Maryland Working Time and 4-day Workweek

January 8th 2024

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.

This article covers:

Laws and Regulations that Govern Employee Working Time in Maryland

In Maryland, there are various laws and regulations that govern employee working hours.

The minimum wage depends on the size of the business: for companies with 15 or more workers, it is $13.25 per hour, and for those with 14 or fewer employees, it is $12.80. However, the minimum wage may vary across different counties in the state.

Non-exempt employees are entitled to receive overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 times their regular rate for any hours worked over 40 in a week.

Regarding regular employee breaks, Maryland does not have state-specific regulations, except for employed minors who are entitled to a 30-minute break for every 5 consecutive hours worked. However, federal laws regarding break time must be followed by employers. If employees work through their mealtime, they must be compensated, but if they are given a meal break without any work, it does not need to be paid.

Furthermore, Maryland has specific child labor laws that outline permissible work hours, maximum daily and weekly hours, and restrictions for minors under 18. These laws are in place to protect the rights and well-being of young workers in the state.

Overtime in Maryland

In Maryland, overtime regulations align with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to the FLSA, any hours an employee works beyond 40 hours in a week qualify as overtime.

Employers are required to compensate their employees at a rate of 1.5 times their regular wage for any overtime work they perform. In Maryland, this amounts to $19.87 per hour.

It is important to note that only hours worked beyond 40 hours in a week are considered for overtime pay. Hours exceeding 8 hours per day do not count towards overtime calculations in Maryland.

Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in Maryland

Specific circumstances exist in Maryland where overtime wage requirements do not apply. These exemptions include:

  • Salaried employees who earn more than $455 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 Overtime Laws.

Maryland 4-day Workweek

Earlier this year, Maryland took a significant step by proposing a pilot program to standardize the reduced workweek, encouraging both private and public employers to adopt this model. 

The proposed bill for a 4-day workweek in Maryland aimed to provide employers with a state income tax credit of up to $750,000 per fiscal year for a maximum of two years if they transitioned at least 30 employees to a four-day workweek without reducing their pay or benefits. Eligible businesses would have received an annual tax credit of $10,000 for up to two years.

To support businesses during the trial period, the tax credit would have covered the costs of data collection, while the state would have managed the program administration expenses, estimated at around $250,000 per year.

The Maryland Legislature held hearings on the bill in February, and if passed, it would have been the first of its kind in the US since the federal government’s workweek change in 1940, which reduced the minimum weekly standard from 44 hours to 40. The bill aimed to launch the four-day workweek pilot on July 1, with the pilot program set to expire after five years.

However, the bill was ultimately withdrawn due to concerns about the costs associated with the five-year pilot program and prevailing attitudes towards the traditional 40-hour workweek.

Despite the setback, there is an expectation that the Maryland DOL might conduct an interim study to evaluate the current adoption of a four-day workweek among businesses, explore the feasibility of offering technical support to interested companies, and consider the possibility of implementing a 35-hour workweek for state government positions.

Supporters of the concept are optimistic that the proposed study would facilitate future conversations and potentially result in the reintroduction of the proposal at a later time.

Laws on Working Hours for Minors in Maryland

Certain laws are in place when it comes to employing minors in Maryland. 

Under 14, minors are not allowed to work in any form or capacity.

For minors ages 14 and 15, a permit is a requirement for employment and the working hours are restricted as follows:

  • On a school day, minors are allowed to work 3 hours, and on a school week, up to 18 hours
  • On a non-school day, minors can work 8 hours, and on a non-school week, up to 40 hours
  • Minors may work 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

For minors ages 16 and 17, a permit is a requirement for employment and the working hours are restricted as follows:

  • Minors can’t spend more than 12 hours per day at school and work combined
  • Minors must have at least 8 consecutive hours of rest per 24 hours, during which they won’t have school or work.

Learn more about Maryland Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.