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Maryland Overtime Laws

Maryland Overtime Laws

Understanding Maryland’s Overtime Laws: A Guide to Protecting Worker’s Rights


Maryland’s overtime laws are designed to protect workers’ rights to fair pay for their work. These laws outline the rules and regulations that employers in Maryland must follow regarding overtime pay for their employees. Employers are required to pay eligible workers at a higher rate for any additional hours worked beyond the standard workweek. Failure to meet these regulations may result in legal consequences, including hefty fines and lawsuits.

In this article, we will examine the key features of the Maryland overtime laws, including the definition of overtime pay, eligibility criteria for receiving overtime pay, and the rules that employers need to follow while paying overtime wages. We will also discuss the consequences that employers may face for failing to follow these laws.

What is Overtime Pay?

When employees work more than the standard 40 hours a week, the additional hours they work are referred to as “overtime hours.” According to Maryland’s overtime laws, employers in the state must pay eligible employees at an increased rate for hours in excess of 40 per week.

The standard overtime rate is one and a half times the employee’s regular hourly wage. For example, an employee making $20 per hour would be paid $30 for each overtime hour.

Eligibility for Overtime Pay

According to Maryland’s overtime laws, not all employees are eligible for overtime pay. To be eligible, they must meet certain criteria, which include:

1. Exempt vs. Non-Exempt

The first criterion that helps determine an employee’s eligibility for overtime pay is whether they are an exempt or non-exempt employee. Exempt employees are those who are exempted from receiving overtime pay under specific exemptions present under Maryland law.

Generally, the Maryland statute makes use of the federal overtime rules that outline three broad categories of exemptions. These categories are for executive, administrative, and professional positions. Generally, exempt employees are those who earn a salary and have a significant say in the management of the organization.

The most frequent exemptions include:

– Administration employees such as HR personnel and executive assistants
– Computer professionals such as software testers and developers
– Outside Salespersons

It is important to note that being salaried alone does not necessarily make an employee exempt. Instead, the employee should meet the duties test for the exemption to apply.

2. Salary Threshold

If it is determined that an employee is non-exempt, the second criterion that determines eligibility for overtime pay is the salary threshold. The salary threshold is the minimum wage an employer must pay for the first 40 hours of work during a workweek.

In Maryland, as of 2021, employees must be paid a minimum wage of $11.75 per hour. Therefore, their hourly rate for overtime pay would be $17.63 ($11.75 x 1.5) per hour.

Rules for Paying Overtime in Maryland

Employers in Maryland must follow specific rules when it comes to paying overtime wages, including:

1. Calculation of Overtime Pay

The overtime pay rate is calculated as one and a half times the employee’s regular hourly wage. For example, an employee making $20 per hour would be required to be paid $30 for each overtime hour.

2. Counting Overtime Hours

Overtime hours are all the hours worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. Workweek refers to a seven-day period designated by the employer, which consistently remains the same. The workweek does not have to be the same as the calendar week, and it can begin on any day of the week (e.g., Monday to Sunday).

3. Paid vs. Unpaid Time Off

Paid time off (PTO) and holiday time do not count toward overtime hours. Only the hours worked count toward the calculation of overtime pay.

4. Alternative Work Arrangements

Employers must pay employees for any time spent training, meetings, or traveling that is necessary to carry out the job duties. However, the state of Maryland’s overtime laws allow employers and employees to make alternative arrangements, which may affect the calculation of overtime pay.

For example, some companies may choose to pay overtime pay for time worked beyond eight hours in a day instead of 40 hours for the workweek. However, these alternative arrangements must not violate the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Consequences of Violating Maryland’s Overtime Laws

Employers who violate Maryland’s overtime laws face severe legal consequences. These may include:

1. Civil Actions

Employees who are denied overtime pay may file a lawsuit against their employer seeking compensation for damages caused by the violation of the overtime laws.

2. Fines

Maryland law imposes significant fines on businesses that violate its overtime laws. Employers may be responsible for paying back wages owed and additional penalties. Employers who fail to display notices of the overtime laws and regulations may also face fines.

3. Criminal Actions

Employers that repeatedly violate overtime laws can be charged criminally. If an employer fails to pay overtime wages collected from their employees, they might be criminally prosecuted for wage theft.


Maryland’s overtime laws are in place to protect employees’ rights and ensure that they are paid fairly for their work. These laws outline the rules and regulations employers must follow regarding overtime wages, eligibility criteria for receiving overtime pay, and the rules employers need to follow while paying overtime. Violations of these laws may result in significant consequences, including legal action, fines, and even criminal charges in severe cases. Employers in Maryland should familiarize themselves with these regulations to avoid any legal complications and ensure that their workers are protected.

Understanding the Maryland Overtime Laws

It’s important to have a good understanding of those MD overtime laws, because you just might have to deal with overtime pay, especially if the employer hasn’t paid any.

The Lowdown on Maryland Overtime Laws: the Hourly Rate

The basis behind MD overtime laws is that every hour worked past 40 hours in a workweek is entitled to overtime pay.

What is overtime pay? First off, let’s deal with an ‘hourly rate.’ Here are a couple things to consider:

1. Overtime Pay Is  1 ½ Times the Regular Rate of Pay

2. Example: Employee Gets Paid $7/hour, Works 50 Hours in One Week….

That would be an extra ten hours of work in that week. Simply multiply 7 with 1 ½, and that’s the overtime pay. It should be $10.50 per hour. Take that new rate and multiply that with 10 hours, and that should be the overtime pay for that week.

It should be an extra $105 into the paycheck for the week. That’s how MD overtime laws are applied.

Maryland Overtime Laws: What About a ‘Piece’ Rate?

Yes, even Maryland overtime laws would cover this type of wage.

A ‘piece’ rate is essentially a per-product wage, rather than a per-hour wage. In other words, if you worked in manufacturing and produced 50 bottles of perfume a day at a rate of $7 per bottle, you’d make $350/day.

Maryland overtime laws, though, have an easy formula to apply.

The MD overtime laws application on piecework can be determined by simply dividing the total weekly earnings with the total number of hours worked. You have to keep in mind that it’s all about hours here. Not hourly wage. At least in this case.

So for example: if a worker produced those 50 bottles a day at $7 per bottle – but had to work 55 hours in one week at that rate – simply dividing the total earnings for the week (which would be $1,750) by the number 55 would give you the ‘hourly rate.’ Roughly, that would be $31.81 an hour.

Since the worker worked an additional 15 hours of overtime, you take half of $31.81 (which would be roughly $15.90) and multiply that amount with 15 for the overtime pay.

The result would be an additional $238.50 on top of the standard paycheck for that month.

What About Salary Under MD Overtime Laws?

Typically, salaried employees don’t apply to the Maryland overtime law. There are, however, some exceptions in regards to the Maryland overtime law….

There are cases where the Maryland overtime law applies when an employee works well beyond that 40-hour workweek.

Let’s give an example of how the Maryland overtime law would apply: let’s say that an employer pays an employee $600 a week regardless of hours. It’s a salary. What happens when the employee is then required to work beyond those standard 40 hours? It becomes an overtime issue handled by the Maryland overtime law.

What then happens is you take, say, a 60-hour workweek for this particular issue and divide the number 600 with it. You end up with the number 10. That’s the ‘hourly rate’ for that particular week.

An employee can pursue overtime pay in that respect by taking half of that rate – which would be $5 – multiplying that with the number of overtime hours (which is 20).

The answer would be $100. That would be the overtime pay allowed under law for a $600/week salary.