Maryland Labor Laws

April 10th 2024

This article covers:

What are Maryland Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Learn more about Maryland Working Time and it’s suggested 4-day Workweek.

Maryland Minimum Wage $15.00
Maryland Overtime 1.5 times the regular wage for any time worked over 40 hours/week
Maryland Breaks Specified shift breaks for retail workers
30-minute breaks for every 5 consecutive hours worked (for employed minors)

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in Maryland?

When it comes to hiring in Maryland, the state abides by the same federal regulations as the rest of the country. However, there is an important additional law in place known as the Job Applicant Fairness Act. This act specifically prohibits employers from requesting a job applicant’s credit report as a factor in determining their eligibility for employment, discharge, or changes in pay rate.

In Maryland, the employment relationship operates under the principle of employment-at-will. In other words, employers may terminate employees who work under contract for any reason and employees may decide to resign whenever they choose. It’s important to note that this principle does not allow for termination due to discrimination or retaliation against employees, as that is not considered legal. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, employers are obligated to give their employees their final wages on the upcoming payday, irrespective of the reason for termination.

The State of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights ensures that every employee and applicant in Maryland is protected from discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination based on any of the following is prohibited:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • Genetic Information
  • Disability

Employers must not discriminate on these bases during recruitment, hiring, contract making, discharging, or when providing membership for apprenticeship programs. Discriminatory questions during job applications, seeking information that could impact potential employment, and job advertisements with discriminatory information/conditions are also prohibited.  

What Are the Key Labor Laws in Maryland?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in Maryland that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • Healthy Retail Employee Act – Since March 2011, the Maryland Department of Labor has been enforcing the Healthy Retail Employee Act, which requires employers of retail establishments with 50 or more employees and operating for 20 or more calendar weeks to provide unpaid breaks to their employees who primarily sell goods to customers on-premises. The duration and frequency of the breaks depend on the length and consecutive hours of the work shift.
  • OSHA Law – Maryland adheres to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) at the federal level, with a subsidiary called Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH). MOSH is one of 28 State Plans in the country that receive federal funding along with other sources. MOSH not only provides specific programs, but also customizes several services to cater to the business needs in Maryland. This includes on-site inspections and consultations, educational outreach, setting and enforcing standards, and working with businesses to continuously improve workplace safety and health.
  • Right-to-Work Laws – While Maryland does not have any officially approved right-to-work laws, there is a section within their Labor and Employment code that outlines employee protections relating to labor organizations. Essentially, employers cannot coerce employees to join or stay in a labor organization, or force employees to leave their job or position due to their involvement (or desire to be involved) in a labor organization. So, although there is no explicit right-to-work law, there is still a level of safeguarding against manipulation through labor union membership.
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws – Whistleblower protection laws in Maryland distinguish between public and private sectors. Public sector employers are prohibited from firing, threatening, or discriminating against employees who report violations of the law, specific public health and safety risks, mismanagement of state funds, gross mismanagement, gross waste of money, or abuse of authority. It’s important to note that Maryland takes these laws seriously, and the specific rules depend on the employee’s industry, the severity of the misconduct, and the type of misconduct being reported. For instance, nurses reporting health safety issues will be governed by different rules than project managers reporting safety concerns.
  • Background Check Laws – Maryland is one of many states in the US that have adopted the Ban the Box law. This means that employers are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record until after they have completed their first in-person interview. The law applies to all types of employment, not just full-time, and any business with 15 or more employees must comply. The only exception to this rule is for positions where a criminal record is closely related to job duties, which includes occupations in schools, security, and financial or insurance institutions.
  • Employer Use of Social Media Laws – In Maryland, there is a law called the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) that protects the privacy of employees in the workplace. Employers are not allowed to request their employees to provide their usernames and passwords for personal social media accounts for any reason. However, they are permitted to request login credentials for any work-related, non-personal accounts that can access the company’s internal computer. Furthermore, employers are allowed to investigate work-related computers if there is any evidence of unauthorized downloads, financial data, or other types of misconduct that could jeopardize business operations. They can also investigate such computers to ensure compliance with financial and security laws.
  • Employee Monitoring Laws – In Maryland, there are guidelines in place for employers who need to conduct phone call surveillance for work purposes, such as for customer service calls. However, it is not permissible for employers to record or eavesdrop on their employees’ personal phone calls or private conversations. The only way for an employer to monitor these types of conversations is to obtain the explicit consent of all parties involved.
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws – In Maryland, there are rules and laws in place regarding alcohol and drug testing at work. Despite the fact that recreational use of marijuana has been decriminalized, it is still considered illegal. As a result, an employer may reprimand an employee who is a medical marijuana patient if they test positive for the drug while at work. Bodily samples, such as blood, urine, hair, and saliva, are acceptable for drug testing, but breath samples are not recommended for alcohol testing. Employers can test for any controlled substance, but only if they are using a licensed laboratory to collect and process the samples. Additionally, employers must use either licensed laboratories or laboratories that certified from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration when conducting testing.
  • Sexual Harassment Training Laws – Maryland’s laws on anti-harassment training mandate that all public employees undergo a 2-hour sexual harassment prevention training within 6 months of starting their job. Following the initial session, a 2-hour training should be taken every two years.
  • COBRA Laws – In Maryland, health insurance coverage after termination is regulated by both the Federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the Maryland Continuation Coverage (MCC). COBRA only applies to companies with more than 20 employees, leaving small businesses without insurance regulations, while MCC offers assistance to business owners who have 19 employees or fewer.
  • Expense Reimbursement Laws – Maryland’s Department of Budget and Management instructs that public employees have the right to receive compensation for their “meal and incidental expenses“. The department calculates and posts new reimbursement rates annually on its official website. These reimbursements also cover meal allowances, porter fees, hotel tips, and transportation tips.
  • Record-Keeping Laws – The Maryland Department of Labor requires employers to maintain employee records for 3 years after employment termination. Each record should contain:
    • Employee’s name
    • Address
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Occupation
    • Rate of pay
    • Amount of each pay period
    • Daily work hours
    • Weekly work hours

