Baltimore Business Journal: Senate committee advances minimum wage bill, slows down timeline for small businesses

By Holden Wilen
Baltimore Business Journal, March 7, 2019

A Senate committee advanced a bill that would raise Maryland's minimum wage to $15 per hour ... The latest version of the bill would slow down incremental increases in the minimum wage so it does not reach $15 for businesses with 14 or fewer employees until 2028. The original bill would have increased the minimum wage for all business to $15 by 2023. ...

Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business For a Fair Minimum Wage, said the committee should not have lengthened the timeline for businesses with fewer than 15 employees. [More than] Three out of four businesses will be on the longer timeline, she said.

"The timetable should be applied to businesses of all sizes, rather than putting the majority of businesses on a slower path,” Barron-Menza said. “A lower minimum wage doesn’t help small businesses, it hurts them. It incentivizes people to work for larger businesses rather than smaller businesses in order to make ends meet. Small businesses that opt to use the lower minimum wage floor will have higher turnover and lower productivity and undercut the customer service that keeps people coming in their doors."

If the Senate passes the bill, then the House needs to agree to the changes or else the bill will go to a conference committee.

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