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Maryland is now the sixth state to approve $15-an-hour

It took less than 24 hours for Maryland's General Assembly to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of the state's new minimum-wage law.

For many lawmakers, the override was seen as a forgone conclusion, as reflected by the final vote tally. In fact, the override vote in the House of Delegates was 96-43, and 32-15 in the Senate. To put these number in perspective, it takes just 85 votes to override a veto in the House and 29 in the Senate.

Following this veto override, Maryland becomes the sixth state in the country to enact a $15-per-hour minimum wage -- although it will be implemented gradually over the next several years. 

Details of the new minimum wage law

Under the provisions contained in the new wage law, businesses with at least 15 employees will have until 2025 to fully implement the $15-per-hour wage:

  • Jan. 1, 2020: Minimum wage will increase from $10.10 to $11.00
  • Jan. 1, 2021: Minimum wage will increase to $11.75
  • Jan. 1, 2022: Minimum wage will increase to $12.50
  • Jan. 1, 2023: Minimum wage will increase to $13.25
  • Jan. 1, 2024: Minimum wage will increase to $14.00
  • Jan. 1, 2025: Minimum wage will increase to $15.00

However, the new law also applies to small business -- i.e., businesses with fewer than 15 employees -- although they have more time to comply:

  • Jan. 1, 2020: Minimum wage will increase from $10.10 to $11.00
  • Jan. 1, 2021: Minimum wage will increase to $11.60
  • Jan. 1, 2022: Minimum wage will increase to $12.20
  • Jan. 1, 2023: Minimum wage will increase to $12.80
  • Jan. 1, 2024: Minimum wage will increase to $13.40
  • Jan. 1, 2025: Minimum wage will increase to $14.00
  • Jan. 1, 2026: Minimum wage will increase to $14.60
  • Jul. 1, 2026: Minimum wage will increase to $15.00

Big changes are coming

Obviously, the enactment of this law will have a significant impact on everyone involved. Not only will many employees be earning more, but employers will have the added burden of making sure their companies are in compliance with the new law.

Disputes will inevitably arise, particularly in situations in which employees believe they are not being paid what they are entitled to under the new legislation, whether their claims involve alleged violations of the new wage law or merely unpaid overtime.

In such situations, it is always best to seek experienced legal guidance as quickly as possible.

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