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Howard Benjamin Hoffman

Howard Hoffman’s Answers

178 total


  • Can an employer in Maryland withhold your final check?

    I am completing an application for a part time job and the fine print states that "if I fail to give proper notice (2 weeks), I will forfeit my last paycheck." Is that legal in Maryland?

    Howard’s Answer

    No it is not legal. And it is not enforceable. If they withhold, contact a wage/hour lawyer. Beware of other abuses from this employer.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

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  • I received an employee advance from my employer, and later was fired. Can my employer sue me for the remainder of the advance?

    I took an advance, and payments were being deducted from each paycheck. Then my employer fired me. Can he now sue me successfully when he terminated the source of my repayments to him?

    Howard’s Answer

    I agree with the other answering attorney, but you should talk to an attorney to determine whether you are owed any unpaid overtime, etc. Many employees do not realize that they are entitled to unpaid wages under either Maryland or Federal law.

    Find an experienced wage/hour lawyer who will give you some of his/her time on a gratis in-person basis.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

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  • Is it legal for an employer to deduct breaks from your pay if you aren't taking one?

    My employers deducts time from me even when I don't have time to take breaks. I am a stylist and it gets busy at times but they still deduct time from my check.

    Howard’s Answer

    In a word, no. They must pay you for your hours worked. A common violation is taking automatic deductions for breaks which has the effect of denying you the proper amount of overtime. Talk with an experienced wage/hour lawyer.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

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  • Should my pay rate fluctuates every pay?

    Been working at my new job since March and asked human resources about my payrate. My base rate is $13.75 I suppose to get $1.50 shift differential and on weekends when I work get $2.00 more added on. Sometimes my pay rate is more or less. All was...

    Howard’s Answer

    If an employer constantly fluctuates the regular rate up and down, it may be a scam to underpay overtime. You should talk with a lawyer who is experienced in these specific type of claims.

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  • I came back from vacation and my boss informed me that I was no longer a dispatcher but had a different job. Can they do this?

    I am 6 months pregnant and the boss has voiced his displeasure with me having a second child and taking my vacation and maternity leave. I have been with the company on salary working Monday through Friday but am being called at all hours of the ...

    Howard’s Answer

    First, you may have a claim for unpaid overtime - I had a similar dispatcher case a number of years ago and many employers wrongly think that they do not have to pay for your time because you are not dispatching at all hours. WRONG!

    Second, the hostility that you feel may be directed at you based on your pregnancy, and so you may have additional rights under Federal or State law.

    I think you should contact an employment attorney who has experience in handling these sorts of claims. Look to talk with someone who will give you a gratis consult.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

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  • Owe job $1500.00 do I still pay

    3 month into my job I damage a customers vehicle I was told that I had tp pay for the damages which totaled to $1500.00 I was then told that $100.00 per check I was getting dock to pay for damages 6 months later I get fired and they take my entir...

    Howard’s Answer

    This is a minimum wage violation and a potential violation of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law. I would NOT contact DLLR but would rather contact a lawyer who specializes in these sorts of wage/hour cases and who would handle your case without a fee charged to you. I would be happy to assist.

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  • Do I need an employment Lawyer

    I worked for a company for about 10 months. The company downsized to the point where I worked the equivalent of three positions at the company with no raise in pay. Ive had issues with the proper hours showing up on my checks, Both wages and tips,...

    Howard’s Answer

    In a word, "yes." Yes, you should talk to an attorney experienced in wage/hour matters as it sounds like they may not have properly paid you. The denial of UI benefits is not something that may be remedied, particularly if the period for any appeal has expired.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    (301) 251-3752

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  • Internship Payment

    I’m currently doing an internship on a tourist visa, my employer says he can´t pay me because of that… I was wondering if there is a legal way for him to reattribute my work without doing anything illegal.

    Howard’s Answer

    Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an internship may have to be paid (although they may not be paid, too - it just depends). Your status as a B visa holder is not at all dependent on the right to be paid - that is NOT a factor.

    So I would encourage you to review this matter with a wage/hour lawyer who is knowledgeable of immigration laws, as well.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

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  • Ok I clocked out at 10 minutes after the hour I was supposed to get off the manager manually changed my time

    To say I clocked out at 7 minutes after so I wouldn't get the extra 15 mins of pay. Is that legal?

    Howard’s Answer

    Did you work the extra 10 minutes or did you just clock out late? To short you 3 minutes may be "de minimis," and not recoverable. Is this a systematic issue at your workplace. I think most attorneys would need more facts before reaching any conclusion here.

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  • Should a pay raise be demanded?

    I'm a hostess in a sports bar concerned for fair pay wages of waitress here. Prior to recent law changes, all tabs automatically had 15% gratuity added which was given at the end of shifts. According to the owners state law changed to those tips b...

    Howard’s Answer

    State law has only changed insofar as the regular minimum wage increased. It did not change with respect to how tips were to be paid. It is hard to understand exactly what you are describing. Your friends need to find an experienced lawyer in restaurant wage cases, and should be able to consult for free with an attorney. I have considerable experience in restaurant wage cases.

    Howard B. Hoffman
    www.hoholaw.com

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