Here’s a reminder for every employer: FLSA regulations require that employees receive no less than the minimum wage of $5.15 for the first 40 hours of the workweek, and time-and-a-half for any work in excess of that. Employers are also required to keep accurate payroll records.
A Maryland tree-trimming company must pay back wages to more than 2,500 of its workers in 16 states after it was found violating the federal and Maryland minimum wage laws. The Labor Department investigation means the firm owes those employees $1.8 million dollars.
Labor Department officials got a tip from a worker about the failure to pay the minimum wage, and subsequently learned that ABC has been breaking the minimum wage law in 16 states. It was also violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FSLA says employees must be paid $5.15 an hour for the first 40 hours in a workweek, plus time-and-a-half for anything over 40 hours. The employer must also keep time and payroll records that are accurate.
The U.S. Labor Department and U.S. Attorneys from several states teamed up in 2006. The mission of the task force they formed is to probe and prosecute violations of labor laws in the Gulf Coast region. Their more specific concerns are crimes of employers in hurricane-affected regions, such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.
“We are pleased,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, “that we were able to help these workers get the back pay they deserve.” She said the department would continue working to guarantee workers are being paid properly by their employers.
Besides paying back wages to its Maryland employees. ABC is paying workers from Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Cincinnati, Maine, New York, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Maryland.
The firm cleans up after natural disasters, including hurricanes. Some of the workers it is paying back worked on cleanup following Hurricane Katrina. It also cleans up and trims and cuts trees around power lines for utility companies.
Any talk about overtime laws in the 50 states of the Union must include Maryland. Not only is it obviously one of those 50 states, but it is an especially interesting member of the Union when it comes to overtime law.
The Maryland law is standard in many ways at the same time. For instance, like many other state laws and like the federal labor law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Maryland overtime law defines the work week as 40 hours in a seven-day period. Any time spent working over those 40 hours entitles workers to time and a half pay.
However, Maryland diverges from them. For instance, there are some jobs in Maryland that have different work weeks. There are types of farm workers, for example, that have work weeks that last 60 hours in the Maryland law, meaning they won’t get overtime pay until they work more than those 60 hours.
In Maryland law, any time spent on leave, such as those hours on vacation, holiday, out sick, or on any other kind of personal time, do not get counted toward that ultimate total, whether it be 40 hours in a week or 60 hours in a week.
Getting back to the federal law, the Maryland law is similar in other ways too. Some of its exceptions, or exemptions, to the overtime rule are the same. When it comes to salaried workers, such as executive, administrative, and professional types, these workers do not get overtime no matter how many hours they work in a week.
The catch here are those workers considered “hourly-type” workers. These folks usually earn a salary, but are entitled to overtime because they have jobs that are like hourly paid jobs. These include clerical, office type workers, fast-food workers, and health-care workers who wouldn’t be considered professionals in the traditional definition of it.