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Wages, Overtime & Commissions Blogs

The ‘Gig Economy’ and Your Wage Rights as an Independent Contractor

Technology companies, such as Uber and Lyft, tout the benefits of the “gig economy,” in which workers are designated as independent contractors, not employees. The problem is, independent-contractor status often does not benefit workers.

Being an independent contractor is, theoretically, beneficial because workers are their own boss, working whenever and as much as they want. However, the companies are typically the real beneficiaries of the independent contractor designation. This is because independent contractors are typically exempt from the protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the federal statute that governs the payment of wages, such as a minimum wage or overtime pay. Accordingly, companies can entice workers to work long hours, for low pay, and without overtime.

Because of the lower associated costs, companies often misclassify employees as independent contractors. The problem is so rampant that the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the federal agency that enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, is actively working with the IRS to combat employee misclassification.

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Maryland Federal Court Holds the Wage Claims Cannot be Released or Waived

Even if you signed a separation agreement with your former employer, you may still have a case for owed wages, including overtime pay, under Maryland wage laws and/or the federal Fair Labor Standards Act because of a recent Maryland federal court ruling.

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You May Not Be an Independent Contractor – and May By Eligible for Overtime

An independent contractor is generally thought of as someone who is compensated by another party without withholdings and taxes and who also is paid a fixed amount for a specific job or task. Cable TV installers, painters and manual laborers often are paid as independent contractors.

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Daily Labor Report Touts Smaller 'Boutique' Firms Like Lebau & Neuworth

A recent Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report article, citing Lebau & Neuworth attorney Steven Lebau, states, “Whether they work on the management side or the worker side of labor and employment law, the attorneys contacted by Bloomberg BNA touted the advantages of boutiques (small law firms such as Lebau & Neuworth) for both lawyers and clients. They said the lawyers collaborate more and are able to offer high-quality and expert services at lower prices.”

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Maryland Court Says Employees Can Sue Owners for Owed Wages

Posted on November 1, 2016 in Employee Rights, Wages, Overtime & Commissions

Recently in Rollins v. Rollins Trucking, LLC, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1492 (D. Md. Jan. 7, 2016), the Maryland federal court said that bosses and owners possibly could be personally liable for wages owed to employees.

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More Enforcement against Wage Theft is Needed

Posted on August 15, 2016 in Wages, Overtime & Commissions

A very timely article by the Washington Post clearly shows the need for more enforcement for getting employees wages that are owed to them.

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New Overtime Regulations are A Few Steps Forward for Fair Wages

Posted on July 19, 2016 in Wages, Overtime & Commissions

The U.S. Department of Labor recently published new overtime regulations that become effective in December 2016. (View the new regulations here: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016.) Although there have not been any revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime regulations since 2004, anti-fair-pay proponents are claiming that the “sky is falling” and that “small business” won’t be able to compete – which is nonsense.

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Tax Theft – What is an Employee to Do?

Posted on July 8, 2016 in Wages, Overtime & Commissions

Lebau & Neuworth staff has often observed that employees working for construction companies, bars and restaurants, landscape companies and other small businesses are often subjected to a tax-fraud scheme that costs them both wages and governmental benefits. The fraud comes in one of three forms:

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At-Home Care & Minimum Wage Workers in Maryland: Recent Developments

Posted on March 31, 2015 in Wages, Overtime & Commissions
The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed in an unreported decision that employees who provide at-home care for elderly and disabled at their homes are, in fact, entitled to overtime under Maryland law in Maryland. Peters v. Early Healthcare Giver, Inc., No. 0018 (July 25, 2012) (Wright, J.).​ Read More

Maryland Federal Court Provides Workers Triple Damages for Owed Wages

Posted on December 29, 2014 in Wages, Overtime & Commissions
When employees recently sued a failed company for their final pay and the employer failed to answer discovery until the very end, the federal court in Maryland imposed a triple-damages penalty because of the employer’s delay and denial tactics. Read More
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