$15 Minimum Wage

Mayor Murray signs minimum wage legislation into law

A growing number of cities, including Seattle, are examining the costs and benefits of implementing citywide minimum wage laws. Citywide minimum wage laws offer local governments a powerful tool for helping low-income workers and families in their communities. Such measures also have significant impact on businesses and how they operate.

Shortly after taking office, Mayor Murray formed the Income Inequality Advisory Committee (IIAC) to address a cornerstone priority of an opportunity agenda: a meaningful increase in the compensation for Seattle workers. The committee, which represented broad and diverse perspectives, was charged with delivering an actionable set of recommendations for increasing the minimum wage within the city of Seattle.

On May 1, 2014, Mayor Murray announced that the committee — comprised of representatives from labor, business, and non-profits — had reached agreement on those recommendations.

LATEST INFORMATION

Seattle’s new Minimum Wage Ordinance will take effect on April 1, 2015. Please visit our Minimum Wage Ordinance page hosted by the Office of Civil Rights for information on administrative rules and implementation timeline.

PASSED LEGISLATION

The new minimum wage legislation passed by Seattle City Council and signed into law by Mayor Murray provides for an increase in the minimum wage in the City of Seattle to $15 an hour, phased in over time, beginning April 2015:

  • Small employers (businesses with fewer than 500 employees) will reach a $15 an hour minimum wage in seven years. Also established is a temporary guaranteed minimum compensation responsibility of $15 an hour to be met within the first five years, which can be achived by combining employer-paid health care contributions, consumer-paid tips, and employer-paid wages.
  • Large employers (businesses with 500 or more employees, either in Seattle or nationally) will reach $15 per hour in three years. The wages of employees who receive health care benefits will reach $15 per hour in four years.

Schedule 1 employers (more than 500 employees in the U.S.)

Schedule 1 employers shall pay each employee an hourly minimum wage of at least:

  • $11.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $13.00 by January 1, 2016
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2017

Effective January 1, 2018, the hourly minimum wage paid by a Schedule 1 employer shall be increased annually on a percentage basis to reflect the rate of inflation and calculated to the nearest cent on January 1 of each year thereafter

Schedule 1 employers (more than 500 employees in the U.S.) with medical benefits

Schedule 1 employers that pay toward an individual employee’s medical benefits plan shall pay an hourly minimum wage of at least:

  • $11.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $12.50 by January 1, 2016
  • $13.50 by January 1, 2017
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2018

Schedule 2 employers (500 or fewer employees in the U.S.)

Schedule 2 employers shall pay each employee an hourly minimum wage of at least:

  • $10.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $10.50 by January 1, 2016
  • $11.00 by January 1, 2017
  • $11.50 by January 1, 2018
  • $12.00 by January 1, 2019
  • $13.50 by January 1, 2020
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2021
  • $15.75 by January 1, 2022
  • $16.50 by January 1, 2023
  • $17.25 by January 1, 2024

Effective January 1, 2025, the hourly minimum wage paid by a Schedule 1 employer shall equal the hourly minimum wage applicable to Schedule 1 employers.

Schedule 2 employers (500 or fewer employees in the U.S.) with minimum compensation

Schedule 2 employers shall pay an hourly minimum compensation that is the lower of (a) the applicable hourly minimum wage for Schedule 1 employers or (b) the hourly minimum compensation shown in the following schedule:

  • $11.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $12.00 by January 1, 2016
  • $13.00 by January 1, 2017
  • $14.00 by January 1, 2018
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2019
  • $15.75 by January 1, 2020

Schedule 2 employers can meet the applicable hourly minimum compensation requirement through wages (including applicable commissions, piece-rate, and bonuses), tips, and money paid by an employer towards an individual employee’s medical benefits plan provided that the Schedule 2 employer also meets the applicable hourly minimum wage requirements.

Effective January 1, 2025, minimum compensation will no longer be applicable.

