Legal Question in Employment Law in Maryland

I have worked for a company as an Independent contractor for 8years. During this time I worked mostly a 12hr shift but was never paid overtime. I have left that employment and would now like to file a case for my employer to pay me for at least the last three years. I feared to ask for my overtime before for fear that I would loss my job. What do you think about this time of case. Please let me know. Unemployed in Maryland

Asked on 10/22/13, 1:18 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

At the outset, you will need to determine your employment status. Your brief post mentions both being an independent contract and having an "employer." A truly independent contract will not have a claim for overtime. No company needs to pay an independent contractor overtime if they are truly independent under the law. The test for figuring out whether someone is really an employee can be involved and depends on the specific facts. In some cases, an employee has been misclassified as an "IC" when in fact they really should be an employee. In those scenarios, the label doesn't matter and claims for overtime may be appropriate.

Whether or not overtime is available does not depend on how many hours one works per shift -- instead, it is the number of total hours per work week that count.

Employees who have been wrongfully withheld overtiem have two options -- they can lodge a complaint with appropriate governmental officials to investigate OR they can privately sue an employer to seek monetary damages.

While I hope this general legal information helps, it shouldn't take the place of an in-depth review with an attorney. You are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel.

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Answered on 10/29/13, 7:22 am

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