Maryland Payment Laws

To start off, let’s take a look at the laws that govern how much employees must be paid. We’ll delve into the details of minimum wage standards, including any exceptions that may apply.

What is the Minimum Payment in Maryland?

Maryland’s minimum wage stands at $15.00 for all employees. However, this baseline isn’t consistent across all of the counties in the state. Montgomery County’s minimum wage, for instance, varies by the size of the business. As of January 1, 2024, small businesses with less than 50 employees must pay an hourly minimum wage of $15.00. For businesses with 51 or more employees, the minimum wage rises to $16.70. Minimum wage for mid-size and large businesses in Montgomery County is expected to increase July 1, 2024. In Prince George’s County, however, the minimum wage is set at $15.00 per hour.

Tipped employees are those who work in an industry where they are customarily tipped and can earn up to $30 in tips per month. In Maryland, the current minimum wage for tipped employees is $3.63 per hour, as long as they earn at least the hourly minimum wage of $15.00 when tips are included. In addition, Maryland has different minimum wage regulations for new employees under 20 years old and full-time high-school or college students. The student minimum wage is $12.75 per hour, while new employees under the age of 20 can be paid $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of their employment. For students, the minimum wage must be no less than 85% of the regular minimum wage for up to 20 hours of work per week.  

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, there are several exceptions to the minimum wage laws. These exceptions include:

  • Certain agricultural branches
  • Restaurants and cafes earning less than $400,000 annually
  • Outside salespersons and commissioned employees
  • Employed minors
  • Volunteers for certain organizations
  • Drive-in theaters
  • Facilities involved in canning, freezing, and packing produce or meat.

