Seattle’s Minimum Wage: Up, Up, and Away!

June 3 Update: The Seattle City Council passed a resolution unanimously to increase the City’s minimum wage rate to $15 per hour – a rate that ties Seatac, Washington’s minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers for the highest minimum wage rate in the U.S. The rate will increase in stages beginning April 1, 2015 and will vary depending on employer size (see table below).

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced broad support for a minimum wage increase for workers.

Once finalized, the plan would phase minimum wage increases based on business employee count to reach $15 per hour. Seattle minimum wage workers currently receive the State of Washington’s minimum wage rate of $9.32 per hour, which is the highest among U.S. states.

Seattle Minimum Wage for Large and Small Businesses

Workers in businesses with 500 or more employees would begin to receive $15 per hour 2017 (and in 2018 for those large employers who also provide health insurance benefits).

Workers in businesses with fewer than 500 employees would receive the $15 per hour minimum wage in 2021, but all Seattle minimum wage workers will receive pay raises each year – regardless of company size.

Seattle Minimum Wage Next Steps

Seattle’s minimum wage increase will need approval by the Seattle City Council, which will begin review of the minimum wage proposal May 5, 2014. The Mayor’s office is confident the proposal will find traction with the Council based on the groundwork laid by the Seattle Income Inequality Advisory Committee. (IIAC). The Committee was comprised of labor and union representatives, business associations, non-profits, and three Seattle City Council Members.

An IIAC report estimates that 100,000 people working Seattle earn less than $15 per hour.

City Posting Coverage

GovDocs offers city posting coverage for Seattle and more than 50 other U.S. cities as part of our ongoing posting compliance coverage (Update Program) for North America’s largest employers. We also offer a variety of City postings on our poster store.


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