CHARTS

Proposed timeline

Schedule of increases

RESEARCH

Two studies were commissioned by the committee that were conducted by Marieka Klawitter, Robert Plotnick, and Mark Long from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs; and Ken Jacobs, Michael Reich, and Annette Bernhardt from the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS

  • David Rolf (co-chair), SEIU 775NW
  • Howard Wright (co-chair), Seattle Hospitality Group
  • Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata
  • Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell
  • Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant
  • Janet Ali, Nucor Steel
  • Sarah Cherin, UFCW 21
  • Maud Daudon, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Craig Dawson, Retail Lockbox
  • Bob Donegan, Ivar’s Restaurant
  • David Freiboth, Dr. Martin Luther King County Labor Council
  • Joe Fugere, Tutta Bella
  • Audrey Haberman, Philanthropy Northwest
  • Nick Hanauer, Second Avenue Partners
  • Pramila Jayapal, Center for Community Change
  • Eric Liu, Citizen University
  • Gordon McHenry, Solid Ground
  • Dave Meinart, Onto Entertainment
  • Craig Schafer, Hotel Andra
  • Diane Sosne, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
  • Nicole Vallestero Keenan, Puget Sound Sage
  • David Watkins, Seattle Hotel Association
  • Michael Wells, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
  • Ronald Wilkowski, Financial Services

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

These Frequently Asked Questions addresses some of the most common questions about the minimum wage ordinance and will be updated regularly.

General provisions

What does the ordinance do?

Seattle City Ordinance No. 124490 establishes minimum wage and compensation rates for employees performing work in Seattle.  The ordinance also prescribes penalties, remedies and enforcement procedures.

When does the minimum wage ordinance take effect?

The ordinance will take effect on April 1, 2015.

Which City department is responsible for administering and enforcing this ordinance?

The newly-created Office of Labor Standards is responsible for administering and enforcing the Ordinance.

Employees Covered

Which employees are covered by the Ordinance?

Employees are covered for each hour worked within Seattle city limits.

Does the Ordinance cover employees based outside of Seattle who work in Seattle on an occasional basis?

Yes, the Ordinance applies to “occasional basis employees” – employees who work primarily outside of Seattle, but who work inside the city limits on an ad hoc, irregular basis.

Employees who occasionally work in Seattle are covered if they perform more than two hours of work for an employer within Seattle during that two-week period.

Employees who spend time in Seattle solely for the purpose of travelling through Seattle from a point of origin outside Seattle to a destination outside Seattle, with no employment-related or commercial stops in Seattle except for refueling or the employee’s personal meals or errands are not covered.

Who is responsible for tracking the hours of an occasional basis employee: the employer or the employee?

Employers may require their employees to track their own hours – especially if the employee’s work involves frequent passages in and outside Seattle city limits.  Employers ultimately are responsible for providing employees with information about the Ordinance and ensuring that employees know how track their hours and have the means to do it.

Are employers required to pay the Seattle minimum wage to individuals exempt from the state minimum wage?

No. Certain categories of workers, such as independent contractors, are exceptions to the state minimum wage. For further information on these categories of workers, please consult the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

Employers Covered

Which employers are covered by the Ordinance?

All employers with employees performing work in Seattle are covered by the Ordinance.   An employer’s specific minimum wage schedule requirement depends on the number of employees:

  • Schedule 1: employers that employ more than 500 employees in the United States, regardless of where those employees are employed in the United States, and all franchisees that employ more than 500 employees in aggregate in the United States
  • Schedule 2: employers that employ 500 or fewer employees regardless of where those employees are employed in the United States.

How do I determine the number of employees in my company?

The determination of the number of employees will be calculated based upon the average number of employees employed per calendar week during the preceding calendar year for any week where at least one employee worked.   All employees are counted, including:

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees
  • Temporary employees
  • Employees who work outside of Seattle

How do new employers determine the number of employees?

For employers that did not have any employees during the previous calendar year, the employer schedule will be calculated based upon the average number of employees employed per calendar week during the first 90 calendar days of the current year of business.

If an employer has both Seattle and out-of-state employees, does the employer need to count all employees to determine tier size?

