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Reminder about State and Local Minimum Wage Increases in Maryland and D.C.

By Fiona W. Ong - Shawe Rosenthal LLP

July 2, 2018

As of July 1, 2018, the following Maryland jurisdictions had an increase in the minimum wage rate:

• The State’s minimum wage rate rose to $10.10 per hour, up from the prior rate of $9.25. This is the final step in a set of scheduled increases that were enacted in 2014 to raise the state minimum wage rate above the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. With regard to tipped employees, employers must continue to pay a base rate of $3.63 per hour and are required to make up any difference if there is a shortfall between that rate plus tips and the minimum wage rate. Employers must display a new mandatory poster.

• Montgomery County’s minimum wage rate increased from $11.50 per hour to $12.00 per hour for employers with 50 or fewer employees, and to $12.50 per hour for employers with more than 50 employees. The tipped wage rate remains at $4.00 per hour. Amusement and recreational establishments that meet certain requirements must pay employees at least 85% of the State minimum wage rate. Employees under 20 years of age must be paid at least 85% of the County minimum wage rate for their first 6 months of employment. Montgomery County employers must display a new mandatory poster.

• Prince George’s County’s minimum wage rate, is currently $11.50 per hour, with a tipped wage rate of $3.63, and there are no further increases scheduled at this time. Prince George’s County employer must display a mandatory poster.

• The District of Columbia’s minimum wage rate increased to $13.25 per hour from $12.50. The tipped wage rate rose to $3.89 per hour from $3.33. A poster must be displayed.

The Maryland General Assembly will be considering legislation to further increase the state minimum wage rate – likely to $15.00 per hour. Similar legislation was unsuccessfully floated during the past General Assembly session, and the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Ben Jealous, has made this part of his campaign platform.

As previously reported, D.C. voters have approved a ballot measure that will increase the tipped wage rate to the minimum wage rate by 2026, thereby eliminating the tip credit. Whether this measure will take effect is uncertain at this time.

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