WP: Maryland Underpaid Thousands of State Employees

Legal Article

WP: Maryland Underpaid Thousands of State Employees

The Washington Post is reporting that the State of Maryland has admitted to underpaying as many as 13,000 state employees based on incorrect overtime calculations.

Budget and Management Secretary David R. Brinkley said the mistakes could affect up to 13,000 current employees roughly one-quarter of the states public workforce and an unknown number of former workers. The state could owe each of those individuals from $2 to $30 extra for each relevant pay period.

Many of the workers are police, hospital workers and corrections employees, whose jobs often require them to work nontraditional hours between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. Their extra pay was miscalculated by payroll workers at agencies across the government, officials said.

The payroll discrepancies discussed occurred over a twenty-year period. During this time, the state used a manual paper-based system that was twenty years old as well. These discrepancies were noticed when then state switched from the paper methods to an online payroll system aimed to streamline the process of paying state employees. It appears that some of the state’s most necessary workers were shortchanged precisely because they worked longer hours.  Maryland’s Governor, Larry Hogan, is so far working with the unions and attempting to correct these defects.  But oftentimes what an employer thinks is a “fair correction” is merely a partial recoupment for the employee. Union officials stated that payroll discrepancies have been occurring for years and this is merely the first time the state government is acknowledging the issues. While the officials were glad that employees would receive old overtime wages, there is also the possibility of lawsuits from an employee who experienced financial hardship because they did not receive the proper wages. We’ll continue to monitor and investigate this event due to obvious violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Maryland Wage and Hour Law and Maryland Wage Payment Collection Law. For more information regarding Maryland’s underpaid state employees, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.