Out of State Employers May Be Liable Under Maryland Payment and Collection Law

A recent decision of Maryland’s high court may result in more lawsuits here against out-of-state employers as their local employees choose to stake their wage claims on Maryland’s more favorable statute. Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law enables employees to sue for unpaid compensation, such as salary, commissions, bonuses, and vacation pay. The statute applies…

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New Challenges to Criminal Background Checks by Employers

“Ban the Box” laws already prevent employers in many Maryland local jurisdictions from checking an applicant’s criminal background in the early stages of the hiring process. A bill now pending in the Maryland legislature would take such protections much further – to prohibit any inquiry at all into a specified range of crimes. Current Ban…

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Maryland’s Hourly Minimum Wage Is on the Rise

The employment law attorneys at Bowie & Jensen LLC explain the recent minimum wage change in Maryland and plans for future increases. On January 1, 2015, the hourly minimum wage in Maryland increased from $7.25 to $8.00 per hour, the first in a series of graduated increases that will see it reach $10.10 by 2018.…

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Are We Working Yet? When Getting Ready Is “Integral” to the Job

Courts have struggled over the years to define which of the tasks involved in preparing for work, as well as leaving it, are “compensable” to employees. Disparate results have been difficult to reconcile with each other. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court set a more specific standard for sorting out that issue. The Portal-To-Portal Act (“the…

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Recent Employment Law Developments Offer a Mixed Bag for Maryland Employers

Below are some of the latest developments in employment law affecting federal and state contractors. Limits to enhanced damages under Maryland’s wage law  A terminated employee’s attempt to expand eligibility for enhanced damages under Maryland’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”) was rejected by the Maryland Court of Appeals. The law provides that a court…

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Firing Offenses: How Case Law Can Fill the Gap in Employment Provisions

The purpose of an employment agreement is to agree upon the terms and conditions of employment in advance – perhaps most important among them being how to end it in the event the relationship deteriorates. Although the goal of an employment contract is to have clearly annunciated expectations for performance on both sides of the…

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Baltimore City Adopts “Ban the Box”

Earlier this year, the City of Baltimore passed “ban the box” legislation restricting private employers from inquiring into the criminal history of job applicants (the “box” refers to the criminal history check-box on employment applications).  The new law forbids employers from making inquiries into a job applicant’s criminal history before making a conditional offer of…

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Maryland’s New Parental Leave Law Takes Effect October 1

Starting October 1, 2014, small employers in Maryland (those employing 15-49 employees) will be required to provide employees with unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child under the Maryland Parental Leave Act (“MPLA”).  Pursuant to the MPLA, eligible employees are entitled to six workweeks of unpaid parental leave during any 12-month period…

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Recovering from Employee Theft through Fidelity Insurance

Recent trends show an increase in employee theft and fraud over the past few years, with potentially devastating consequences.  According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, U.S. organizations lose about 7% of annual revenues to fraud.  Moreover, the median occupational fraud loss is $175,000, and more than 1 in 4 frauds involves losses of…

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