Updates to $15 min wage from the Senate Finance voting session
(March 7, 2019 – ANNAPOLIS, Md.) Just moments ago, the Senate Finance Committee adjourned its voting session on the $15 minimum wage bill, SB 280.
From that session, a few amendments were made including:
- consideration for small business (defined as 15 employees or less), which includes a 50 cent yearly increase, versus the 75 cent increase
- consideration for restaurant employers, which requires employers to put the effective hourly tipped wage rate on a tipped employee’s pay stub. This amendment allows employees and employers to clearly see the tipped wage versus paid wage breakdown and strengthens the argument for preserving Maryland’s current tip credit.
The amendments from the House were also discussed at the voting session. The Senate Finance Committee made adjustments to the House amendment considering the reduced percentages for the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) providers, moving those percentages closer to the originally proposed amounts. Aside from this adjustment, no additional changes were made.
The House amendments also include:
- increases the minimum wage from the current $10.10/hour to $11/hour effective January 1, 2020; then increasing 0.75/hour until reaching $13.25 effective January 1, 2024; effective January 1, 2025, the minimum wage would move to $15/hour
- permits the Board of Public Works to temporarily suspend a scheduled increase in the minimum wage rate one-time, for a one-year period, if they determine that the seasonally-adjusted total employment figure (as determined by USDOL) has decreased
- leaves the scope of the current wage and hour law in place; which means the current exemptions remain for commissioned employees, employees engaged in the canning, packing or freezing industries and three types of farm workers
- lowers the maximum age, from 20 to 18, that an employer can pay a rate equal to 85 percent of the minimum wage; meaning this sub-minimum rate applies up to the age of 18; the six-month training wage limitation is also eliminated
- maintains Maryland’s current law regarding tipped wages
- leaves in place Maryland’s current law regarding enforcement and remedy provisions, and eliminates the proposed changes to the evidentiary standards
- eliminates the proposed CPI/cost-of-living escalator
Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Government Affairs Larry Richardson says this issue is far from over. “As this goes to the floor, you can fully expect additional debate.”