A bill that would require the Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to enforce a local minimum wage is proceeding through the House of Delegates. Delegate Kramer’s HB 579 Commissioner of Labor and Industry – Authority – Enforcement of Local Minimum Wage Laws passed the third reader in the full House (94-43). The bill will now proceed to the Senate.
HB 579 requires the Commissioner of Labor and Industry to enforce a local minimum wage law. The commissioner has the same powers and duties in enforcing a local minimum wage law as the commissioner has in enforcing the State’s Wage and Hour Law. The commissioner, on his own initiative or on receipt of a written complaint, may investigate whether a local minimum wage law has been violated. Additionally, the commissioner may delegate any power or duty of the commissioner to enforce a local minimum wage law.
At the same time, the Administration’s minimum wage legislation has already crossed over and is proceeding towards passage. If both bills are passed, then county governments will be free to set minimum wage laws higher than the new state minimum wage laws and the State Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation will be responsible for enforcing county minimum wage laws when they are higher than the state minimum wage.
At this point, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have passed local minimum wage laws. According to an analysis by the Department of Legislative Services, if HB579 passes,
Montgomery and Prince George’s counties’ expenditures decrease beginning in fiscal 2015 from not having to enforce their local minimum wage laws. . . However. . .[u]nder the bill, since the county does not enforce its local minimum wage, it loses revenue from not collecting civil penalties on violations of local minimum wage laws.
For more information, see the bill information page, bill text, or fiscal note and these previous posts on Conduit Street: