CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: If You are Laid Off, Make Sure You Get Paid What You are Entitled

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC: If You are Laid Off, Make Sure You Get Paid What You are Entitled

If you work in Maryland and have been laid off because of the Coronavirus pandemic, in addition to Maryland Unemployment Benefits, you are entitled to certain protections in getting the wages owed to you.

Specifically, these are:

Wage Payment at Termination—When Final Paycheck is Due
Each employer shall pay an employee, or the authorized representative of an employee, all wages due for work that the employee performed before the termination of employment, on or before the day on which the employee would have been paid the wages if the employment had not terminated.

Notice of Termination: Payment of Wages During Notice Period
Unless expressly provided in an employment contract, agreement or policy, an employer is not required to allow an employee to work the full two week termination notice period (or whatever other termination notice period given by the employee), nor pay the employee for the time not actually allowed to work.

Unused Vacation Termination—Is it Payable?
The answer to this question depends on the employer's written policy, and whether this policy was communicated to the employee at the time of hiring. For example, if an employer informs employees in writing at the time of hiring that unused vacation leave will be lost or forfeited upon termination, then an employee will not be able to claim it. On the other hand, where the employer does not have a written policy that limits the compensation for accrued leave to a terminated employee, that employee is entitled to the cash value of whatever unused earned vacation leave was left -- provided it was otherwise usable.

Unused Sick Leave at Termination—Is it Payable?
Because sick leave is generally meant to be used in the case of sickness or for medical attention, its use is limited to those situations. Sick leave is therefore a contingency against illness, and cannot be claimed at termination in the same manner as unused vacation leave, unless expressly allowed in a contract or an employer's policy.

The Maryland Wage Payment & Collection Law provides that an employee can recover three times the wages that are owed if an employer does not timely pay.

Lebau & Neuworth has represented literally thousands of Maryland workers and have gotten them paid what they are owed. If you are having a problem getting paid what your are owed, contact Lebua & Neuworth at 888-456-2529 or

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