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