There are many regulations in place that were specifically created to protect workers from exploitation. These laws can be quite complex and difficult to understand. Therefore, it is important that as a worker you become empowered and know what you are entitled to, as well how to report wage violations effectively.
If you have been underpaid by your employer based on what you are legally entitled to, then they may be liable and charged with "wage theft." In that situation, your employor will be legally obligated to pay you the wages that you should have earned.
What am I entitled to as an employee?
In 2018, the federal minimum is $7.25 per hour. However, as an employee in Maryland, you are entitled to the minimum wage of $9.25 per hour based on state guidelines. When working over 40 hours per week, you also have the right to receive another 50 percent on top of your normal hourly wage for any additional time you work.
Am I a misclassified employee?
If you are being employed as an independent contractor and therefore not receiving overtime pay, you may want to look into whether you are misclassified. If you are working hours set by your employer and have work equipment provided by the employer, it is likely that you should not be classified as an independent contractor.
Reporting wage and hour violations
It is in your own interests to report wage and hour violations, because if successful, you will receive the wages that you lost. You can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor.
Source: FindLaw, "How to Report Wage and Hour Violations," accessed Feb. 23, 2018