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Federal Laws That Protect Maryland Workers

As an employee, it is important to know that you have rights in situations in which your employer is engaging in illegal or prohibited acts or allowing unsafe conditions to exist at your place of employment. There are numerous federal and state laws that protect employees all across the country. If you think your employer has violated one of these laws, it is important to contact a Charles County personal injury attorney right away.

While there are close to 200 laws that the Department of Labor enforces in regard to employee protection, here’s a look at some of the more common and important ones you should consider.

Employment Based Discrimination

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act made it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their color, religion, race, sex, or national origin. In 2009, the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act made it illegal to engage in wage discrimination against minorities and women. There are also other federal laws in place that address discrimination against people with disabilities in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and based on age for workers aged 40 and over in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in 1967.

In Maryland, it is illegal to discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, disability, ancestry or national origin, age, gender identity, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.

Minimum Wage

Thanks to the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers across the country are entitled to receive a minimum wage for their work. This act also ensures that non-exempt workers will receive pay at time-and-a half for any overtime they have worked. There are additional protections that apply to workers who are under 18. Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 / hour, but a majority of the states have local laws that mandate higher minimum wage amounts. In Maryland, the current minimum wage is $10.10 an hour.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

This law allows eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks off of unpaid time each year if they need to take time after the birth or adoption of a child. The Act also covers workers who request time off to deal with the serious illness of a family member. There are eligibility requirements you must meet first, including being employed for a minimum of 12 months and having worked a minimum of 1,250 hours over the course of the past year. Note that the FMLA will only apply to companies who have 50 or more employees that are located within a 75-mile radius.

Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 and promised to have healthcare become a right for workers at most companies that can be defined as medium- and large-sized. There is an employer shared responsibility provision that states that a company with 50 or more full-time employees — defined as someone who works at least 30 hours a week on average — must offer employees at least a minimum level of health insurance. If they do not, they can be subjected to significant penalties.

Contact a Maryland Personal Injury Attorney

If you feel you have been discriminated against or had your rights violated by your Maryland employer, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro today at 301-870-1200 to schedule an initial consultation.

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