Montgomery County’s Minimum Wage to Increase on July 1

The minimum wage in Montgomery County will increase on July 1. As previously reported on Conduit Street, Montgomery County's minimum wage will rise the minimum wage incrementally, each July 1, until it reaches $15 per hour in 2022. The number of workers employed by the business will determine the amount of the increase. The County’s minimum wage will rise to $14 for employers with 51 or more employees and $13.25 for employers with 50 or…

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Department of Labor Launches Four Video Tutorials to Navigate BEACON Unemployment System

The Maryland Department of Labor's Division of Unemployment Insurance has created four new video tutorials to help users navigate the new BEACON One-Stop unemployment system. The videos can be found online on the Department of Labor's social media channels including YouTube, and their website. The series of videos first walks users through the process of activating and logging into their account. https://www.facebook.com/MarylandLabor/posts/3028097667233799 The next tutorial walks users through the process of applying for the Pandemic…

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Worcester County Economy Predicted to Be One of the Hardest Hit in the Country

Worcester County could end up being one of the economically hardest hit regions in America due to the COVID-19 crisis. In an article published by USA Today, financial news service 24/7 Wall Street predicts that Worcester County, Maryland could be the eleventh hardest hit region in the U.S. from an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The methodology used is based primarily on employment rates of hard hit industries, accounting for 80 percent of…

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Missing Weekly Unemployment Claims Can Now Be Filed Online

The Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance today announced that technical issues caused many claimants to miss the window to file their weekly requests for benefit payment, which are called weekly claim certifications. To remedy the situation, and ensure that claimants receive the full benefit amount for which they are eligible, the State has updated its systems to residents to retroactively file weekly claims online. https://twitter.com/riccimike/status/1248221824028196864 According to a press release: We have implemented a new…

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2020 End of Session Wrap-Up: Employee Benefits and Relations

The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of employee benefits and employee relations in the 2020 General Assembly.  MACo advocates for fair state laws governing employment practices, labor representation, and employer-employee relationships. MACo becomes particularly engaged when a proposal has a disproportionate or unique effect on public sector employees – frequently those affecting public safety employees or other public workers who engage in sensitive functions. This year, for the…

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Local Seafood Industry Still Seeing Worker Shortages

The Chesapeake Bay area seafood industry is still concerned over worker shortages for the upcoming season that begins April 1. The industry says the current H-2B visa system is damaging their businesses and could lead to closures. As previously reported on Conduit Street, in January, Governor Hogan sent a letter to the Trump Administration requesting more visas in response to labor shortages, estimating that without more visas there could be permanent damage to the $355…

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MACo Opposes Court Collective Bargaining Mandate

MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu testified on February 20, 2020 before the Senate Finance and Judicial Proceedings Committee to oppose SB 388 - Circuit Courts and District Court of Maryland Employees – Collective Bargaining. This bill would establish collective bargaining for Circuit Court and District Court clerical, administrative, constabulary, maintenance, and housekeeping staff. From MACo Testimony: The move to collective bargaining outlined in this bill will lead to unknown and potentially significant cost increases to…

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Counties Oppose Expanding Prevailing Wage Application

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified before the House Economic Matters Committee on February 11, 2020 to oppose HB 582 - Procurement – Prevailing Wage - Applicability.  This bill would extend the application of the State’s prevailing wage law to projects where any amount, even the smallest share, of funds are provided by the State. Prevailing wage rates - which include basic hourly and fringe benefits payments - are set by the Maryland Department of Labor…

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Counties Request Amendments to Impractical Wage Bill

MACo Policy Associate Drew Jabin submitted written testimony to support with amendments HB 123 - Labor and Employment - Wage History and Wage Range. As written, this bill would require employers to exclude a variety of wage and salary history when offering jobs or promotions. If applied to the public sector, counties fear this law could eliminate numerous structured promotion opportunities which allow local government employees a career path forward based on workplace success and…

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