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Maryland ranked in the top 20 states with the lowest unemployment rates at the end of 2016. At the same time, the state's employment rate gradually climbed in the last quarter of 2016, signaling a slow recovery for workers and employers from the Great Recession.
As workers continue to enter the workforce again, relationships with employers may still remain fragile. Issues with employers paying workers their due compensation, for example, can lead to complicated lawsuits. It's in times like these that knowing your rights under Maryland's employment laws can be key to protecting your interests or securing your job.
Employment law covers a multitude of topics, including worker's compensation, workplace discrimination, vacation and overtime, unemployment benefits and more. Your employment dispute is often affected by federal, state and local laws simultaneously. Maryland employment law attorneys are experienced with the delicacy and complexity of work-related cases and can help protect your rights.
A common employment law issue in Maryland is wage and hour violations. In these types of violations, employers do not pay their workers their due compensation. A few ways employers violate Maryland's wage and hour laws include:
Workers' rights to due compensation are protected under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Laws, and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Laws. These laws govern how much a worker must be paid at minimum, when they qualify for an adjusted rate, when the employer must pay them and their rights to unpaid wages.
As of January 2017, Maryland's minimum wage is $8.75/hour. On July 1, 2017, it will increase to $9.25/hour and then to $10.10/hour one year later. Prince George's County has its own minimum wage of $10.75/hour as of January 2017.
Maryland law doesn't require employers to provide lunch or rest breaks for most workers. However, workers who are younger than 18 years old and most non-commissioned retail workers are entitled to rest breaks for a certain number of hours worked:
Employers who offer or are required to offer rest or lunch breaks aren't required to offer paid break time. However, any break that is less than 20 minutes long must be a paid break as it is considered work time under Maryland law.
If you or a loved one is involved in an employment law dispute, it's in your best interests to consult with an attorney. Employment law is a broad, complicated legal area with federal and state laws at play. An experienced Maryland employment law attorney can help protect your legal rights.
Have you been discriminated against by a potential or current employer -- as a job applicant or current employee? To best protect your legal rights you should discuss your situation with an employment lawyer. Meet with a local employment for employees attorney sooner rather than later to protect your rights.