The minimum wage for most employees in Maryland has increased from $7.25 per hour to $8.00 per hour, effective January 1, 2015. The recent wage increase was the first of a series of wage raises slated to take place throughout the next three years in Maryland. According to legislation that passed in Maryland during the summer of 2014, the minimum wage rate is scheduled to increase to $8.25 in July 2015, $8.75 in July 2016, $9.25 in July 2017, and finally $10.10 in July 2018.
A few specified employees will earn a different minimum wage. Tipped employees who earn more than $30 per month in tips will continue to earn at least $3.63 per hour. However, their wage earned plus tips must be equal to at least the State’s minimum wage rate for all hours worked. Amusement and recreational establishments who meet a certain criteria must pay their employees at least 85% of the State’s minimum wage rate or $7.25 per hour, whichever is the higher amount. Also, employees under the age of 20 must earn at least 85% of the State’s minimum wage during the first six months of employment.
The Maryland Minimum Wage Law includes numerous exemptions. Employees who are immediate family members of the employer are not required to receive the State’s minimum wage. Also exempt from the minimum wage law are employees under the age of 16 who work less than 20 hours per week. Others that are excluded from the State’s minimum wage law include, but are not limited to: certain agricultural employees, commissioned employees, and outside salesmen.
Effective since 2010, the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law requires employers to pay employees at least once every two weeks or twice in a month (excluding certain executive, professional, and administrative employees). The law also requires employers to pay employees their wages promptly on established regular paydays. A “wage” is defined by the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law as a “payment or compensation earned by an employee for work performed under an employer’s direction, or with the employer’s knowledge or consent.” A wage also includes bonuses, commission, fringe benefits, overtime, and any other promised compensation for work performed.