In recent weeks, the Maryland General Assembly has voted on increasing the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and for companies with less than 15 employees until July 2026. This new law gives small business owners and corporate executives five years to plan their long term hiring strategies and overall business operations.
So here are the good, the gray and the ugly of the new $15 minimum wage law.
Employees working in Maryland will see a constant wage increase for the next five years for the same job they are doing today. Yes, this is a good thing for employees. Since the cost of living has gone up, many low-income earners work two jobs to earn a livable wage. The new law also helps seasonal retail workers who work a second job to make extra cash. So, congrats!
Individuals applying for an entry-level job, in my opinion, will be the big loser. Why would a small business owner pay someone with no skills $15 an hour? I believe this will hurt young people looking to land their first afterschool job or summer internship. I'm expecting to see a lot more non-paying internship job postings.
Part-time versus full-time will be a debate many small business owners and corporate managers will think about when hiring a new employee.
Also, large corporations have an advantage over small businesses when it comes to investing in technology and automation to replace workers. Banks are using ATMs to replace tellers, and national food chains are using software apps that take your order to replace cashiers.
But all is not lost for small business owners. There is a growing supply of affordable apps and freelance agencies that can help small business owners manage their daily mundane tasks. More on these services will be in our future blog posts on apps and service reviews.
So, no matter where you stand on this issue, there are lots of opportunities out there as we quickly approach July 2026.