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Recent Amendments to Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law Effective October 2010

Published by on July 22, 2010

This spring, the Maryland legislature enacted two significant amendments to the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”), Md. Code Lab. & Empl. § 3-501, et seq.  This statute governs payments for unused leave at the end of employment.  More after the break. First, the amendment established a new administrative procedure for unpaid wage claims of […]

This spring, the Maryland legislature enacted two significant amendments to the state’s Wage Payment and Collection Law (“WPCL”), Md. Code Lab. & Empl. § 3-501, et seq.  This statute governs payments for unused leave at the end of employment.  More after the break.

First, the amendment established a new administrative procedure for unpaid wage claims of less than $3,000.  Md. House Bill 404 (2010).  A complaint for these small claims can be filed with the Commissioner of Labor & Industry, who in turn has the authority to investigate the claim and issue an order for payment.  The employer has 30 days in which to request a hearing, after which the order becomes final and enforceable in court.

Second, the amendment changed the definition of “wages” under the WPCL.  Md. Sen. Bill 694.  (Bill history here.)  Previously, overtime claims could only be brought pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) or Maryland’s Wage Payment Act.  Now, the WPCL “wages” includes overtime wages, meaning they will be susceptible to the treble damages provision, which are available when monies are withheld for anything other than a bona fide dispute. 

The new provisions are effective October 2010.

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