Franchisee group calls ruling on Seattle wage law discriminatory

September 28, 2015 0 COMMENTS

Franchisers in Seattle are faced with phasing in the city’s $15-an-hour minimum wage more quickly than they had hoped now that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected their bid to be classified as small businesses, a decision the franchisers call discriminatory.

In 2014, Seattle passed a minimum wage law that requires employers to phase in the new $15 minimum wage over the next few years. Employers with 500 or fewer employees have more time to implement the change than employers with more than 500 workers.

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Seattle’s new minimum wage ordinance takes effect April 1

March 06, 2015 1 COMMENTS

by Valerie Hughes and Aurora Janke

Seattle’s new minimum wage ordinance goes into effect April 1, meaning employers—regardless of size—must pay employees working in the city at least $11 per hour.

Employers with 501 or more employees must pay a “minimum wage” of $11 per hour, while employers with 500 or fewer employees must pay a “minimum compensation” rate of $11 per hour. The definition of “minimum wage” includes wages, commissions, piece-rate pay, and bonuses received by employees. “Minimum compensation” includes wages, tips, and money paid by an employer toward employees’ medical benefits. Thus, small employers are able to count tips and medical benefit payments to help them reach the $11 minimum compensation rate.

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Speak up now: Seattle $15 minimum wage proposal comment period is open

May 22, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Amy Kunkel-Patterson

The Seattle employment community is abuzz about the prospect of a $15 minimum wage for all Seattle employees, which would make it the highest minimum wage in the nation.

The idea isn’t new. In the fall of 2013, voters in the city of SeaTac passed a $15 minimum wage initiative, and Kshama Sawant was elected to the Seattle City Council on a $15 minimum wage platform. Upon taking office, Mayor Ed Murray formed the Income Inequality Advisory Committee (IIAC), which represents a diverse range of business, labor, and nonprofit interests, and asked it to propose a set of recommendations for increasing the minimum wage for Seattle’s workers. Murray appointed two cochairs who represent opposite sides of the minimum wage debate—David Rolf, president of a local SEIU healthcare union, and Howard Wright, founder of Seattle Hospitality Group.

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