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Direct deposit reversed/final pay withheld (MD)

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  • Direct deposit reversed/final pay withheld (MD)

    I resigned from a job, and my former employer subsequently reversed a direct deposit applicable to the previous month's salary. This was done two days after I submitted written notice. Pay for the last few days I worked was also withheld. I sent a written letter demanding payment and my former employer sent a check for less than the amount owed, claiming that I had used unearned leave so that there had to be an adjustment to my final paycheck (which really wasn't supposed to be the final one because I had worked a few days into the next month and still haven't been paid.) I should mention that the company has no personnel manual, and my contract specified that I had two weeks of vacation and two weeks of sick leave (I had used a total of 4 vacation days and 4 sick leave days). Based on my understanding, there was no system of earned leave as my employer had verbally told me that vacation would be taken if she agreed and that if I was sick, I could take whatever leave I needed. In order to recover my back wages, I think that i will probably end up suing. What is your take on this in view of Maryland law? Thanks.

  • #2
    You don't have to have an attorney. If you believe you have wages due, you can file a claim with the state Dept. of Labor. That's what they're there for.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's pefectly legal to reverse the direct deposit. Final wages are due the same day they would normally have been paid. If you worked a few days of the month and usually aren't paid until the end of the month, quitting doesn't mean they must pay you sooner.

      In MD the DLLR has held that used but unearned leave may be recouped at termination. If you feel yours wasn't unearned, you can file with the DLLR.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Patty & Elle's reply (reversed direct deposit/resig)

        Dear Patty & Elle,

        First of all, thanks for replying., FYI re the current situation in Maryland, I did investigate filing a claim with the Department of Labor. As of July 2005, I have been told that a division of the Dept. of Labor, the Office of Employment and Standards that handled wage claims, has been closed due to budget cuts (it is supposed to re-open in the summer pending funding), so when you look for info as to what recourse you have from the state, there are 2 options offered after you send a letter to demand wages due: 1. using an attorney and filing a law suit or 2. going to small claims court on your own. I just wondered if you knew that. Thanks again.

        Also to Elle, I think you may have misunderstood the situation or perhaps I wasn't clear. I worked all of February and was paid via direct deposit at the end of the month. Following my resignation in early March (exercising my at-will employment option as per my offer letter), the employer reversed the Feb. transaction and withdraw a whole month of salary without notifying me or getting my permission. Also, my March wages were due the end of the month and haven't been paid. The employer recently sent a check for significantly less than the amount I was owed claiming that I had taken leave in excess of what I had earned. Again, there was no company manual or written policy provided to me. The offer letter that specified my annual salary and benefits stated that I had 2 weeks of vacation and 2 weeks of sick leave. And based on a conversation with my boss, I was told that
        vacation leave could be taken if she agreed and that if I was sick, I could take whatever leave I needed. I hope this clarifies my issue.

        I would appreciate hearing any thoughts about how likely it is for me to recover my wages and other damages. Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Huh?????? I'm going to call them and ask this question. Not that I don't trust what you're saying, I just find it very hard to believe that such an important division of such an important agency to serve the public is not acting.

          However, if this is true, the only option you have now is an attorney.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

          Comment


          • #6
            Info/links re: status of MD agency (DLLR-Employment Standards)

            Hi Patty,
            I was just as shocked as you were to learn that the state agency isn't working. Here are two links to info that can fill you in (an article from the Baltimore Sun describing the situation & the MD DLLR's own website).

            http://www.casademaryland.org/press/jan31-2005.htm

            http://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wa...wpremedies.htm

            As for me, I'm working with an attorney and after some, unfortunately unsuccessful attempts to get my former employer to settle, we're going to file suit.

            Hope the info is helpful to you & others.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, I work for the city of Baltimore, and I've found the Baltimore Sun to often get only one side of the story straight. It doesn't actually say the department is not taking claims or is closed, and the department site does say the closing is only proposed, but it does definitely state that with the decreased funding, the department is hard-pressed to pursue violations of law as they are mandated to do. That's very unfortunate.

              However, you've taken the alternate option now, and it appears that's the only way you're going to get satisfaction any time soon. Good luck.
              I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                There is a precedent; the state of Florida closed their DOL some years ago and divvied up their duties amongst other agencies.
                The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, cbg, and we know how well THAT'S gone.
                  I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DLLR website info.

                    Patty,
                    Thanks for your reply. I wonder if you went to the DLLR website I referenced. There are just the two options listed there and other contacts I have spoken with have indicated that right now until the state authorizes new funding, there is nowhere else to go. It is a shame, especially if unscrupulous employers know this and want to take advantage.

                    I'll keep you posted on the outcome of my case. Thanks again.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, not to get too political, but Ehrlich's days are numbered it appears and his term nearing its end. Whoever the new administration is may change everything once again. Annapolis can't get their act together and the legislature would argue with the Governor that the sun rose this morning and vice versa.

                      In other words, I wouldn't count the DLLR out yet. In the meantime, the federal DOL is still up and running and you can seek redress through them if need be.
                      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        MD DOL - wage claims - any info would be appreciated

                        Dear Patty & Elle,
                        I was wondering if either of you (or anyone else out there) have found anything out about which office/division to contact within the MD DOL re: wage claims. I had been told that the Office of Employment Standards that used to handle these matters closed in July 2005 due to budget cuts. But, maybe there is somewhere else to go within MD DOL?

                        Please let me know if you have any new info/updates/contact information. Thanks in advance.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's the Division of Labor and Industry. www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/
                          I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: MD DOL info

                            Elle,
                            Thanks for the web site address. I already had it, but I see that a few things have changed since I last checked (for one thing, at least there's an e-mail address to write to which wasn't there before!)

                            At the same time, the remedies for wage claims on the website indicate that you're pretty much on your own in handling the claim (small claims by yourself or getting an attorney). I do have an attorney right now, but things are moving slowly and I'm afraid that this is going to cost me more than it's worth in the long run.

                            For sure I'll use the new e-mail address posted on the website and see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

                            Thanks again for your help.
                            lola7771
                            Junior Member
                            Last edited by lola7771; 05-24-2006, 07:58 AM. Reason: need to correct information

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Info from Maryland Dept of Labor

                              Dear Elle & Patty,
                              FYI, I got a response from the DOL e-mail address I found on the website. So, it is true that the MD DOL Employment Standards Service is no longer operating and that the state of Maryland doesn't have any office to help employees recover unpaid wages. This is really unfortunate and a real failure of government. I hope you are right Patty and that things will change with a new administration.

                              ================================================== ======

                              e-mail from Maryland Dept. of Labor & Industry

                              "Unfortunately, the Employment Standards Service is no longer in operation as
                              of June 30, 2005. Unfortunately, as a result, there is no office on a state
                              level to provide employees with the recovery of unpaid wages. There is a
                              packet of information which details how to file a claim through the district
                              court as well as providing the contact numbers for the various court
                              locations. If you would like to receive this information, please provide a
                              mailing address and your request will be handled promptly.

                              Other than filing a claim through the district court the only other recourse
                              available at this time would be to contact an attorney."

                              Comment

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