Rockville Employment Attorney Handles Unpaid Wage Disputes
Maryland firm provides determined representation for businesses and workers
It should go without saying that workers are entitled to prompt and accurate payment of their wages. Unfortunately, some employers fail to meet their legal obligations, giving rise to disputes that often require a legal remedy. The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC in Rockville represents employers and employees in conflicts over wage issues. I help Maryland and Washington, D.C. workers recover unpaid overtime and other forms of back pay that is owed to them. My firm also represents businesses so that claims can be resolved favorably and that penalties and future problems can be avoided.
Common types of federal and state unpaid wage claims
The primary law governing unpaid wages is the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. However, Maryland has enacted additional protections. These laws confer basic rights, such as:
- Minimum wage — Employees across the country must earn at least the federal minimum wage. However, Maryland’s minimum wage is higher, so state law controls on this issue. In certain cases, workers often complain that unlawful deductions push their wages down below the minimum set by law. My firm can advise if these actions constitute legal violations.
- Overtime — The FLSA provides for one-and-a-half times the normal rate of pay for time worked after eight hours in a single day. Like many states, Maryland also demands time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked after 40 in a single week. Many employers try to get around overtime laws by classifying workers as salaried workers or independent contractors. However, the employer’s classification does not always qualify under the legal definition for the category.
- Commissions — Conflicts over the way management calculates commissions and whether employees met the metrics to trigger bonuses are common in sales professions.
- Vacation and sick days — Paid time off is an earned asset. Employers who renege on their agreements with workers can be held to account.
Unpaid wages are frequently an issue in cases alleging retaliation and wrongful termination. I thoroughly investigate all wage claims and develop a strategy for achieving a fair resolution.
Pursuing an unpaid wage claim in Maryland
There are decisive steps a worker can take to seek relief if they believe they have not received the compensation they’re entitled to, such as:
- File a lien for unpaid wages — Maryland law allows workers to place a lien on the employer’s property if wage obligations are not met. You can send a certified letter to the employer explaining the error and stating your intent to file a lien if you are not paid promptly. The employer can file a complaint in court to dispute the lien.
- File a claim with Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation — The department will investigate the claim and rule whether additional payment is required.
- File a civil claim — If the DOL rules against you, you can still file a civil lawsuit. Federal law allows liquidated damages for unpaid overtime, so a worker could recover twice what the employer owes.
Whether you are an employer or a worker, I am prepared to deliver the knowledgeable and strategic representation you need to achieve the best possible results given the facts of your particular case.
Contact a determined Maryland attorney for assistance with an unpaid wage dispute
The Law Office of Christopher J. Smith, LLC in Rockville represents businesses and employees in disputes involving unpaid wage allegations. Call 301-760-7460 or contact me online to schedule a free consultation. My office is located in Rockville and I serve clients from Maryland and Washington, D.C.