Maryland Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

The Maryland Wage and Hour Law requires employers to keep employment records, including the name, address, occupation, and rate of pay of each employee, the amount paid each pay period, and the hours worked each day and workweek, for at least 3 years (MD Code Sec. 3-424). Employers covered by the law must allow the Division of Labor and Industry commissioner (or his or her authorized representative) to enter the place of employment to inspect and copy wage and hour records and to question employees. In addition, the commissioner may require employers to attest to the truthfulness of each record (MD Code Sec. 3-425).
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A person is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for:
• Paying or agreeing to pay less than the applicable wage;
• Hindering or delaying the commissioner's investigation; or
• Discharging an employee for filing a wage and hour complaint, bringing a related action, or testifying in a related action (MD Code Sec. 3-428).
Whenever the Commissioner determines that there is a violation of the wage and hour laws, the Commissioner may try to resolve the issue by mediation; with the written consent of the employee, may ask the Attorney General to sue; and may sue on behalf of an employee. The court may award the employee up to three times the wages owed and reasonable attorney's fees (MD Code Sec. 3-507).
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Equal pay. The Commissioner also has the authority to enter a place of employment to inspect records related to a complaint regarding equal pay. Violating Maryland's equal pay law is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $300. Violations include:
• Paying different salaries to employees based solely on gender;
• Refusing ...

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Record retention is complex and time consuming. However, in addition to complying with various federal and state laws, keeping good, well-organized records can be very helpful in documenting and supporting an organization’s employment actions.
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