Being paid for the work you do is a right you are owed as an employee. Your employer has certain responsibilities they have to meet towards you in terms of paying you. The Maryland Wage and Hour Law exists to enforce these obligations and protect your paycheck.
When Must Paychecks Be Sent Out Under Maryland Law?
Maryland requires employers to pay most of their employees at least biweekly or semimonthly, if not more frequently. This frequency applies to both salaried and hourly employees. Executive, administrative, and professional employees, however, can be paid on a less frequent basis, but only if they have a salary of at least $455 per week and meet other specific job requirements.
What Happens to My Paycheck If I Am Fired in Maryland?
If you are fired or quit your job, you must receive your last paycheck by the next scheduled payday. To a certain extent, Maryland law leaves it up to your employer to decide if they will pay out unused vacation or sick days.
However, if your employer does provide paid vacation days and they do not have any clear policy about unused days when you leave your job, then they do have to pay that amount to you.
Can My Paycheck Be Garnished Under Maryland Law?
“Wage garnishment” refers to a process by which a person’s employer is allowed to take some of an employee’s paycheck and set it aside for the payment of debt. This is often connected to debt such as missing child support payments, outstanding loans, and other forms of debt. In most cases, the employer may send the funds directly to the court; sometimes, they can use a third party agency that will transfer the money for them.
Under Maryland law, your paycheck can be garnished without a court judgment specifically permitting wage garnishment for taxes, child support payments, or student loan payments. For all other types of debt, your creditor has to go to court and ask for a judgment that expressly permits them to garnish your wages. If your creditor gets the judgment then they can garnish your wages to pay off your debt debt.
It is very rare that an employer is allowed to deduct your wages for anything other than a garnishment or regular taxes. With that being said, your employer can garnish your wages if you have given them express written authorization to make the deduction. If the deduction is intended to pay for damage that you caused, then it cannot lower your wages to below the federal minimum wage.
However, if the deduction is being paid to reimburse your employer for a financial benefit that your employer gave you, such as a personal loan or equipment for personal use, then the deduction can lower your wages to below minimum wage, so long as it does not violate other federal or state laws.
Can I Recover a Withheld Paycheck Under Maryland Law?
Your employer is not allowed to withhold your paycheck, especially if they are trying to withhold the paycheck as security against something that may happen in the future. If you are not getting your paycheck, you have the right to sue in your local court and get your money.
Also, if you are not receiving the full amount that you are owed in your paycheck, it may be necessary to file a wage and hour lawsuit to recover the missing amounts. This is especially important if this is an ongoing issue or if it has repeated itself several times.
In such lawsuits, the courts will review documentation to determine whether there has been a violation, and to see what types of remedies are available to you. In such cases, there are typically issues with wage rates, hours worked, overtime pay, tips, or other benefits and payment issues.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know About Maryland’s Paycheck Law?
In Maryland, if your employer has not paid you then you have the option to file a lien against their property. Also, your employer may face criminal charges if they have not paid you without providing you with a valid reason for nonpayment or if they have made it clear that they do not intend to pay you.
Also, employers in Maryland are prohibited from discriminating against their employers on the basis of their race, sex, age, national origin, disability status, gender, and other categories. Thus, for example, they can’t withhold a person’s paycheck solely based on their disability or on their age.
If you feel that you have been discriminated against, you may need to initiate legal action. This is typically started through the Equal Employment Opportunity Agency (EEOC), which will investigate your claim and determine your next steps.
Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer to Help with My Paycheck Issue in Maryland?
Getting a paycheck on time and with the correct amount is not just important, but it is something to which you are entitled. If you are having trouble getting your paycheck, then you should reach out to a Maryland employment lawyer, as they can help you with any of your paycheck issues.