The Wage Commission is tasked with enforcing the minimum wage, the living wage, and the prevailing wage laws in the City of Baltimore. Here, you can learn more about what these three wages mean and what is the current rate. If you would like to read the laws relating to the following wage types, visit the page Law.
The minimum wage is the lowest possible wage that a non-tipped employee can be paid for their work. In the State of Maryland, the current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour. This minimum hourly rate applies to all businesses in the City of Baltimore with two or more employees. In 2014, the Maryland State legislature passed legislation that will increase the minimum wage over the next three years: the minimum wage was increased to $8.75 in July 2016, will increase to $9.25 in July 2017, and then to $10.10 in July 2018. If you have a minimum wage complaint you should contact the Maryland Employment Standards Office at 410-767-2357.
For any employee earning at least $30 in tips per month, the minimum wage for the State of Maryland is $3.63. This $3.63 hourly wage combined with the amount of tips per hour earned by the employee must equal the standard minimum wage. In order to calculate whether or not an employee is receiving pay comparable to the standard minimum wage received by non-tipped employees, a tip credit is calculated. It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that every tipped employee is given their fair wage. To learn more about the tip credit and how to calculate it, you can download this pamphlet by the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation:Tip Credit Pamphlet.pdf
For most employees, overtime pay is awarded for any hours worked over 40 hours a week. The overtime pay that must be paid for these hours worked over 40 hours is equal to (normal hourly rate) x (1.5). If you feel that you are owed overtime pay or if you are unsure on how much overtime pay you should receive, you can ask the Wage Commission directly by visiting the page Contact Us.
There are some exemptions to the minimum wage and to overtime pay. If you are not sure if you or an employee qualify as exempt, contact the wage commission for clarification. Some individuals who may be exempt from Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Laws include:
- Certain agricultural employees
- Executives, administrative, and professional employees
- Volunteers for educational, charitable, religious, and non-profit organizations
- Employees under 16 working less than 20 hours per week
- Outside salesman
- Commissioned employees
- Employees enrolled as a trainee as part of a public school special education program
- Non-administrative employees of organized camps
- Certain establishments selling food and drink for consumption
- Drive-in theaters
- Establishments engaged in the first canning, packing or freezing of fruits, vegetables, poultry, or seafood
The following are exempt only from Overtime, not from earning Minimum Wage:
- Taxicab drivers
- Certain employees selling/servicing automobiles, farm equipment, trailers, or trucks
- Non-profit concert promoter, theater, music festival, music pavilion, or theatrical show
- Employers subject to certain railroad requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Act, and the Interstate Commerce Commission
All service contracts established by Ordinance 442, and currently referenced by the City Code, Article 5, Subtitle 26, require the payment of the City’s Living Wage. The Commission conducts an annual study using federal poverty guidelines to determine the future wage rate to be paid. The recommendation is then submitted to the Board of Estimates. The current hourly living wage rate of $11.65 will remain in effect through June 30, 2017.
The Wage Commission enforces prevailing wage rates for all city construction projects let by the Mayor and City Council over $5,000. This includes five classifications:
- Building Construction
- Alleys, Sewers and Drains
- Maintenance, repair and minor remodeling Bureau of Purchases
Weekly payrolls are submitted to the agency, checked, and verified by field interviews. Penalties are assessed for late submission of payrolls, paying below the contract rate for specific trades such as carpenter, electrician, ironworker, etc., and not maintaining proper ratios of apprentices to journeymen. Hearings are conducted in relation to any violations. The agency also conducts annual surveys to determine the prevailing wages to be paid on City contracts and makes its recommendation to the Board of Estimates.
If you want to look up a specific prevailing wage, you can do so by downloading the list of prevailing wages. They are organized below by year.