The Montgomery County, Maryland, Council approved raising the county minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, making it one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to approve the increase.
The current minimum wage is $11.50 per hour, and the bill, if signed, would incrementally increase the wage to $12.50 per hour in 2018, $13.75 per hour in 2019, and $15 per hour in 2020. The proposed would affect businesses with 26 or more employees, with the wage increases taking effect on July 1 each year.
For businesses with 25 employees or less, the bill will allow those businesses to phase in the wage increases two years later than their larger counterparts. The phase in schedule for those the smaller businesses employers will be $12 per hour in 2018, $12.75 per in 2019, $13.50 per hour in 2020, $14.25 per hour in 2021,and $15 per hour in 2022.
An amendment to the bill would give County Executive Ike Leggett the ability to pause implementation of a wage increase if economic conditions worsen. The bill passed the council in a 5-4 vote and goes to Leggett’s desk for his signature.