Yes. To determine the appropriate schedule, employers must count all employees (full-time, part-time, and/or temporary) who perform work both in Seattle and anywhere in the United States.

An entrepreneur owns a hair salon, a barber shop, and a café as separate businesses. To determine schedule, should the employer consider each of these businesses as completely separate from one another, or do they count as one business?

Separate entities that form an integrated enterprise are considered to be a single employer under the Ordinance. To help decide this question, employers should assess the degree of control exercised by one entity over the operation of another entity. The factors in this assessment include, but are not limited to:

  • Degree of interrelation between the operations;
  • Degree to which the entities share common management;
  • Centralized control of labor relations; and/or
  • Degree of common ownership or financial control over the entities.

There will be a presumption that separate entities, which may share some degree of interrelated operations and common management with one another, will be considered separate employers as long as (1) the separate legal entities operate substantially in separate physical locations, and (2) each separate legal entity has partially different ultimate ownership.

Wages and Compensation

What is included in the definition of “wages” in the minimum wage?

Wages include salary, hourly pay, piece rate, commissions, and non-discretionary performance bonuses.  Tips and employer payments toward a medical benefits plan are not considered wages.

What is included in the minimum compensation requirement for Schedule 2 employers?

Minimum compensation means the minimum wage in addition to tips actually received by the employee and reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and money paid by the employer towards an individual employee’s qualifying medical benefits plan.

What are the minimum requirements for a qualifying medical benefits plan to be included in minimum compensation?

In order for medical plan payments to be included in minimum compensation, the medical benefits plan must be the equivalent of a “Silver” plan or higher as defined in the federal Affordable Care Act, and the employee actually must receive the qualifying medical benefits.

Are there instances where employers may be allowed to offer subminimum wages to employees?

The FAS Director shall have the authority to issue a special certificate authorizing an employer to pay a wage less than the Seattle minimum wage but above the Washington State minimum wage.  Such special certificates shall only be available for the categories of workers defined in RCW 49.46.060 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=49.46.060) and shall be subject to such limitations as to time, number, proportion, and length of service as the Director shall prescribe.

But in order to receive a special certificate, an applicant must secure a letter of recommendation from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries stating that the applicant has a demonstrated need pursuant to WAC 296-128 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=296-128-010).

The FAS Director will by rule establish the minimum wage for employees under the age of eighteen years, provided that any percentage of the hourly rate established by rule shall not be lower than the percentage applicable under state statutes and regulations.

Minimum Wage and Compensation Schedules

What are the minimum wage requirements for Schedule 1 employers?

For Schedule 1 employers, the required hourly minimum wage steps up to $15 per hour in three years for employers that do not pay towards qualifying medical plan payments.

However, the required hourly minimum steps up to $15 per hour in four years if the employer provides qualifying medical plan payments.  Qualifying medical plan payments must be for the equivalent of a Silver plan or higher as defined in the federal Affordable Care Act.

Schedule 1 employers that do not pay towards qualifying medical plan payments shall pay each employee an hourly minimum wage of at least:

  • $11.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $13.00 by January 1, 2016
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2017

Effective January 1, 2018, the hourly minimum wage paid by a Schedule 1 employer shall be increased annually on a percentage basis to reflect the rate of inflation and calculated to the nearest cent on January 1 of each year thereafter.

Schedule 1 employers that pay towards qualifying employee’s medical benefits plan shall pay an hourly minimum wage of at least:

  • $11.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $12.50 by January 1, 2016
  • $13.50 by January 1, 2017
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2018

What are the minimum wage and minimum compensation requirements for Schedule 2 employers?

Schedule 2 employers have a longer phase-in period to $15 per hour, and they must meet two requirements in each pay period:  minimum wage and minimum compensation.  Hourly minimum compensation includes the hourly minimum wage plus tips and qualifying medical plan payments.

