Maryland Law Implicitly Adopted the Portal-to-Portal Act


Maryland’s intermediate appellate court held that it is unnecessary for the State to specifically express that it has adopted an amendment to a federal statute where the General Assembly has enacted the State’s equivalent of the federal statute. Thus, in Amaya v. DGS Construction, LLC, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its amendment, the Portal-to-Portal Act, were incorporated into, and function as part of, Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL).

Specifically, the Court stated that, “[b]ecause the General Assembly chose to graft the definition of employ directly from the FLSA into the MWHL . . . the interpretative guidance and statutory limitations imposed by the existing Portal-to-Portal Act was also grafted into the MWHL.” As applied in the present case, the Court determined that the Portal-to-Portal Act operated to make non-compensable the time spent commuting to and from an off-site parking lot to the actual worksite, even if via an employer-provided shuttle bus.

It is worth noting that this issue may be appealed to the State’s highest appellate court – the Maryland Court of Appeals, which could either affirm or reverse the Court of Special Appeals’ holding.