Legal Question in Legal Ethics in Maryland

Is it illegal for an employer to expect an over the top work performance if they are paying you less than what your position requires (even if it is only 25 cents)? Can they put you on a job you were not certified for (example: working on an AC if you do not have an HVAC certification)? Is it also illegal for them to give you a 90 day probation period during which time you are not allowed to take anytime off (not allowed to use your paid time off even if you ask well in advance or sick days) or come in late not even if the reason you are late is out of your control and you informed your place of work before your shift was to start? When you do need to take a day off, they dont apply your paid time off to it so your paycheck is short even though you have the time ... is that illegal too? If all or some of the questions i have asked are illegal how do you go about handling the situation?

Asked on 9/03/13, 8:15 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC

You asked a number of good questions and I will try to provide some general feedback.

It is perfectly legal to have an initial period (such as 90 day probation) before paid time off kicks in. Each employer can set their own attendance policy (with some limits - for instance after one works a full-time job for a year, federal law says an employer must allow time off under FMLA for certain medical reasons but your scenario does not describe that kind of situation)

It is also permissible to require / demand top work performance, regardless of how the pay rate is set.

An employer cannot force an unlicensed person to do a job for which the law requires a particular license. Such would be against the public policy of the state, although those questions are very fact specific and would benefit from a more detailed attorney review.

I hope the above general legal information helps but please understand that it creates no attorney/client relationship, nor does it offer legal advice on the specifics of your particular situation.

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Answered on 9/03/13, 7:40 pm

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