Guide to Overtime Laws in Maryland

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Updated on Author: Sergei Lemberg

Maryland ensures that employees receive fair compensation for their overtime work. Understanding these laws helps you protect your rights and take action if your employer owes you overtime pay. Additionally, the state of Maryland adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to regulate overtime. Under this act, any hours worked over 40 in a week are considered overtime.

Furthermore, employers must pay 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage for any overtime work. With Maryland’s minimum wage at $15 per hour as of 2024, minimum-wage workers earn $22.50 per hour for overtime. One important thing to understand is that in Maryland, the hours worked over 8 in a day do not count as overtime. Only the hours exceeding 40 in a week qualify for overtime pay.

Moreover, leave hours such as vacation, sick time, and holidays do not count toward overtime calculations. Instead, overtime pay is based solely on the actual hours worked by the employee.

Who is Eligible?

Specifically, certain overtime provisions exist for particular occupations in Maryland. For example, some farm workers receive overtime pay for hours worked over 60 in a week. Moreover, under federal law, first responders, including police officers, paramedics, and firefighters, are guaranteed overtime protection.

In addition, practical nurses and paralegals, typically considered exempt, are also protected by overtime laws. These professionals often work long hours and could be at risk of exploitation without these safeguards.

Overtime Rate and Calculation

In Maryland, the overtime pay rate is one and a half times (1.5x) your regular hourly rate. Therefore, you qualify for overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 hours per week.

For example, here’s an example calculation: If your regular hourly rate is $20 and you work 50 hours in a week, calculate as follows:

  • Regular pay for 40 hours: 40 x $20 = $800
  • Overtime pay for 10 hours: 10 x ($20 x 1.5) = 10 x $30 = $300
  • Total pay for the week: $800 + $300 = $1,100

Who Is Entitled to Overtime Pay?

Most employees in Maryland are entitled to overtime pay. Specifically, key factors determining eligibility include:

  • Hourly Employees: All hourly employees qualify for overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a week.
  • Non-Exempt Salaried Employees: Also, salaried employees may be eligible if they do not meet exemption criteria, such as earning below a certain salary threshold and performing non-exempt job duties.

Exemptions and Exceptions

In Maryland, some employees are classified as exempt from overtime pay under federal and state labor laws. However, the FLSA entitles non-exempt employees to overtime compensation, while exempt employees do not receive this benefit.

General Criteria for Exemption:

  • Salary Threshold: Earn a monthly salary of at least twice the Maryland minimum wage for full-time employment.
  • Nature of Work: The job involves duties in creative, intellectual, or managerial fields.
  • Discretion and Judgment: The role requires the use of discretion and independent judgment.

Specific Overtime Exempt Professions:

  • Commissioned Employees: Earn most of their income from commissions.
  • Administrative Employees: Involved in administrative tasks related to management policies or general business operations.
  • Executives: Manage at least two other employees and have authority over hiring and firing decisions.
  • Computer Professionals: Work in programming, systems analysis, or software engineering.
  • Teachers: Educators in private schools.
  • Outside Salespeople: Regularly work away from the employer’s business selling products or services.

Full Overtime Exemptions

Maryland law fully exempts the following types of employees from state overtime regulations:

  • Food service workers at establishments with annual gross income below $250,000
  • Movie theater employees
  • Employees of hotels, motels, or gas stations
  • Workers at amusement or recreational businesses operating less than seven months a year
  • Employees under 16 years old working fewer than 20 hours per week
  • Employees over 62 years old working fewer than 25 hours per week
  • Workers in food processing
  • Non-administrative summer camp staff

Union employees typically do not qualify for standard overtime provisions. Their unions negotiate different overtime rates, and the employees follow those.

Important Considerations about Maryland Overtime Pay

Employers must classify employees correctly as exempt or non-exempt. If in doubt, the default classification should be non-exempt to ensure compliance with overtime laws.

Tests to Determine Employment Type

To determine if a salaried employee is exempt from overtime, Maryland uses specific tests:

  • Salary Basis Test: Employee is paid a fixed salary that does not fluctuate based on the number of hours worked.
  • Salary Level Test: Employee’s salary must be at least twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
  • Duties Test: The employee’s primary duties must involve executive, administrative, or professional tasks as defined by the law.

Refusing to Work Overtime in Maryland

Furthermore, unlike in some states, employers generally do not break overtime laws by requiring employees to work mandatory overtime, as long as they pay the required premium rate. Therefore, Maryland state law does impose restrictions on mandatory overtime for nurses under certain conditions.

A registered nurse in Maryland cannot be forced to work beyond their scheduled hours. However, the law allows mandatory overtime for nurses under certain conditions:

  • The overtime is due to an unforeseen emergency.
  • The emergency is nonrecurring and not caused or worsened by the employer’s negligence or poor planning.
  • The employer has made all reasonable efforts to find voluntary workers for the following shifts.
  • The nurse possesses the essential skills and expertise required for the work.
  • Continuity of care is necessary for completing a patient case, treatment, or procedure.
  • The employer has communicated the reason for requiring the overtime to the nurse.

Steps to Take if You Believe You Are Owed Back Overtime Pay

If you believe you are owed back overtime pay, act promptly. Here are the steps you should take:

  • Document Your Hours: Keep detailed records of your work hours and any communications with your employer regarding overtime.
  • Review Your Job Classification: Ensure your job classification (exempt vs. non-exempt) is correct.
  • Contact Your Employer: Discuss your concerns with your employer or HR department.
  • File a Complaint: If your employer does not address the issue, file a complaint with the Maryland Department of Labor.
  • Consult an Attorney: For legal advice, consult an employment attorney specializing in wage and hour laws.

Think You Have a Case?

If you believe your employer violated overtime laws and owes you back pay, contact Lemberg Law for assistance. Our experienced legal team will evaluate your case for free. Call us at 475-277-2200 or complete our online form to get started.

Sergei Lemberg

About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is an attorney focusing on consumer law, class actions related to automotive issues, and personal injury litigation. With nearly two decades of experience, his areas of practice include Lemon Law (vehicle defects), Debt Collection Harassment, TCPA (illegal robocalls and texts), Fair Credit Reporting Act, Overtime claims, Personal Injury cases, and Class Actions. He has consistently been recognized as the nation's "most active consumer attorney." In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid before the United States Supreme Court in the landmark case Duguid v. Facebook. He is also the author of "Defanging Debt Collectors," a guide that empowers consumers to fight back against debt collectors and prevail, as well as "Lemon Law 101: The Laws That Lemon Dealers Don't Want You to Know."

See more posts from Sergei Lemberg
  • Anthony N

    I work as a home health rn on a per visit basis contract in maryland and have never received a salary. Am I able to received overtime pay once I exceed the contract amount for the week?

  • Michael D

    Overtime payment. Employed in a Residential program servicing mental health consumer with addiction. Schedule: Mon. to. Sun
    6am to 11pm

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