McNamee Hosea News & Press


Does Every Employee Need to Be Paid Minimum Wage?

If you are an employer in Maryland who has employees receiving minimum wage, you should have recently revisited your payment structures. This is because as of July 2015, the state minimum wage increased from $8.00 to $8.25 per hour.

That quarter-dollar increase may not seem like that big of a deal, but to the employees collecting the paycheck, it can make a huge difference. Additionally, employers who failed to adjust wages since the increase could face serious penalties for wage violations. However, it is important to keep in mind that not every single employer in this state is required to pay employees minimum wage. There are some important exceptions.

According to the State of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, there are several types of workers who may not be covered by state minimum wage laws.

This can include:

  • Certain employees in the agricultural industry
  • Volunteers for certain organizations
  • Workers who are 15 or younger and working fewer than 20 hours weekly
  • Employees who are commissioned
  • Trainees in programs that support public school special education
  • People who work at food or drink companies that sell less than $400,000 every year on site
  • Members of the employer's immediate family
  • Employees at drive-in theaters

This is not necessarily to say that an employer can pay exempt workers whatever they want. For example, employers who have tipped employees may not have to pay out that $8.25, but they must pay these employees enough (no less than $3.63 per hour) so that their wage and their tips together add up to at least $8.25 per hour.

Additionally, there are federal wage laws in place with which employers must also comply. This is important to note because there are federal protections in place for employees covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act that may be different from state laws.

Employers who violate state or federal wage laws can get in some serious trouble and face costly and damaging lawsuits. In order to avoid this, it can be crucial to discuss any concerns regarding wages with an attorney.