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Total Articles: 4

Maryland Passes New Pay Equity Law

Maryland recently passed into law sweeping revisions to its existing equal pay law. The new law, signed by Governor Hogan on May 19, 2016, will take effect on October 1, 2016. With the passage of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, Maryland joins California and New York in expanding pay equity protections. The act significantly amend the current statute, Md. Code, Labor and Employment, §3-301, et seq. and expands both the scope of the law and its remedies.

Maryland Appeals Court Casts Doubt On Forum Selections Clauses in Wage Payment Disputes

Recently, the Maryland Court of Appeals took the position, albeit in dicta, that the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law reflects a “strong” public policy of Maryland and urged Maryland courts to reject as unenforceable any future out-of-state forum selection provisions contained in employment agreements. While just one decision, employers with Maryland-based employees should review any such provisions in their agreements. Moreover, it also serves as a reminder that every employer with multi-state operations (even different states of incorporation and principal places of business) should carefully consider forum selection clauses when drafting or revising employment agreements. This is not just “boilerplate” that you throw in at the end of the agreement.

Employees in Maryland Can Now Get Treble Damages for Overtime Claims

Executive Summary: On August 13, 2014, the Maryland Court of Appeals held in Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc. that unpaid overtime wages are recoverable under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (MWPCL or "Wage Payment Act"). The ruling increases the potential liability for Maryland employers who misclassify their employees as exempt under the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL) and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employees who prove an entitlement to overtime pay can now seek an award of treble damages or three times the amount owed to them in unpaid overtime wages. Although an employer can avoid a treble damages award by proving that there was a good faith "bona fide dispute" over the validity of the employee's overtime claim, the court in Peters held that the employer has the burden of proof on the "bona fide dispute" issue.

Maryland Enacts New Law Limiting the Payment of Accrued Leave Upon Termination.

Maryland recently amended its Wage Payment and Collection Law, Md. Code §§ 3-501et seq., in a manner that affords employers a powerful statutory defense to employee lawsuits for monetary compensation and/or trebled damages for not compensating a departing employee on termination for accrued unused leave. As amended, the Maryland law now provides that an employer's written leave policy will dictate whether or not the employee is entitled upon termination to recover accrued unused leave provided the leave policy was communicated to a new employee at the time of hire. It provides no shield to employers that do not have a written policy that limits compensation for accrued leave to a terminated employee.
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