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Maryland Increases Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour

The Maryland General Assembly has voted to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of legislation increasing the minimum wage.  As a result, the minimum wage in the State will increase to $15 per hour by 2025 for employers with 15 or more employees and 2026 for employers with 14 or fewer employees.

The minimum wage will gradually increase over the next six to seven years, depending on the size of the employer, with the first increase occurring on January 1, 2020, when the minimum wage will become $11 per hour for all employers.

The applicable minimum wage for employers with 15 or more employees will increase as follows:

  • January 1, 2020 – $11.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2021 – $11.75 per hour
  • January 1, 2022 – $12.50 per hour
  • January 1, 2023 – $13.25 per hour
  • January 1, 2024 – $14.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2025 – $15.00 per hour

The minimum wage for employers with 14 or fewer employees (small employers) will increase as follows:

  • January 1, 2020 – $11.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2021 – $11.60 per hour
  • January 1, 2022 – $12.20 per hour
  • January 1, 2023 – $12.80 per hour
  • January 1, 2024 – $13.40 per hour
  • January 1, 2025 – $14.00 per hour
  • January 1, 2026 – $14.60 per hour
  • July 1, 2026 – $15.00 per hour

The law regarding “training wage” has also changed.  Employers may pay employees under the age of 18 (prior to the law, the age was 20) 85% of the applicable minimum wage.

The Board of Public Works is authorized to temporarily suspend a minimum wage increase if it determines that seasonally adjusted total employment is negative.  The Board must make this determination by October 1, 2020, and each subsequent October 1 until 2024.  The Board is only authorized to temporarily suspend the increase one time.  If the Board suspends an increase, the minimum wage will remain the same as it was for the immediately preceding 12-month period and the remaining minimum wage rate increases must take effect one year later than the date specified in the statute.

The Commissioner of Labor and Industry is required to adopt regulations  to require restaurant employer that use a tip credit as part of employee wages to provide tipped employees with a written or electronic wage statement each pay period that shows the effective hourly tip rate resulting from the employer-paid cash wages and all reported tips for tip credit hours worked each work week in a pay period.

Prince George’s County’s local minimum wage is $11.50 per hour.   Montgomery County’s minimum wage is $12.25 for employers with 51 or more employees and $12 per hour for employers with 50 or fewer employees.

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