While the FLSA undeniably provides a plaintiff with the right to assert a statutory claim for unpaid overtime and receive all statutory damages, whether, and under what circumstances, such a claim can be asserted under a state wage and hour law is not always so clear. In fact, in Maryland, courts had reached conflicting conclusions as to whether such a statutory claim could be asserted in a misclassification or similar case where the claim was not based on an employer’s failure to pay promised overtime (i.e., unpaid recorded overtime by a non-exempt employee). Effective October 1, 2010, this issue is no longer in dispute in Maryland as the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law has been amended to include "overtime wages" within the definition of wages. 2010 Md. ALS 99. Maryland employers must now recognize that they are potentially subject to both federal and state liability for unpaid overtime.
This enactment highlights the need to analyze all potential wage and hour strategies and liabilities under both federal and state law.