Maryland Salaried Employees Laws

January 29th 2024

Salaried employees are individuals who receive a predetermined fixed amount of compensation at regular intervals, such as weekly or less frequently. These employees are subject to specific regulations that govern their working conditions.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the relevant laws and regulations that outline the rights and responsibilities of both salaried employees and their employers in Maryland. It will cover various aspects, including payment policies, break and leave entitlements, as well as the classification of exempt and non-exempt employees.

This article covers:

Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in Maryland

In accordance with the guidelines outlined by the Maryland Department of Labor Law, employers are required to provide payment to their employees on predetermined dates, at a minimum of two times within a given calendar month. This schedule must remain consistent and fixed. However, individuals working in Executive, Professional, or Administrative positions are exempt from this requirement and may receive their compensation less frequently.

Monitoring payroll schedules and overtime hours compliance (when applicable based on company policies) can be meaningful. While not mandatory, these records provide salaried employees with valuable information regarding their time off and compensation.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for Maryland

Salaried employees may still be eligible for overtime in Maryland, unless they satisfy the categorization as “Executive,” “Administrative,” or “Professional” and meet the salary requirements.

To evade overtime payments, certain employers might opt to provide a salary to employees who don’t meet these specific criteria. However, this approach does not absolve employers from their responsibility to calculate and provide overtime pay based on the average hourly wage of employees who are entitled to it.

Pay for Working Overtime for Maryland Salaried Employees

Employees who are classified as hourly or fall under the category of “hourly-type” workers, even if they are on a salary, generally qualify for overtime pay.

This includes positions like office clerks, landscape laborers, fast-food staff, certain healthcare personnel not meeting the professional criteria, dishwashers, construction workers, factory workers, daycare staff, and maintenance personnel.

When these employees receive a salary, employers are required to calculate the average hourly wage rate by dividing their salary by hours worked, to determine the overtime payment at one-and-a-half times the regular rate.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for Maryland Salaried Employees

In Maryland, specific exceptions apply to overtime wage regulations. These comprise:

  • Salaried workers earning more than $455 per week
  • Staff at caregiving institutions for the elderly, ill, and disabled, if their weekly hours surpass 48
  • Employees in bowling establishments with workweeks exceeding 48 hours
  • Individuals aged 62 or above, working 25 hours or less each week
  • Taxi drivers
  • Employees in recreational sites, theme parks, hotels/motels, and cinemas
  • Executives overseeing 2 or more employees, undertaking administrative tasks linked to business operations, engaged in management or administrative training, and performing professional duties requiring advanced education, like artists, certified teachers, and IT professionals
  • Salespersons working outside the company premises

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in Maryland

Under Maryland’s wage payment law, if a court determines that wages were unlawfully withheld according to the Maryland Wage Payment Law and not due to a legitimate dispute, the court can grant damages of up to three times the unpaid wage amount along with legal fees. The responsibility of proving a valid “bona fide dispute” lies with the employer, not the employee. 

On the federal level, employers failing to provide proper overtime compensation might be accountable for twice the unpaid wage sum, alongside expenses and attorney’s fees borne by employees. These legal actions can be initiated by overtime pay attorneys on a collective or class basis, representing all workers subjected to the same illegal payment practices.

Maintaining precise timesheet templates or monitoring payroll hours can be beneficial in situations involving legal violations due to accurate documentation of dates. Alternatively, timesheet software can also serve as a valuable tool.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in Maryland

The Equal Pay for Equal Work law in Maryland prevents employers from engaging in discrimination between employees through offering a lower wage to employees of a specific sex or gender identity compared to others in certain situations or granting less favorable employment prospects, as defined by the law, on the grounds of sex and gender identity.

In certain cases, an employer is allowed to offer varying wages if it’s grounded in a seniority or merit system that don’t discriminate based on sex or gender identity, roles demanding distinct skills or abilities or requiring different duties or tasks, work scheduled for different shifts or times of day, performance measurement based on production quality or quantity, or a legitimate factor apart from sex or gender identity, encompassing education, training, or experience in certain situations. It’s worth noting that the law states that an employee can demonstrate that an employer’s reliance on the aforementioned systems or factors is a pretext for sex or gender identity-based discrimination.

If an employer was aware or should have reasonably known that their actions are in violation of the Equal Pay for Equal Work law, an impacted employee has the right to initiate legal action against the employer. This action can seek injunctive relief and aim to recover the wage disparity between one sex or gender identity and employees of another sex or gender identity engaged in the same job role. Additionally, the employee may be entitled to receive liquidated damages. If the employer was aware or should have reasonably known that their actions breached specified wage disclosure regulations, the affected employee can also take legal action. This action can pursue injunctive relief and seek compensation for actual damages, along with an equivalent amount as liquidated damages.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Maryland

In Maryland, salaried employees enjoy various leave entitlements. Employers are mandated to provide sick leave, allowing non-exempt employees to earn 1 hour of sick or family leave for every 30 hours worked, accumulating up to 40 hours per year. Paid sick leave is required for employers with 15 or more employees, while smaller businesses are exempt. The upcoming Time to Care Act will introduce partially paid sick leave and parental leave.

Maryland also protects jury duty leave, preventing employers from penalizing employees called for jury service. Registered voters receive 2 hours of paid time off during elections, and the Healthy Working Family Act extends earned sick leave to victims of domestic abuse. Emergency responders are entitled to leave during emergencies, and private and state employees have provisions for organ and bone donation leave. Additionally, Maryland ensures 15 days of paid military leave for reserve members and recognizes Deployment Leave for armed forces family members, providing a day off for immediate family members on deployment days.

It’s worth mentioning that salaried employees receive a consistent salary without regard to their work hours, freeing them from the need to monitor work hours and enabling them to concentrate on tasks within reasonable deadlines. Nevertheless, maintaining records, timesheets and reports of hours can be beneficial in situations such as unexpected absences, vacations, holidays, and sick days.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in Maryland

In Maryland, there are no state-mandated guidelines for breaks for regular employees, aside from minors who are entitled to a 30-minute break after every 5 consecutive hours of work. Nonetheless, employers are required to follow federal regulations regarding break time. If employees work during their designated meal break, they should receive compensation, while if they are granted a meal break without any work duties, compensation is not necessary.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in Maryland

In the case of salaried Executive, Administrative, and Professional employees, an employer is generally prohibited from making deductions or “docking” their wages for partial-day absences. Implementing such deductions could result in the employee losing their “exempt” status as per the Wage and Hour Law, potentially leading to eligibility for overtime pay beyond 40 hours.

Nevertheless, an employer is allowed to subtract the hours of missed work from the employee’s accumulated leave reserves (such as vacation, sick leave, compensatory time, etc.) without risking the exempt status.

Deductions can generally, occur through court orders or Commissioner authorization, like wage garnishments or child support. Government mandates, such as tax deductions, are also permissible. Employee-written consent can initiate deductions, but employers must ensure minimum wage compliance. Deductions mustn’t violate other laws or regulations.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in Maryland

In Maryland, the employment dynamic adheres to the concept of employment-at-will. This implies that employers have the right to dismiss contracted employees for any rationale, while employees retain the option to resign at their discretion. It’s essential to highlight that this principle doesn’t permit termination based on discrimination or retaliation, as it is deemed unlawful. As outlined by the Maryland Department of Labor, employers are compelled to provide employees with their ultimate earnings on the forthcoming payday, regardless of the grounds for termination.

Learn more about Maryland Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.