Additionally, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act, if an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, they are entitled to the higher of the two rates.  

What is the Payment Due Date in Maryland?

As per the regulations set by the Maryland Department of Labor Law, it is mandatory for employers to compensate their workforce on specific, predetermined dates at least two times in a calendar month. The payment schedule needs to be consistent and unchanging. However, individuals employed in Executive, Professional or Administrative roles are exempted from this rule and may receive their compensation less frequently.

What are Maryland Overtime Laws?

Maryland follows the Fair Labor Standards Act when it comes to regulating overtime. According to this act, any time an employee works over 40 hours per week is considered overtime. Employers, in turn, are bound to pay 1.5 times the employee’s regular wage for any overtime work they perform, which in Maryland is $22.50 per hour. It’s important to remember that any hours worked over 8 hours per day are not counted as overtime. Only the hours that surpass 40 hours per week within Maryland are considered for overtime payment.  

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Maryland?

In Maryland, there are certain exemptions to overtime wage requirements. These include:

  • Salaried employees who earn more than $684 per week
  • Workers at institutions providing on-site care for the elderly, sick, and disabled if they work over 48 hours per week
  • Employees at bowling establishments working over 48 hours per week
  • Workers over the age of 62 who work 25 hours or less per week
  • Taxi drivers
  • Employees at recreational establishments, amusement parks, hotels/motels, and movie theaters
  • Executive positions that involve full-time management of 2 or more employees, administrative work related to business operations, management or administrative training, and professional work requiring advanced education such as artists, certified teachers, and IT professionals
  • Outside salespersons

Learn more in detail about Maryland Salaried Employees Laws and Maryland Overtime Laws.

Maryland Time Off/Break Laws

We will analyze now the break regulations in Maryland.

What are Maryland Meal-Break Laws?

In Maryland, there are no state regulations for regular employee breaks except for employed minors who are eligible for a 30-minute break for every 5 consecutive hours worked. However, employers must adhere to federal laws on break time. If employees work through their mealtime, they must be compensated and if they are given a meal break without any work, it does not need to be paid.

What are Maryland Breastfeeding Laws?

In Maryland, there are no specific regulations regarding breaks for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace. However, federal laws apply to protect hourly employees under the FLSA. These laws include providing a private nursing room (not a bathroom) and a reasonable break time, as decided by the employer. Employers must inform employees of their rights and obligations and post notices in accessible areas, unless they have less than 50 employees. If finding proper accommodations poses significant difficulties to the business, they may be exempt from providing a separate room.  

Learn more in detail about Maryland Break Laws.

What are Maryland Leave Laws?

Maryland provides two types of leaves – required and non-required leaves.

What is Maryland Required Leave?

These are the required leaves that are mandated in the state of Maryland:

