Maryland county passes $15 minimum wage

Hero Line minimum wage increasesby Kevin C. McCormick

On November 7, the Montgomery County (Maryland) Council unanimously approved Bill 28-17, Human Rights and Civil Liberties—County Minimum Wage Amount—Annual Adjustment, which will increase the minimum wage for all employees in the county by 2024.

The legislation will increase Montgomery County’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for employers with 51 or more employees on July 1, 2021. Employers with 11 to 50 employees must raise wages to at least $15 on July 1, 2023, and employers with 10 or fewer employees must pay at least $15 per hour on July 1, 2024. Nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) designation and eligible service providers must raise wages to $15 by July 1, 2023, unless they are considered a small employer.

In addition, the legislation provides that the minimum wage must be adjusted for inflation annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers starting July 1, 2022. The proposed legislation also provides for an opportunity wage equal to 85 percent of the county’s minimum wage for employees under age 20 for the first six months of employment.

The current minimum wage in Montgomery County is $11.50 per hour.

The proposed legislation now goes to County Executive Ike Leggett for approval. He vetoed similar legislation the last time it was presented to him.

Kevin C. McCormick is the chair of the labor and employment section of Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, L.L.P., in Baltimore and an editor of Maryland Employment Law Letter. He can be reached at or 410-347-8779.