O’Malley to Push for Raising the Minimum Wage to $10 in Maryland

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What was he thinking?

Gov. Martin O’Malley figures that the minimum wage would be around $10 an hour if it had kept up with inflation since 1968 ($20 if it had kept up with productivity!), and so $10 amount he’s “zeroing in on” for Maryland workers, up from the current $7.25. That’s according to O’Malley’s appearance Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

As the Baltimore Sun points out, a minimum wage increase could produce complications for businesses who employ tipped workers. The reason is that businesses in Maryland have to pay their employees 50 percent of minimum wage out of pocket and only have to pay the other 50 percent if the workers fail to make up the difference in tips.

Glen Burnie restaurateur Bob Garner claims his waitstaff’s pay already exceeds $10 an hour after tips are counted, though he pays many of them only $3.63. A minimum wage increase would mean a relatively huge jump in payroll expenses for the benefit of employees who are already outpacing minimum wage.

Despite that sticking point, Garner “has no problem” with the wage hike itself.

The Sun also highlights the Remington cafe Charmington’s, whose co-owner Amanda Rothschild sees benefits to the employer-employee relationship in paying above minimum wage and hidden costs in going as low you can go — one of them being high employee turnover.



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