ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Howard County will increase to $15.00 for employers.

Introduced by the Howard County Council this past November and signed by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on December 13, 2021, Council Bill (CB) No. 82-2021 establishes a series of local minimum wage increases for employees working in Howard County beginning April 1st. This bill calls for the minimum wage in Howard County to rise (see table below) to $16.00 per hour by July 1, 2026, with increases set after that by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) starting in January 2027.

Howard County Government will raise its minimum wage to $15.00 on July 1, 2022 and to $16.00 on July 1, 2024.

Effective Date Employers Smaller Employers HC Government
April 1, 2022 $14.00 per hour $12.50 per hour  
July 1, 2022     $15.00 per hour
January 1, 2023 $15.00 per hour $13.25 per hour  
January 1, 2024   $15.00 per hour  
July 1, 2024     $16.00 per hour
January 1, 2025 $16.00 per hour    
January 1, 2026   $15.50 per hour  
July 1, 2026   $16.00 per hour  

This wage increase applies to any employer, meaning any person, individual, proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company, trust, association, or other entity, that is operating and doing business in Howard County and employs one or more persons, in addition to the owners. This includes Howard County Government and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS); however, it does not pertain to the United States, any State or any other local government operating in Howard County. 

As specified in CB82-2021, a small employer is considered:  

For employees, this increase applies to any person permitted or instructed to work or be present by an employer in Howard County and who is subject to the minimum wage requirements of the Federal or State act. The wage increase, however, does not apply to individuals: 

  • Under the age of 18. However, an employer must pay employees under 18 a wage that is equal to at least 85 percent of the County minimum wage established by CB82-2021.
  • Under the age of 16 and employed no more than 20 hours a week.
  • Employed as part of training in a special education program for emotionally, mentally or physically handicapped students under HCPSS.
  • Employed as hand-harvest laborers and are paid on a piece-rate basis.
  • Employed in agriculture if, during each quarter of the preceding calendar year, the employer used no more than 500 agricultural worker days.
  • Who are the child, parent, spouse or other member of the immediate family of the employer.
  • Employed in a non-administrative capacity at an organized camp, including a resident or day camp.
  • Engaged in activities of a charitable, educational, nonprofit or religious organization if the service is provided gratuitously and there is, in fact, no employer-employee relationship.

The Maryland Department of Labor will enforce the minimum wage ordinance.

For more information about this increase, visit www.howardcountymd.gov/finance/minimum-wage.

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