Maryland Mandatory Minimum Wage Increase Effective July 1, 2017

On July 1, 2017, the Maryland state minimum wage will increase to $9.25 per hour.  The current minimum "Tip Wage" in Maryland is frozen at $3.63 per hour for tipped employees.

The Montgomery County minimum wage is higher than the Maryland state minimum wage and will increase to $11.50 per hour on July 1, 2017. The “Tip Wage” in Montgomery County is frozen at $4.00 per hour.

The Prince George’s County minimum wage is higher than the Maryland state minimum wage and is currently $10.75 per hour. The Prince George’s County minimum wage will increase to $11.50 per hour on October 1, 2017. The “Tip Wage” in Prince George’s is frozen at $3.63 per hour.

Maryland employers are required to pay their covered employees the minimum wage in the jurisdiction that the employees perform work.   For example, a Howard County landscaping company has hourly employees that work in Howard County and hourly employees that work in Montgomery County.  The employer must pay the Howard County employees at least $9.25/hour while the Montgomery County employees will be paid at least $11.50/hour.  

Furthermore, as the Maryland minimum wage rates increase, so do the overtime rates.  Overtime is paid at one and half times the employee’s hourly rate for every hour worked over 40 hours per week, even if that work was unauthorized.  If the hours are worked, then the employee must be paid.  This could be a significant increase in wages paid.  In order for an employer to control the amount of overtime paid to employees, employers should implement and enforce policies prohibiting unauthorized overtime, train managers and supervisors on budgeting and managing overtime, direct managers and supervisors to monitor time worked to ensure that overtime is not being abused or occurring without authorization.  While overtime must be paid if worked, an employer can discipline an employee for failing to follow a written company policy.

Finally, with the change in the minimum wage rates, employment posters may be outdated. Maryland requires all employers to post the updated applicable minimum wage rates. Employers must post a number of notices informing workers of their rights and obligations under various employment laws. The notices must be conspicuously placed and easily seen by employees as they enter or exit the workplace.  Employers should locate and update all wok posters. Many of the required posters are available from the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation website.

Employer Takeaways:

  • Locate & Update Maryland Employment Posters
  • Review Payroll/Increase Minimum Wage
  • Review Timekeeping & Overtime Policies
  • Train Supervisors & Managers

Cheryl Brown is an attorney with the Business and Transactional practice group at Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny, LLC.  For questions regarding the implementation of this law, or your own labor and employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact Cheryl.