  • Sick and Family Leave – It’s important to note that employers in Maryland are obligated to grant sick leave to employees. For every 30 hours worked, non-exempt employees can earn 1 hour of sick or family leave, and up to 40 hours per year can be accrued. Sick leave can be taken for a variety of reasons, including injury or illness of oneself or a family member, preventative medical care, and parental leave. Employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide paid sick leave, but those with 14 or fewer employees are not obligated to pay for sick leave. Additionally, the Time to Care Act, which was passed by the Maryland House of Delegates, which will grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of partially paid sick leave and up to 24 weeks of paid leave for new parents.
  • Jury Duty Leave – If you’re an employee who has been called for jury duty, know that you’re protected by the Maryland Code, Court and Judicial Proceedings. That means that if you have to miss work to serve on a jury, your employer can’t punish you for it in any way – they can’t fire you, threaten you, or make you work hours that conflict with your duty. This protection applies to any lost work time, as well as to any work you must refrain from in order to fulfill your civic responsibility.
  • Voting Time Leave – According to the Maryland Election Law from 2019, employers must offer registered voter employees two hours of paid time off during elections. However, employees must show proof of voting by filling out a form that has been determined by the State Board.
  • Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault Leave – The Maryland Healthy Working Family Act extends to employees and their immediate family members who are victims of domestic abuse. It’s required that employers offer earned sick leave to those who have experienced domestic or sexual violence, or stalking. This leave can be used for various purposes, including medical attention, accessing protective services, legal proceedings, and settling matters related to temporary relocation due to abuse.
  • Emergency Response Leave – Employers cannot punish employees who are involved with organizations such as the Civil Air Patrol, Civil Defense, volunteer fire departments, or rescue squads for emergency response purposes. These employees also have the right to take time off during emergencies declared by the Governor. State employees can take up to 15 days of leave per year for such cases, as long as they have certification from the American Red Cross and the organization requests their assistance during a Level 2 or higher disaster.
  • Organ and Bone Donation Leave – Private companies must offer unpaid leave of up to 60 days to employees who are donating organs. For those donating bone marrow, the company is required to provide up to 30 days of unpaid leave. On the other hance, state employees who are donating organs are allowed up to 30 days of leave, while those donating bone marrow may take up to 7 days of unpaid leave.
  • Military Leave – Maryland law requires that employers provide 15 days of paid leave for employees who are members of a reserve unit or organized militia. This leave can be used for deployment or military training. In addition, Maryland recognizes Deployment Leave for the family of armed forces members. Employees who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months are entitled to a day off on the day of their immediate family member’s deployment if their workplace has 50 or more employees.

What is Maryland Non-Required Leave?

Non-Required leave include:

  • Bereavement Leave – If an employer has 15 or more employees, they are obligated to provide paid bereavement leave. However, in such cases where an employee requires bereavement leave, they may only use the days they have accrued.
  • Vacation Leave – When it comes to taking paid vacations in Maryland, it’s important to know that employers aren’t legally required to provide them. However, if a company decides to offer paid leave, it must do so in accordance with its established policies.
  • Holiday Leave – Employers in the private sector are not obligated to grant their employees any days off for holidays, whether they are paid or not. Conversely, those who are employed by the state are entitled to 11 days of paid holidays every year.

The following are the official federal holidays observed in the US:

State Official Holidays Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day Third Monday in January
Washington’s Birthday Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Election Day Every other year
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

Learn more in detail about Maryland Leave Laws.

Maryland Child Labor Laws

We will analyze the situations minors can work under Maryland law.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in Maryland?

Please find the details regarding working hours for minors in the table below:

Age Work Permit Required Work Hour Restrictions
Under 14 No Not allowed to work in any form or capacity
14-15 Yes On a school day – 3 hours
On a non-school day – 8 hours
On a school week – up to 18 hours
On a non-school week – 40 hours
Working between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. except from June 1st until Labor Day, when they can work until 9:00 p.m.
16-17 Yes Can’t spend more than 12 hours per day at school and work combined
Must have at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per 24 hours, during which they won’t have school or work.

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in Maryland?

The state of Maryland has a list of prohibited occupations for minors. This list applies to all minors regardless of their age and include working with:

  • Explosive materials
  • Power-driven machinery
  • Hoisting apparatuses
  • Machinery maintenance
  • Blast furnaces
  • Docks
  • Railroads
  • Driving motor vehicles
  • Electrical wire or component repair
  • Distilleries

What are the Exceptions to Job Limitations for Minors in Maryland?

Child labor laws have certain exemptions for specific occupations that are not categorized as employment. These activities do not involve any hazardous work and occur outside of school hours. Some examples of these exempted occupations include minors:

  • Working for family members in mining or manufacturing
  • Caddying on golf courses
  • Making wreaths
  • Newspaper delivery
  • Instructing on sailboats
  • Performing as entertainers
  • Working as counselors in certified youth camps

It’s important to note that these exemptions only apply if the minor is above the age of 15 and the agency that employs them provides important data on their work hours and compensation.

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.