difference between being on administrative leave and laid off/furloughed would be in this situation. Also, if the entire building was laid off prior to the complaint (or leave request?) being made, it might be difficult to establish a case of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Gov & Administrative Law for Maryland on
Q: My job description/classification in HR does not reflect job scope or duties. This has prevented access to benefits.

I was hired under an open job position, to quickly get me in the door with the understanding that I would be quickly reclassified as I established myself in the company. I have been made to apply for the job I am already performing several times, and have been told that I do not qualify. I received... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 28, 2020

The question raises several issues, and requires more facts and discussion to fully answer. Generally speaking, entitlement to union benefits (or eligibility for membership) depends on the applicable CBA scope. There are federal (FMLA and the recent COVID-19 changes) and Maryland (sick/safe... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Immigration Law for Maryland on
Q: If I have an H-1B visa, but my employer puts me on unpaid leave and keeps my employment, what happens to my visa status?
Hector E. Quiroga
Hector E. Quiroga answered on Mar 25, 2020

If you are still an employee, then you should still be in compliance with your visa.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: Can my job refuse to reemploy me because I enlisted in the US ARMY. I gave my resignation and sent copies of paperwork.

I gave my job my notice of resignation due to enlisting in the US ARMY. I just found out that my ship out date was pushed out to at least May 19 due to the coronavirus. I was only able to give them a one week notice due to the original date being 3/24/20. When I tried to ask if I could back to work... Read more »

Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 24, 2020

On the limited facts given, USERRA would seem to apply to this situation, and might protect the right to reinstatement following the change in ship out date. However, you'd need to discuss all the facts and circumstances with an attorney. It might be a situation where hiring an attorney to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Maryland on
Q: If I won a OAH case and the other party filed a motion does the judge have to grant it
Joseph D. Allen
Joseph D. Allen answered on Mar 19, 2020

Depends on what sort of motion. Most "motions" are ruled on by judges by applying the law and facts to whatever it is the party is requesting the judge to do. If the "motion" is something like a timely filed notice of appeal, then there would generally be no discretion to... Read more »

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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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,... 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 »

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