Maryland minimum wage is poised to hit the $15 mark a bit sooner than expected.
Maryland in 2019 passed a law to gradually increase minimum wage rates. For large employers (those with 15 or more workers), it was previously set to reach $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.
However, Maryland minimum wage will be $15 for employers of all sizes on Jan. 1, 2024, under the new legislation.
UPDATE (JULY 2023): A new labor law poster has been released.
Minimum Wage Management. Simplified.
Maryland Minimum Wage Update
As a reminder, effective Jan. 1, 2023, Maryland minimum wage is $13.25 for large employers and $12.80 for small employers. For tipped employees, the rate is $3.63.
The previous version of the law set a schedule to ramp up to the $15 threshold in 2025 for large employers and 2026 for small employers.
Now, with the passage of the Fair Wage Act of 2023, employers of all sizes must pay $15 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2024.
Gov. Wes Moore signed the Maryland minimum wage update into law on April 11, 2023.
Meanwhile, the new law also eliminates future rate increases. Of course, that could change with new legislation. It also does not appear to impact the tipped rate for Maryland minimum wage.
How Many States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?
Minimum Wage in Maryland Counties
As a reminder, two counties in Maryland also have their own minimum wage rates. Both have already hit the $15 number.
In Howard County, the rates as of April 2023 are:
- $15 – standard
- $13.25 – small employers
- $3.63 – tipped employees
In Montgomery County, the current rates are:
- $15.56 – standard (currently under indexing)
- $14.50 – medium-sized employers
- $14 – small employers
- $4 – tipped employees
Note that rates for Montgomery County will increase again July 1, 2023. But for Howard County, they won’t go up again until Jan. 1, 2024.
UPDATE (July 2023): The county also released a new minimum wage poster recently.
County and City Minimum Wage Rate Guide
Managing Minimum Wage Rates
The news on the Maryland minimum wage underscores the complexities of managing rates across the U.S.
A new federal minimum wage rate has long been discussed but never acted on, so more jurisdictions have enacted their own rates. And even some that have a minimum wage law on the books, such as Maryland, have opted to make additional updates, as well.
Meanwhile, these laws can be more complicated than simply knowing the rates. Cook County, Ill., allows cities to opt in or out of its ordinance. And Oregon minimum wage applies its rate based on county (but not entirely).
Additionally, while minimum wage in Maryland, and several other states, are moving toward the $15 figure, there has been a new push — the Fight for $20.
From indexed rates to ballot measures, industry-specific rates and more, the challenges of managing minimum wage continue to grow.
(In case you’re an employer with locations north of the border: Canada Minimum Wage.)
Minimum Wage Compliance Resources
Employers with locations in Maryland that may have been relying on the previous increase schedule should get set for the new $15 rate, effective Jan. 1, 2024.
Plus, Maryland’s minimum wage starting next year will apply to employers of all sizes, as well.