YOUR RIGHTS: How the Laws of the United States and Maryland Protect You
Whether or not you have legal immigration status, you are protected by most federal and state labor laws. Almost all of these laws are the same for everyone, whether you are a citizen or you are here without papers. You do not have to accept lower wages because of your immigration status.
Wages and Hours
You are entitled to:
- A minimum wage of $6.15 a hour (in the state of Maryland, as of February 16, 2006)
- Payment for all hours worked
- Payment of wages in US dollars once every two weeks, or twice per month
- Overtime pay of 1.5 times your regular hourly wage for every extra hour you work over 40 hours in a week.
- All employers in Maryland who have one or more employees--full-time or part-time--must pay into the state workers compensation fund. This insurance program pays for medical bills and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job.
- If you worked enough hours in the previous year, then you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance if you leave your job for good cause or are fired (See Resources Section for more information). This is one law that only applies if you have lawful immigration status.
- It is reasonable for a full time employee to ask the employer to provide health insurance, paid vacation and sick leave, but these benefits are not required by law.