The Wage Commission is tasked with enforcing the minimum wage, the living wage, prevailing wage, and displaced worker protection laws in the City of Baltimore.  Here, you can learn more about what these wages mean and the current rate.  If you would like to read the laws relating to the following wage types, visit the page Law.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage represents the base hourly pay employers are legally required to provide non-tipped workers. In Maryland, the established minimum wage is $15.00 per hour, and this rate is mandatory for all businesses in Baltimore City with two or more employees. Please note that the Baltimore City Wage Commission currently does not handle minimum wage complaints. Contact the Maryland Employment Standards Service at 410-767-2357 for assistance with such matters. For assistance in Spanish, please call 410-767-2387.

Tipped Employees


Tipped Employees Tipped Employees (earning more than $30 per month in tips) must earn the State Minimum Wage Rate per hour. Employers must pay at least $3.63 per hour. This amount plus tips must equal at least the State Minimum Wage Rate. Subject to the adoption of related regulations, restaurant employers who utilize a tip credit are required to provide employees with a written or electronic wage statement for each pay period showing the employee’s effective hourly rate of pay, including employer-paid cash wages plus tips for tip credit hours worked for each workweek of the pay period.

Amusement and recreational establishments must pay employees the required Minimum Wage Rate.

Employees under 18 years of age must earn at least 85% of the State Minimum Wage Rate.


Overtime Pay

For most employees, overtime pay is due for hours worked beyond the standard 40-hour workweek. This overtime compensation is calculated at one and a half times (1.5x) your regular hourly rate. If you have concerns about unpaid overtime or questions about how much you should receive, you are encouraged to contact the Wage Commission for guidance. However, please note that different rules apply for Baltimore City prevailing wage projects, and these overtime standards may not be applicable.


There are some exemptions to the minimum wage and overtime pay. If you are unsure 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 are subject to certain railroad requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Act, and the Interstate Commerce Commission.

Living Wage

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. 

PDF icon Living Wage Rate Poster 2018 to 2019.pdf

PDF icon Living Wage Rate Poster 2019 to 2020.pdf

PDF icon Living Wage Rate Poster 2020 to 2021.pdf

PDF icon Living Wage Rate Poster 2021 to 2022.pdf

PDF icon Living Wage Rate Poster 2022 to 2023 .pdf

PDF icon Living Wage Rate Poster 2023 to 2024.pdf



Prevailing Wage

This rule applies to all contracts over $5,000 made by the City or for the City for any construction-related work on buildings, roads, and other structures or equipment. This includes two classifications:

  1. Building Construction
  2. Highways

Payroll submissions are meticulously reviewed on a weekly basis by our Compliance Officers to ensure accuracy and adherence to contractual obligations. The agency imposes penalties for delays in payroll submissions, discrepancies in wage payments for designated trades such as carpenters, electricians, and ironworkers, as well as non-compliance with the mandated apprentice-to-journeyman ratios according to the Baltimore City Code. 

Furthermore, the agency undertakes comprehensive annual wage surveys to establish the prevailing wage standards for City contracts. These findings are then formally presented to the Board of Estimates for approval and implementation.

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.