“How Much Am I Owed?” | Ep. 2: The Maryland Carpenter Who Is Paid “Straight Time”

 In Overtime, Suing Your Boss

At DCWageLaw, clients who walk in the door often want to know: “How much money am I owed?!” So we decided to write a series of examples of how we might answer this question.

In this edition, we look at the hypothetical example of a construction worker who is paid “straight time” for his overtime hours.

Meet Mr. Gonzalez. Mr. Gonzalez works for Diablo Construction in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He works as a carpenter who does drywall and framing.
Mr. Gonzalez works about 50 hours per week for Diablo Construction. He works 10 hours a day and 5 days a week. His daily schedule is from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., with a one hour break. He works Monday through Friday.
Meet Mr. Gonzalez’s boss, Mr. Diablo. Mr. Diablo pays Mr. Gonzalez $20.00 per hour for all of his hours. So if Mr. Gonzalez works 50 hours in a week, Mr. Diablo pays him $1000.00 (50 × $20.00 = $1000.00).
Mr. Gonzalez has been working for Diablo Construction for 3 years. During those three years, he has almost always worked the same schedule of 50 hours per week. And during those three years, Mr. Diablo has always paid Mr. Gonzalez $20.00 per hour for all of his hours.
So how much might Mr. Diablo owe Mr. Gonzalez?! The answer: A LOT.
Why is Mr. Gonzalez owed money?
Mr. Gonzalez has a big claim for overtime wages. This is because workers like Mr. Gonzalez should generally earn “time and a half” for the hours they work over 40 in a week.
Mr. Gonzalez’s regular rate of pay was $20.00. Therefore, Mr. Diablo should have paid Mr. Gonzalez $30.00 for each hour that Mr. Gonzalez worked over 40 hours in each week ($20.00 × 1.5 = $30.00).
Mr. Gonzalez is a smart guy, so he comes to DCWageLaw so we can evaluate his claim.
Mr. Gonzalez worked 50 hours a week. This means that Mr. Gonzalez worked 10 hours of overtime a week (50 – 40 = 10). Because Mr. Gonzalez should have been paid $30.00 instead of $20.00 for his overtime hours, he is owed $10.00 for each overtime hour that he worked ($30.00 – $20.00 = $10.00). And he is owed $100.00 for each week that he worked 10 overtime hours ($10.00 × 10 = $100.00).
Mr. Gonzalez has worked for Diablo Construction for 3 years. That is 156 weeks (52 weeks in a year, 3 × 52 = 156). Therefore, over three years, Mr. Diablo has deprived Mr. Gonzalez of about $15,600.00 in overtime wages (156 × $100.00 = $15,600.00).
Moreover, the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law says that employers like Mr. Diablo may be liable for 3 times the amount of any unpaid overtime wages (3 × $15,600.00 = $46,800.00).
That means, under Maryland law, Mr. Diablo may owe Mr. Gonzalez $46,800.00!!!

If this story sounds familiar, or if you think you may have some type of claim for unpaid wages, contact us for a free case consultation.

Justin started DCWageLaw for one principal reason: Workers who are not being paid properly deserve to have the best possible legal representation. He has litigated over 200 cases in state and federal court, most involving wage and hour issues.

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