Schedule 2 employers shall pay each employee an hourly minimum wage of at least:

  • $10.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $10.50 by January 1, 2016
  • $11.00 by January 1, 2017
  • $11.50 by January 1, 2018
  • $12.00 by January 1, 2019
  • $13.50 by January 1, 2020
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2021
  • $15.75 by January 1, 2022
  • $16.50 by January 1, 2023
  • $17.25 by January 1, 2024

Effective January 1, 2025, the hourly minimum wage paid by a Schedule 2 employer shall equal the hourly minimum wage applicable to Schedule 1 employers.

Schedule 2 employers shall pay an hourly minimum compensation that is the lower of (a) the applicable hourly minimum wage for Schedule 1 employers or (b) the hourly minimum compensation shown in the following schedule:

  • $11.00 by April 1, 2015
  • $12.00 by January 1, 2016
  • $13.00 by January 1, 2017
  • $14.00 by January 1, 2018
  • $15.00 by January 1, 2019
  • $15.75 by January 1, 2020

Schedule 2 employers can meet the applicable hourly minimum compensation requirement through wages (including applicable commissions, piece-rate, and bonuses), tips, and money paid by an employer towards an individual employee’s medical benefits plan provided that the Schedule 2 employer also meets the applicable hourly minimum wage requirements.

Effective January 1, 2025, minimum compensation will no longer be applicable.

Requirements, Penalties, and Enforcement

What are employers’ notice and posting requirements?

Employers are required to provide employees with notice of (1) the entitlement to minimum wage and minimum compensation, (2) the prohibition against retaliation and (3) the ability to file a complaint if the minimum wage or minimum compensation is not paid or the employee is retaliated against.

How can employers comply with the notice requirements?

Employers may comply with the notice requirements of this Ordinance by:

  • Including a paper or electronic copy of notice in employee handbooks or other written guidance.
  • Distributing a notice to each new employee at the time of hire.
  • Displaying a poster (in English, Spanish and any other languages commonly spoken by employees at the particular workplace) that will be created by FAS in a conspicuous and accessible place in the workplace.

What are employer record-keeping requirements?

Employers shall retain payroll records pertaining to covered employees for a period of three years documenting minimum wages and minimum compensation paid to each employee.

What happens if an employer retaliates against an employee?

Retaliation is illegal. Employers are prohibited from taking an adverse action or discriminating against employees who assert their rights to minimum wage and minimum compensation in good faith.

What are the penalties for failure to pay minimum wage and minimum compensation? 

In addition to payment of unpaid wages, proposed monetary penalties are consistent with the City’s existing labor standards laws and are as follows:

  • Failure to provide notice of the appropriate minimum wage and minimum compensation is a civil penalty of $125 first violation and $250 subsequent violations
  • Interference with the Director in administering, or implementing the requirements in this ordinance is a violation and carries a civil penalty between $1,000 and $5,000.
  • Failure to pay minimum wage and minimum compensation:
    • Warning for first violation and may assess a civil penalty of $500;
    • A civil penalty of up to $1000 per employee for second violation;
    • Maximum of $5,000 for third violation;
    • Maximum of $20,000 for violation of this chapter.

Which City department is responsible for enforcing this ordinance?

The Department of Finance and Administrative Services is responsible for administering and enforcing the Ordinance.

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93 comments
WillisDBaker
WillisDBaker

As I may have said before, Minimum Wage is not meant to be a living wage.  Minimum Age is for the inexperienced worker to learn how to work.  What's going to happen, if you bring an inexperienced worker, one who has never had a job before, and start them a $15/hr, those workers you do have who make more than the Minimum Wage will have to get raises above $15/hr to be comparable to their time in service.  A lot of businesses go by how much they made the week before which will determine how many hrs they can afford the next week which will screw the part time worker.  What the workers don't realize, they may be working themselves our of a job. 

go4it
go4it

this minimum wage is very convenient for the big guys to pick up cheap help from the really small business when the rents, taxes and city mandated cost increase cause micro stores to close up. the trend now is for the amazons and alibabas to take over the bricks too, paid for by your taxes and elected representatives. Hope you like being in the robot cadres because soon the robots will replace you and all the little stores will be gone . thank you minimum wage and god bless the people that help the robots take over.

