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Minimum Wage: 5 Facts About Maryland's Minimum Wage

By    |   Monday, 16 Nov 2015 08:35 PM

Maryland’s minimum wage increased in July 2015 to $8.25 an hour and is set to keep increasing until July 2018. Here are five facts about the minimum wage in the Old Line State.

1. Maryland’s minimum wage began with a two-tier rate in 1968, of either $1 an hour or $1.15 an hour. There was a single minimum wage from 1970 until 1976, when a two-tier wage was set again ($2.20 and $2.30). From then on, there was a single minimum wage. The longest the state went without an increase was from 1981 to 1991, when the rate was $3.35 an hour, according to the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

2. With the minimum wage bill signed in 2014, the wage is set to increase incrementally, until reaching $10.10 an hour on July 1, 2018.

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3. The minimum wage law does not prevent local governments from setting higher minimum wages, and two counties have done that. Prince Georges and Montgomery counties each set their minimum wages at $8.40 an hour in October 2014, and plan to increase it incrementally until reaching $11.50 an hour in October 2017, according to fact sheets at the Department of Labor website.

The counties abut the District of Columbia, which raised its minimum wage to $10.50 an hour on July 1, 2015, according to CBS News.

4. The Maryland minimum wage bill got support from President Barack Obama, who sent Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, a former member of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s cabinet, to the ceremony at which O’Malley signed it in May 2014. Obama wants $10.10, Maryland’s 2018 target wage, as the national minimum wage, according to The Baltimore Sun.

5. The base wage for tipped workers stays at $3.63 an hour. Employers are required to pay at least that, or however much makes up the difference between tip income and the state minimum wage, according to the state Department of Labor fact page.

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O’Malley had sought to increase the tipped workers’ base pay to 70 percent of the state minimum wage, which could have been more than $7 an hour, The Washington Post reported.

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Maryland's minimum wage increased in July 2015 to $8.25 an hour and is set to keep increasing until July 2018.
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