County Council Reverses Course on New Minimum Wage Bill for Tipped Employees

Councilmember Will Jawando announced on Saturday that the County Council will withdraw a bill aimed at altering the method of payment for tipped workers under the county’s minimum wage law.

Bill 35-23, County Minimum Wage – Tipped Employees is aimed to modify the calculation of the minimum wage for tipped workers and gradually eliminate the tip credit amount under Montgomery County’s minimum wage law.

Currently, businesses must pay servers $4.00 per hour, and if a server’s earnings do not reach the current minimum hourly wage ($15-16.70), employers are obligated to compensate for the shortfall. The proposed bill would have led to gradual increases over the next five years:

  • $4.00 per hour until July 1, 2024;
  • $6.00 per hour from July 1, 2024, to July 1, 2025;
  • $8.00 per hour from July 1, 2025, to July 1, 2026;
  • $10.00 per hour from July 1, 2026, to July 1, 2027; and
  • $12.00 per hour from July 1, 2027, to July 1, 2028.

Earlier this week, Maryland lawmakers introduced a bill that aims to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers at the state level, according to The MoCo Show.

Councilmember Jawando’s full statement is below:

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, at the request of the bill sponsor, the Montgomery County Council will take action to withdraw Bill 35-23, County Minimum Wage – Tipped Employees, and Bill 34-23, County Minimum Wage – Wage Commission – Established.

Councilmember Jawando co-introduced Bill 35-23 with Councilmember Kristin Mink to lead the discussion in Montgomery County on addressing subminimum wages for tipped employees. Bill 34-23, introduced by Councilmember Jawando, would create a wage commission that includes business and employee interests to evaluate the minimum wage in the region and advise the Council.

Every worker, regardless of their occupation, deserves to earn a wage that acknowledges their value and dignity. The two-tiered wage system undercuts this foundational belief by institutionalizing lower pay for certain classes of workers.

The action to withdraw the bills is in coordination with other regional partners who are advancing similar measures to focus on state policy to support tipped employees. Advocates are hopeful that the Governor and General Assembly will take decisive action on this critical issue and champion the cause of economic fairness in our state.

The County Council is scheduled to vote on the withdrawal of the bill on Tuesday.

Montgomery County Graphic

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