Wage Issues - Having Problems with My Pay
If you are an employee and you believe your wages have been unfairly withheld, you have three options under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (you may only choose one):
What are my wage and hour solution options?
- File a Claim: To expedite your claim, please ask the employer for your unpaid wages. For quickest results, it is suggested that a CERTIFIED letter RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED be sent to the employer stating the amount of money owed, identifying the hours and days or commissions this money represents, and requesting payment by a specific deadline (such as 10 days from receipt of the certified letter). Once mailed, you will receive a green receipt indicating that your letter was received by the employer. It will be signed by the employer and will serve as proof at a later date that the employer did, in fact, receive your letter and will help us collect your claim. In addition, in the event the employer still does not pay, a copy of this letter should be kept and sent to ESS along with a completed claim form. A claim form can be found online. To request a claim form be mailed, call 410-767-2357. Be sure to answer all questions and follow directions when completing the form. All claim forms must include your original signature, be completed correctly and be mailed to ESS (see the mailing address below) prior to beginning an investigation. ESS will then conduct an independent investigation and work diligently to collect and pay any monies which may be due to you. This may include taking the employer to court if the matter cannot be informally settled.
- File a Lawsuit: If a court finds that wages were withheld in violation of the Maryland Wage Payment Law and not as a result of a bona fide dispute, the court may award damages of up to three times the amount of the unpaid wage plus attorney fees.
- File Criminal Charges: Under certain circumstances, Maryland law imposes criminal penalties for an employer who deliberately fails to pay the wage of an employee without a valid reason, or provides employment with the intent not to pay.
Note on Jurisdiction: Claims for unpaid wages must be brought in the state in which the work was performed. If work was performed in more than one state, claims may generally be filed in the state in which the employer maintains its business office, which is the office where the employee reports to or was hired out of.
The following is a list of phone numbers of wage and hour offices in neighboring states and political subdivisions:
Baltimore City - 410-396-4835
Delaware - 302-761-8200
District of Columbia – 202-828-9675
New Jersey - 609-292-2337
Pennsylvania - 717-787-4671
Virginia - 804-371-2327
West Virginia - 304-558-7890
For additional information, contact:
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Division of Labor and Industry
Employment Standards Service
1100 N. Eutaw Street - Room 607