Frequently Asked Questions About Employment Law
Though companies can face legal punishment for failing to follow employment laws, some sadly still choose to discriminate, retaliate and wrongfully terminate workers. The attorneys at Bennett & Ellison, PC will stand up against your employer if they violated your rights.
Below, we answer questions we frequently hear about employer issues:
Can I Recover Wages That Were Not Paid On Time?
Yes. If you were not paid within two weeks of your work hours and your employer has denied or ignored your request for those wages, you can file a lawsuit for three times the amount of your missed pay, plus attorney’s fees and costs. Sometimes, late payments are due to system issues and that may affect your ability to file a claim, but you should always speak with a lawyer about it if you have not been paid in a timely manner.
Can I Get Fired For No Reason?
Our state is an at-will employment state. This means an employer can dismiss an employee without stating their reason. They also do not have to give employees a warning. However, the dismissal must be legal. Illegal reasons for termination include:
- Discrimination of any kind
- Retaliation, such as firing someone for filing a workers’ comp claim
- Dismissal for whistleblowing (reporting illegal behavior)
Termination is also illegal if it violates Maryland’s public policy, the company violated its own personnel policies or you have an implied contract with the company.
If you were fired illegally, you may be able to recover lost wages, punitive damages, for emotional distress, compensation, reinstatement and attorney fees.
Can I File A Discrimination Claim If I Am Not Part of A Protected Class?
Everyone is a member of at least one class. Classes can include age, race, religion, disability, national origin, skin color and military status. Anyone could be discriminated against based on their identity or background.
Should I Have An Attorney Look At My Employment Contract Before I Sign It?
Yes. It is always in your best interest to have an attorney review a contract. Most people only check that the pay and benefits match what they were told. What seem like small matters in the rest of the contract could become an issue later.
One example of this is severance. Many times, severance is written into the contract. If you were terminated for almost any reason other than discrimination, it could be hard to argue your severance package after you already signed a contract agreeing to the employer’s conditions. When you hire an attorney to support you in employment law issues, you protect yourself from professional and financial harm.