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

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.

In Johnson v. CRC Holdings, Inc., Civil No. JKB-16-2937, the Maryland federal court rejected an employer’s attempt to dismiss an overtime claim by its former employee. In the case, the employer argued unsuccessfully that the employee had waived any claim for overtime by signing a separation agreement that stated she released all claims, complaints and causes of action, known and unknown, against the employer.

The Maryland federal court stated point-blank that, under the Maryland Wage-Hour Law and the Maryland Wage Payment & Collection Law as well as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, an employee cannot waive or release a claim of owed wages, including overtime. The Court, relying on the language of the Maryland statutes and the federal law, held, “Because a worker cannot contractually waive her rights to full payment under the FLSA, MWHL, or MWPCL, the [separation] Agreement does not cover Plaintiff’s claims under those statutes.”

Therefore, a worker can still pursue in Court his or her entitlement to overtime pay and wages for all hours worked, even if the employer required the worker to sign a document say that such claims were waived or released.

If you believe your may have been wrongly denied wages or overtime pay, contact the attorneys at Lebau & Neuworth; we may be able to help, as we are experienced in dealing with wage and overtime issues. For more information, contact us at 888-456-2529 or lebauneuworth.com/contact-us.

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