WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Maryland legislators are trying to move up a push for a $15 minimum wage.
“The general assembly is accelerating the minimum wage increase to $15 an hour was supposed to be 2025 and for businesses with fewer than 15 employees, they have until 2026 for accelerating that with the intention of helping some lower wage earners in the state,” President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Paul Frey explained.
Some local employees said the minimum wage acceleration is something they could use sooner than later.
“I definitely support them making it to $15 an hour,” local employee Randa Martinez said. “I know it’s a little bit of a struggle for small business owners, but if you’re making a minimum wage you’re obviously on a tight budget and every little bit will help.”
On the other hand, increasing the minimum wage sooner could impact businesses and according to some may add complications.
“Many businesses operate on a calendar year and if it was implemented before then discounting or businesses have already made plans, they’ve already done their budgets, so accelerating, this just further impacts the profitability of businesses,” Frey said.
The increase could also lead to employees seeing a decrease in their benefits.
“They reduced benefits they may reduce paid towards their health insurance they may reduce retirement benefits; they may reduce the long-term and short-term disability,” Frey said. “So, while some people will make more money, ultimately, businesses will either have to pass on the costs or they’ll have to reduce expenses.”