Maryland Minimum Wage, Overtime, Hours and Leave Laws


Minimum Wage

Maryland’s current minimum wage is $12.50 for large employers (15 or more employees) and $12.20 for small employees (14 employees or fewer), except in Montgomery counties.

For large businesses, the minimum wage will increase every year. For example, in 2023, it will increase to $13.25 per hour; in 2024 to $14.00 per hour; and in 2025 to $15 per hour. The minimum wage for small businesses will increase to $12.80 per hour in 2023; $13.40 in 2024; $14.00 in 2025; and $15 in 2026.

If you are a worker who earns tips, your minimum wage is $3.63 per hour. You qualify as a tipped worker if you earn more than $30 per month in tips. Employees with disabilities may be paid a subminimum wage.

For more information on Maryland’s minimum wage laws, visit our Maryland Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topics covered on other pages include:


Overtime

Maryland labor laws require employers to pay employees overtime at a rate of 1½ times their regular rate when they work 40 hours or more in a workweek, unless otherwise exempt or other rules apply. MD Statute, Labor and Employment 3-415, MD Regulations 09.12.41.14, MD Div. of Labor Wage & Hour Fact Sheet. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.


Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in Maryland may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates.

Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the Maryland Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.


Meals and Breaks

Maryland labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of 18 with a 30-minute break for every 5 consecutive hours of work. MD Statute, Labor and Employment 3-210.

The Healthy Retail Employee Act requires certain employers in the retail industry to provide employees with breaks. The length of the break depends on the duration of the employee’s shift. The length of break requirements are as follows:

Shift: Break Required:
up to 4 consecutive hoursNone
between 4 and 6 consecutive hours15-minute break
between 6 and 8 consecutive hours30-minute break
8 or more consecutive hours30 minute break plus a 15 minute break for every additional 4 consecutive hours.

The Healthy Retail Employee Act does not specifically require that employees be paid for the breaks, however, the Maryland Division of Labor & Industry counsels that the FLSA generally requires employers to pay employees for breaks lasting less than 20 minutes. MD Statute, Labor and Employment 3-710, MD Div. of Labor & Industry FAQ.

Other than employers covered by the Healthy Retail Employee Act, Maryland does not require employers to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, for workers 18 years old or older. An employer who chooses to provide a break in excess of 20 minutes does not have to pay wages for lunch periods or other breaks if the employee is free to leave the worksite, in fact takes their lunch or break, and the employee does not actually perform work. According to federal law, breaks 20 minutes or shorter typically must be paid. FLSA.


Nursing Mother Breaks

Maryland labor laws do not require employers to provide nursing mothers with breaks to express breast milk. However, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires certain employees to provide nonexempt nursing mothers for one (1) year following a child’s birth with reasonable rest breaks to express milk and private spaces, other than a bathroom, to express breast milk.


Vacation Leave

Employers in Maryland do not have to provide unpaid or paid vacation benefits to their employees. However, if a business offers vacation benefits, it must adhere to the terms established in the employment contract or vacation leave policy. 

Moreover, an employer can create a contract or policy that denies workers compensation for accumulated leave hours at the end of employment. A business also has the right to set specific terms that will deny an employee payment for accrued vacation hours if the requirements are not met. 

However, an employer must pay employees accrued vacation time if the policy or contract stipulates it. An employer has the right to limit the number of accumulated vacation hours and may also implement a use-it or lose-it policy.

Information about Maryland vacation leave laws may now be found on our Maryland Leave Laws page.


Sick Leave

In Maryland, employers with at least 15 workers must provide paid sick leave to their employees. However, if they have 14 or fewer employees, they can provide sick leave that is not compensated. A large business must give a worker one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, for up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

Information about Maryland sick leave laws may now be found on our Maryland Leave Laws page.


Holiday Leave

Private-sector employers in Maryland are not required to provide unpaid or paid holiday leave for their employees. Moreover, a private-sector employer may force a worker to work on holidays. However, a private-sector employer does not have to compensate workers for work during holiday holidays unless such hours qualify for overtime hours under federal overtime mandates. 

If a business provides unpaid or paid holiday time off for its employees, it must adhere to the terms set out in the employment contract or established company policy. A retail sector employee may receive one unpaid day off per week for religious purposes if required.

Information about Maryland holiday leave laws may now be found on our Maryland Leave Laws page.


Jury Duty Leave

An employer in Maryland must allow an employee to attend jury duty if summoned, although they are not obligated to compensate the worker. An employer may not threaten, penalize, coerce, or discharge an employee for responding to a jury summons.

Information about Maryland jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Maryland Leave Laws page.


Voting Leave

Maryland holds that as long as a worker does not have at least two hours of off time during open poll hours, employers must allow their employees to take two hours to vote, which is paid leave. 

Information about Maryland voting leave laws may now be found on our Maryland Leave Laws page.


Severance Pay

Maryland labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. Maryland Guide to Wage Payment and Employment Standards. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Unemployment

Under certain circumstances, Maryland residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits.

To qualify for unemployment benefits in Maryland, a worker cannot be unemployed due to their own fault. If the unemployment is the worker’s fault, they will not qualify. 

The worker must be unemployed and have earned wages during at least two of the first four of the last five quarters before filing the claim; they must have earned income during two of the four last completed calendar quarters. 

Moreover, applicants must be actively seeking work, available, and able to work. There are no income or set requirements regarding unemployment benefit eligibility in Maryland. Benefits in Maryland will range from $50 to $430 per month. Workers can earn unemployment benefits for as long as 26 weeks. 

See Maryland State Unemployment Benefits.


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Employment Law Updates

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Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.