October 23, 2018

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The Fight for 15: Montgomery County, Maryland, Raises the Bar

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:


Employers With 51 or More Employees

Employers With 11 to 50 Employees

Employers With 10 or Fewer Employees

July 1, 2018




July 1, 2019




July 1, 2020




July 1, 2021




July 1, 2022




July 1, 2023




July 1, 2024




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.

© 2018, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.


About this Author

Madi Bakker, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Washington DC, Labor and Employment Privacy Litigation Attorney

Madi Bakker is an associate attorney in Ogletree Deakins' Washington, D.C. office. Ms.Bakker is a native of Greeneville, Tennessee. She graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee in 2011, where she majored in Political Science.

Upon graduation, Ms.Bakker moved to Washington, D.C., where she attended The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. During law school, Ms.Bakker dedicated herself to the practice of labor and employment law as a paralegal at a local labor and employment law firm. Additionally, she worked as a...

James Murphy, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Defense Contracting and Labor Law Attorney

Jim Murphy has been a management-side labor and employment lawyer for over 20 years, providing advice and representation to management clients and HR professionals in the defense, shipbuilding, technology, automotive, and entertainment industries.  As a former corporate counsel, Jim worked side-by-side with business leaders for many years and understands the importance of delivering solutions that are practical and workable.

Mr. Murphy’s practice focuses on collective bargaining, wage and hour matters, workforce restructuring, and the representation of clients before the National Labor Relations Board, the EEOC, and the U.S. Department of Labor.