Friday, May 19, 2006

Accrued Vacation Under the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law

As I wrote here, the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law allows employees to sue to collect earned wages.

I wrote:

A key provision of the Law states:

Each employer shall pay an employee or the authorized representative of an employee all wages due for work that the employee performed before the termination of employment, on or before the day on which the employee would have been paid the wages if the employment had not been terminated. §3-505.

Wages is defined as all compensation that it is due to an employee for employment . . . Md. Code Ann. Lab. Empl. §3-501(c)(1) &(2).

Section 3-501.1 provides the employee a civil cause of action to recover wages withheld in violation of Section 3-505. In addition, the Court can award the plaintiff treble damages and reasonable attorney's fees.

Is accrued vacation earned and therfore recoverable under the Wage Payment Law?

This footnote from Stevenson v. Branch Banking and Trust Corp. may answer the question:

Although we have ruled that Stevenson cannot recover unpaid
Termination Compensation under the Wage Payment Act, we recognize that the Act does provide her a remedy to recover other unpaid wages that she earned before she was fired, such as any vacation pay or deferred compensation accumulated during her employment.

* * *

The same principles applicable to unpaid vacation benefits that qualify as "wages" under the Act would apply equally to any unpaid deferred compensation that qualifies as "wages."

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