Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Press Release: Council Approves Increase in Minimum Wage

Here's the full text of the press release:

Montgomery County Council Approves

Increase in County Minimum Wage
First of Four Phases to Begin on Oct. 1, 2014; Minimum Wage Would Increase to $11.50 Per Hour in 2017 

ROCKVILLE, Md., November 26, 2013—The Montgomery County Council today enacted amended Bill 27-13 that establishes a County minimum wage for certain private sector and County employees for work performed in the County for an employer operating and doing business in the County. The County minimum wage would be phased in over four years, reaching $11.50 per hour on Oct. 1, 2017.
Bill 27-13, with amendments, was approved by a vote of 8-1. Voting in favor of the bill were Council President Nancy Navarro, Council Vice President Craig Rice, and Councilmembers Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal, and Hans Riemer. Councilmember Phil Andrews voted against the bill.
The chief sponsor of Bill 27-13 was Councilmember Elrich. Council President Navarro and Councilmember Ervin were co-sponsors.
Bill 27-13 will:
  • Require certain employers in the County to pay a minimum wage to employees for work performed in the County.
  • Provide enforcement by the County’s Office of Human Rights and the Human Rights Commission.
Maryland's minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, or $15,000 a year for a full-time, year round worker. This leaves a full-time earner and their family below the Federal poverty line. Twenty-one states have raised their minimum wage above Maryland's rate.
Bill 27-13 establishes a County minimum wage for work performed in the County unless the State or Federal minimum wage is higher. The County minimum wage would be phased in over four years. The rate would be $8.40 per hour on Oct. 1, 2014, $9.55 per hour on Oct 1, 2015, $10.75 per hour on Oct. 1, 2016, and $11.50 per hour on Oct. 1, 2017.
The County minimum wage would not apply to a worker who is not covered by the State minimum wage or a worker eligible for an opportunity or youth minimum wage under the State or Federal law. 

Today, the Council, in addition to modifying the phase-in of the increase to $11.50 per hour, approved several other amendments to the original bill. The amendments included will:
  • Apply the County minimum wage to tipped employees by requiring an employer to pay a base equal to 50 percent of the State minimum wage with an obligation to make up any shortfall in tips up to the County minimum wage.
  • Delete the health care credit.
  • Add an exemption for a person under the age of 19 who works 20 hours or less in a week.
  • Add a provision requiring the County Executive to delegate enforcement to a State agency that enforces the State Wage and Hour Law and is authorized to enforce a County minimum wage law.
  • Add an anti-retaliation clause.
  • Amend the applicability to clarify that a worker must perform the work in the County.
  • Apply the County minimum wage to County employees.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is a more reasoned analysis of the effects of a minimum wage increase. I urge you to at least read it -- and maybe look at the evidence in some of the links. Bob

Please, there is a better way to help workers than the minimum wage, and everybody knows it
James Pethokoukis | December 3, 2013, 10:26 am