Whether you currently live in Maryland or are planning on moving to the state it is important you know your rights whilst also following state laws.
Though Maryland is referred to as the Free State there are still plenty of laws and regulations you need to follow and abide by just as your employer should.
With laws changing from state to state, you need to know and understand what is and isn’t acceptable in the state you live in so you can live a happy and prosperous life.
One of the most important state laws that your employer has to follow is overtime laws. Overtime laws were introduced in the U.S to ensure a minimum standard of living is provided.
They were designed to guarantee every worker’s general well-being, health, and efficiency no matter what line of work they find themselves in.
Though the law is there to serve as protection to you as an employee, understanding the rights and regulations can be quite troublesome.
With the laws varying from state to state, it can be quite difficult to keep up, especially if you haven’t lived in the state before. This often leaves people wondering what exactly are the overtime laws in Maryland?
In this article, we want to answer that question so that you know exactly what to expect from your employer. Without wasting any more time let’s take a look.
What is overtime?
Before we answer the question you are here for the answer to for those that aren’t sure let’s take a look at what exactly overtime is. Overtime is the amount of time someone has worked beyond their normal working hours.
The term is used to describe the pay received for this extra time. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 established a standard work week of 40 hours for most workers with workers being paid for any time worked above that threshold.
Workers can be expected to work mandatory overtime if their company or organization sees fit but there are rules and regulations in place to ensure employees are protected.
Generally, when an employee works overtime hours they are paid at a rate of time and a half.
What are the overtime laws in Maryland?
Now we know what overtime is, let’s take a look at the overtime laws in Maryland.
Under the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL), most employees in Maryland are entitled to increased pay for any hours they work over a standard 40 hour week. They will receive 1.5 times their “usual hourly wage” for every extra hour worked.
Calculating the overtime rate can be difficult. This can result in many employees not receiving the full overtime rate they are entitled to. Many employers also pay employees a flat salary when it is unlawful to do so. In fact, many employees don’t actually realize they are entitled to overtime at all.
Maryland does not require that overtime be paid for hours worked in excess of 8 per day or on weekends or days of holiday.
If an employee is owed unpaid overtime in Maryland they are well within their rights to claim what they are entitled to. Under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, an employer may be liable for up to 3 times the amount of any overtime that is unpaid.
Maryland Exemptions from Overtime
Under state and federal laws some employers are exempt from the requirement to pay any overtime at all, with employees being exempt from receiving any overtime pay. Employers exempt from paying overtime hours are as follows.
Amusement Park/Recreation Facility/Swimming Pool Employees:
If an employer operates for no more than 7 months of the calendar year or for any 6 months of the preceding calendar year, has average receipts that do not exceed one-third of the average receipts for the other 6 months, then the employer is not required to pay overtime.
Assisted Living Facility Employees:
An employee of an institute that isn’t a hospital but focuses primarily on the care of individuals or the sick is only entitled to overtime pay when they have worked more than 48 hours in a week.
Automobile Dealership Employers:
If the employer primarily sells or services automobiles, farm equipment, trailers, or trucks, or if they are engaged in primarily selling those goods, then the employee is not entitled to overtime pay.
Food Packing Employers:
Workers who are “employed by an employer who is engaged in canning, freezing, packing, or first processing of perishable or seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, or horticultural commodities, poultry, or seafood” can not receive overtime pay.
Minors (Under 16’s):
Workers under the age of 16 who are employed to work no more than 20 hours a week are not covered by the MWHL.
Bowling Alley Employees:
A bowling alley employee is only entitled to overtime pay for hours worked over 48 in a week.
A worker who is a driver for a taxi company is not entitled to overtime pay.
Other industries and employees that are exempt from overtime pay include; nonprofit organizations, railroad workers, outside salesmen, small restaurants, taverns, cafes, drive-ins, drugstores, and volunteers.
Is it mandatory to work overtime hours in Maryland?
In Maryland, an employer can force its employees to work mandatory overtime. If the employee refuses to work their overtime the employer has rights that can lead to the termination of the employee’s contract.
Despite mandatory overtime being permitted, the FLSA law provides protection to the employee by setting out specific rules and regulations that the employer has to adhere to. These include time and a half pay as well as the guarantee that the overtime hours won’t create a safety risk to the employee.
Can an employee refuse to work mandatory overtime?
Under normal circumstances, an employee can not refuse to work overtime simply because they want to. There are however circumstances where an employee can refuse to work overtime hours. These instances are as follows.
- When working overtime hours will create a health or safety risk.
- When employees are not being paid according to state or federal laws.
- Family emergencies are protected under the Family Medical Leave Act.
- When overtime breaches your contract.
- Nurses are not required to work overtime.
What should you do if you’re being denied overtime pay?
If your employer is denying you the overtime pay that is rightfully yours or you find yourself being well overworked to the point your safety is at risk, then you might be entitled to make a claim against your employer. A Maryland attorney could help you see how the law applies to your case. They can also help you recover any lost damages or wages.
It is always important to know the overtime laws wherever you live. Understanding the laws will ensure you always get paid what you are owed on time.
The laws also prevent your employer from taking advantage of you by preventing them from making you work too much, or by dodging how much overtime pay they owe you.
Although the overtime rules change from state to state, the laws in Maryland are pretty clear. If you work more than 40 hours in a week it is more than likely you are entitled to time and a half for every hour over you have worked.
An employer in Maryland can only force you to work overtime if they have adhered to the rules and ensured their employees are safe. Failure to do so can result in a criminal action, where they may have to pay their employee three times the overtime they were owed. Unfortunately, there are certain employers that are exempt from paying overtime.
We have discussed these in this article. If you are entitled to overtime pay and don’t receive what is yours consider taking further action because your employer could be violating your rights, in turn breaking state and federal laws.