Employment Law in Waldorf, MD

The world of employment law is intricate and changes constantly. As a result, there are regular impacts on the relationship between employers and employees.

These shifting expectations mean you must evaluate your legal rights and duties regularly. By the end of this article, you’ll better understand the legal framework governing employment in Waldorf. Keep reading to empower yourself to start making informed decisions today.

What Is Employment Law?

Employment law pertains to the legal framework that governs the employer-employee relationship. Employment lawyers work with employees and employers, though they often specialize in one or the other. Regardless, they aim to build a compelling case and defend their interests.

Understanding Employment Law Labor Rights in Waldorf, Maryland

Employees have the right to file a grievance against their employer for violating their rights. Labor laws differ, and some states also provide provisions for independent contractors. The following are some of the most common areas of employment law nationwide.

Wage and Hour Laws

Wage and hour laws protect employees from low pay and excessive working hours without further compensation. These laws establish minimum wage rates and maximum hours worked before receiving overtime.

Each state, including Maryland, has unique wage and hour laws. But there are federal laws that serve as minimum requirements. For instance, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Nonetheless, many states have set higher minimum wage rates.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees only work up to 40 hours per week at their regular wage. If they work more, their employers must pay them overtime rates. It must be a minimum of one and a half times their usual compensation. Some states also mandate weekend and holiday overtime pay or overtime for working beyond a specified number of hours daily.

The Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) requires employers to pay regularly and give timely payment upon termination. This legislation also sets minimum wage and overtime requirements. Consequently, companies in Waldorf must maintain accurate records of their compliance.

Workers’ Compensation

If you sustain an injury while working in Waldorf, MD, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. These benefits cover expenses such as lost wages and medical bills. Generally, this compensation applies to previous and future costs.

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you must fulfill certain criteria:

  • You must be an employee of a company with workers’ compensation insurance.
  • The injury must have occurred while performing work duties.
  • The individual must have reported to their employer within a set timeframe.
  • The individual must have sought medical treatment.
  • The individual must have filed a workers’ compensation claim within the statute of limitations.

While the requirements listed above are typical, there may be exceptions that could still make someone eligible. If an employer denies an employee’s workers’ compensation benefits, you may need a qualified Waldorf attorney.

Termination Rights under Waldorf, Maryland Employment Law

At-will employment policy allows employers to end jobs without cause or warning. Nevertheless, employees still have rights, even in these situations. If an employer violates these entitlements, the firing can be a wrongful termination.

Listed below are some potential reasons why a termination could be illegal: 

  • Written promises or contracts
  • Implied promises
  • Violations of public policy
  • Breaches of good faith and fair dealing
  • Workplace retaliation
  • Discrimination
  • Defamation
  • Fraud
  • Whistleblowing violations

Consult with an employment law attorney in Waldorf, MD if you suspect your termination was illegal. There are legal deadlines for filing a claim, and delays could mean you cannot take legal action.

Unemployment Benefits

State unemployment agencies decide whether you can receive this benefit. You will receive weekly payments if they approve your application. However, a few of the reasons officials may deny your request include these circumstances:

  • Misconduct: Stealing or showing up for shifts under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Quitting Voluntarily: You cannot receive approval without a compelling reason, such as unsafe working conditions.
  • Receiving Severance Pay: Continuing to receive payments or other forms of compensation can disqualify you.
  • Not Seeking Work: Refusing to complete applications or suitable job offers can have consequences, including paying back benefits.
  • Self-Employment: An independent contractor or similar employees do not pay unemployment taxes or receive benefits after losing work.

You can appeal a denial of your unemployment claim. But your odds increase when you work with an experienced employment law attorney in Waldorf.

Paid and Unpaid Time Off

States may mandate employers to provide their employees with paid time off and medical and family leave. These benefits usually combine into Paid Time Off (PTO). The amount you receive depends on how much time you accrue annually.

The laws differ from one state to another. Moreover, some states make it mandatory for employers to compensate for unused PTO. These regulations mean you can file a complaint if they do not comply.

Employers with 15 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of PTO. This requirement is part of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. The law allows employees to use their leave for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Care for themselves or a family member
  • Seek medical attention
  • Obtain legal services related to domestic violence or sexual assault

Child Labor Laws

Child labor laws have stricter regulations than for adults. Employers must hire and schedule minors under state guidelines. These laws dictate these essential elements:

  • Number of hours they can work per week
  • The frequency and duration of their breaks
  • Maximum number of consecutive workdays
  • The latest time they can work each night

Maryland’s child labor laws restrict the employment of minors under the age of 14 in most occupations. But there are exceptions for agricultural and domestic work. Additionally, minors aged 16 and 17 can work in most industries in Waldorf. But there are limitations on hours and types of work. For instance, they cannot work in jobs in hazardous environments.

Waldorf, Maryland Employment Anti Discrimination Laws

Here are some federal laws that aim to prevent employment discrimination:

  • The Age Discrimination Act forbids prejudice against individuals over 40 in employment decisions.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, sex, and other aspects.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
  • The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay men and women equally for the same job.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans discrimination against pregnant women or those with pregnancy-related conditions.

Sexual Harassment

Employees have legal rights to protect themselves from sexual harassment or retaliation in the workplace. Reporting such incidents to the HR department is essential.

The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act defines sexual harassment as discrimination. Accordingly, the state’s Commission on Civil Rights enforces the law. In addition, employers in Waldorf must provide training and implement policies for handling complaints.

Work With an Experienced Employment Lawyer in Waldorf,  Maryland

Finding the right employment attorney in Waldorf, MD can be challenging. But hiring one can protect your career, finances, and fundamental rights. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Maryland state lines.

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