Montgomery County, Maryland, has approved Bill 28-17, which increases the countywide minimum wage from $11.50 to $15.00. The nine-member Montgomery County Council voted unanimously in support of the bill on November 7, 2017, and County Executive Isiah Leggett signed the measure into law on November 13, 2017.
The increased minimum wage will phase in over time, with the smallest employers not reaching $15.00 until 2024. The phase-in schedule is as follows:
The legislation contains a special provision for home healthcare companies and nonprofits, which will be exempt from the initial 2021 compliance deadline. The new bill also provides for an opportunity wage, allowing an employer to pay a wage equal to 85 percent of the county minimum wage to an employee under the age of 20 years for the first 6 months that the employee is employed. Beginning on July 1, 2022, the $15.00 minimum wage will be subject to annual adjustments for inflation.
Montgomery County will join a short but growing list of U.S. jurisdictions to have adopted a $15.00 minimum wage. With the passage of Bill 28-17, Montgomery County joins Washington, D.C., as the second jurisdiction in the Washington metropolitan area to approve a $15.00 minimum wage.
Montgomery County is Maryland’s most populous county and is home to many biotech, hospitality, and defense industry employers in the Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, and Gaithersburg areas. It is a beltway suburb of Washington, D.C., situated between Fairfax County, Virginia, and Prince George’s County, Maryland.