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What Jurisdiction Are You In?

Jurisdictions in the Washington Metropolitan Area
The Washington Metropolitan region includes parts of three different jurisdictions: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. For a business to be successful in this area, it is virtually impossible not to have customers in all three jurisdictions. But there can be significant differences in the law from state to state and many pitfalls for the unwary business.

For example, both Maryland and Virginia require employers to pay employees all wages due by the next scheduled payday following resignation or discharge. District of Columbia law provides, however, that wages must be paid by the next scheduled payday or within seven days of resignation, whichever is earlier. In the case of an employee who is fired, the District requires that payment be made no later than the next working day following the date of discharge with few exceptions.

Why is this difference in the law significant?
Violations of the labor code in all three jurisdictions carry heavy penalties. In Maryland, employers can be liable for three times the amount of wages withheld plus attorneys’ fees if the statutory procedures aren’t followed. In the District, the penalty can be up to 10% of the unpaid wages for each working day after the wages were required to be paid. This aspect of labor & employment law is a perfect illustration of why business owners need professional guidance and cannot rely upon search engines and the various non-state-specific internet services which purport to provide legal forms for seemingly routine matters.

At P.K. Hammar Legal, we recognize the importance to local businesses of a free flow of commerce between contiguous jurisdictions. In order to best assist our clients, we have attorneys barred in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, (as well as Pennsylvania and Florida) ready to assist you with any legal matters specific to where you do business. Give us a call and let us know how we can help.

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