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Maryland Employee Rights

Maryland Employee Rights

Maryland Employee Rights: Understanding Your Legal Protections

Maryland workers have numerous legal protections, including those related to pay, discrimination, and independent contracting. As an employee in Maryland, it’s important to understand your legal rights so that you can protect your interests and ensure that you are being treated fairly and lawfully.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of some of the most important employee rights in Maryland, and offer updated information on the topic using government resources. We’ll cover the following topics:

1. Minimum Wage and Overtime
2. Discrimination and Harassment
3. Unemployment Benefits
4. Leave Protections
5. Independent Contracting

1. Minimum Wage and Overtime

Maryland’s current minimum wage is $11.75 per hour, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Maryland’s minimum wage is set to increase every year until it reaches $15.00 per hour in 2025. However, some local jurisdictions in Maryland have established higher minimum wages, such as Montgomery County, which has a minimum wage of $14.00 per hour.

Maryland law requires employers to pay non-exempt employees one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. The Maryland overtime law also requires employers to pay employees for any time they are required to work beyond their normal shifts or outside of their regular work hours. If you believe that your employer has failed to pay you the minimum wage or overtime, you can file a complaint with the Maryland Department of Labor.

2. Discrimination and Harassment

Maryland law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. This means that employers cannot make employment decisions based on these protected characteristics, such as hiring, firing, promotions, or pay.

Additionally, Maryland law prohibits harassment in the workplace based on these same protected characteristics, which includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature. If you believe that you have been discriminated against or harassed at work, you can file a complaint with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

3. Unemployment Benefits

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits in Maryland. The purpose of these benefits is to provide temporary financial assistance to help you until you find another job. In order to qualify for unemployment insurance in Maryland, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as having worked a minimum amount of hours and earning a minimum amount of money during your base period.

You can apply for unemployment benefits online or by phone, and if you are approved, you will receive weekly payments for up to 26 weeks. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland has extended unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, so eligible claimants can now receive up to 39 weeks of benefits.

4. Leave Protections

Maryland law provides several leave protections for employees, including:

– Sick Leave: Maryland’s Earned Sick and Safe Leave law requires employers to provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year for their own or a family member’s illness, or to seek certain kinds of legal or medical attention.
– Parental Leave: Maryland’s Parental Leave Act requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to six weeks of unpaid parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
– Domestic Violence Leave: Maryland’s Safe and Sick Leave Act allows employees to use earned sick leave for reasons related to domestic violence, such as seeking medical attention or court appearances.
– Jury Duty: Maryland employers are required to allow their employees time off for jury duty, and cannot penalize them for serving as jurors.

5. Independent Contracting

Maryland law recently enacted a new law, the Maryland Independent Contractor Protection Act, which provides certain protections for workers who are classified as independent contractors. This law states that workers who perform work for a business are presumed to be employees unless the business can prove that the worker meets certain criteria, such as having a contract that outlines their status as an independent contractor and having control over the work they perform.

The law also creates a task force to study the issue of worker classification and make recommendations for future legislative reforms. This law is important for workers in Maryland who are classified as independent contractors, as it provides them with greater protections and helps ensure that they are not misclassified by employers who are attempting to skirt employment laws.


Maryland employee rights are designed to protect workers from unfair treatment and to provide them with important benefits and protections. By understanding your legal rights as an employee in Maryland, you can ensure that you are being treated fairly and lawfully by your employer. If you believe that your rights have been violated by your employer, you can seek help from various government agencies that are tasked with enforcing Maryland’s employment laws.

Understanding Your Maryland Employee Rights

Know that you do have various employee rights, like minimum wage, overtime, employee safety rights, and wrongful termination. And it’s important to know your Maryland employee rights.

Basic Various Employee Rights to Know About, Like Wrongful Termination and Employee Safety Rights

Part of the lawful hiring process won’t allow discrimination. The same goes for wrongful termination regarding Maryland employee rights.

The law values certain protected characteristics, which shouldn’t have any bearing on the hiring process, because it’s discrimination.

Employers by law must uphold employee safety rights. It’s important for employees to know their employee safety rights. Along with employee safety rights are the right to employee privacy and personnel files. Employee privacy and personnel files falls in line with First Amendment issues.

Employee privacy and personnel files also influence the hiring process. In particular, these aspects are unlawful to consider as part of the hiring process.

1. Marital Status

2. Family Plans

3. Drug/Alcohol Use

4. National Origin

That hiring process is of a personal nature, promoting discrimination, and disobeying the law of employee privacy and personnel files. The same for wrongful termination.

Various employee rights even regulate background checks. The background check has to be relevant to the job itself, or else discrimination ensues and employee privacy and personnel files are sacrificed again. For instance: no employer can base the decision on a background check for….

1. Criminal, Educational, Military and Medical Records

2. Bankruptcies

3. Workers’ Compensation

4. Credit History

Those kinds of decisions also apply to wrongful termination as well as discrimination.

What About Specific Maryland Employee Rights, Like Fair Pay and Equal Pay?

Maryland employee rights really don’t differ from the norm, but there are some aspects to keep in mind, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.

Maryland employee rights will include unpaid time off from work for up to 12 weeks for these issues:

1. Birth/Infant Care

2. Adoption/Foster Care

3. Serious Employee Health

4. Spouse, Child or Parent Healthcare

As for minimum wage? Currently, we’re looking at $7.25 per hour for full-time work minimum wage. There’s talk of that amount for minimum wage being raised for next year as well.

As with the rest of the states, fair pay and equal pay is also a lawful requirement. The basis for fair pay and equal pay is that every worker is entitled to the same standard.

Drug tests for job applicants are also lawful. However, a worker is entitled to refuse drug tests for job applicants provided that the worker realizes the job is now an impossibility. By law, too, an employer isn’t required to turn down an employee based on positive drug tests for job applicants.

Understanding Your Various Employee Rights, Like Minimum Wage and Fair Pay and Equal Pay, and Drug Tests for Job Applicants

So you have an interview for a job? Understand the need for drug tests for job applicants. Pay close attention to those questions about fair pay and equal pay. Monitor your rights. When you think about it, that keeps the entire process, the entire job market, honest and loyal to the rule of law in the United States.