1234Citizen1234
1234Citizen1234

Im a manager making $15/hr at 40 hours a week. Gross income is about $2,400. I simply attempted to schedule a TOUR at an apartment that was only $850/mo and i was told that since i wasnt making 3× the rent (which was only a $150 difference) i couldn't even take the TOUR. I had lived in way better apartments in way better neighborhoods when i was making minimum wage at $9.21 that cost the same! $15/hr barely cuts it nowadays especially if most apartments won't even let you in unless you're making $16-20/hr. It was also only a 1 bedroom, i cant imagine how much i needed to be making an hour for a 3 bedroom! This is why there's so many people with room mates, wages are so low that it takes a dual income just to survive.

DustynB
DustynB

So let me get this strait...... I graduated with a four year college degree, graduated in the top 15% of my class, interned with Edward Jones Investments, received my MBA, and tested for my CPA license, and I am only going to make $5 (calculated from my salary)  more an hour than somebody who dropped out from high school....  Makes since, thanks mom for telling me college is the way to go.... Still have $20 grand in student loans to pay back....

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@DustynB  - You are so absolutely correct in your statement but you may want to use the correct form and thus spelling of the word "straight" not "strait". ;-)

DustynB
DustynB

@BillFleming1 @DustynB  We will just say I was very "passionate" about this article and not entirely in a "right state of mind", hence my spelling errors..... 8D 

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@DustynB @BillFleming1 Yes a very passionate debate from both sides. It is unfortunate that it seems the ignorant passion from the other side seems to be winning the issue. The human race is doomed to repeat it's historical mistakes. :-(

Azure_Nightfalle
Azure_Nightfalle

@DustynB


I remember this one parable taught in the bible.  It was about a master needing workers to work his field.  He posted went into the streets and recruited people to work his fields, to receive a penny.  They accepted his deal and went in to work his field.  14 hours later, another group of people came in to work the fields, and they only worked for an hour.  15 hours later, the master called in the workers to pay them.  Every single one was given one penny.  When the people who had worked the longer hours saw that those who had worked only one hour were given the same payment, they went to the master, complaining of how it was not fair.  The master scolded them saying something along the lines of, "This is the deal we made, if those people who worked the fields for only one hour had not come along, you would've been perfectly happy with your penny."  Regardless of whether you're religious or not, the point still stands.  You would've been perfectly happy with your $20, if the minimum wage had not been raised to $15.  Unjust as it may seem, it really doesn't affect you.

jdyork45
jdyork45

The government wants employers to set a yearly wage increase and yet for us seniors they often withhold yearly social security pay increases, which is our own money and has made money over time.  Hello Government, if you are going to mandate pay increases then live up to your own silly standards and pay us seniors what we are due.  Quit giving our money away that you are suppose to be holding in trust.  In my opinion many of the government people should already be in jail for fraud and abuse of their positions.  Where is it written that the government shall mandate what a private employer pays his employees?  They are running business out of this country.

JohnDeas
JohnDeas

@jdyork45 

I'm sorry you don't understand how Social Security works.  Its a scam.  Its the biggest Ponzi scheme ever.  There is no Social Security trust fund.  There never has been a Social Security trust fund.  People who are working now pay for Social Security.  I hope you have your own savings, because the benefit cuts are going to be deeper and deeper.  My dad told me when I was about 12 that Social Security was a scam.  People that are actually working deserve raises because they are the only ones that keep this deck of cards afloat.  The U.S. is basically Greece with deeper pockets.  

jdyork45
jdyork45

@JohnDeas @jdyork45 John I know how social security works, I've been on it for 7 years.  Social Security was a trust fund until these morons mismanaged our money.  They have now changed the narrative to an entitlement fund, as if we need to do something to get what is already ours.  It basically is now a ponzi scheme since there is nothing in reserve.  Money goes in one end of the pipe and is immediately paid out the other end.  Its a crime what these morons did with our money that was placed in trust for our retirements.  .


FYI, Social Security was originally designed so that few people would receive any money.  People were living until their mid or late fifties at that time so the government set it up for payment starting around ages 62 and 65.  As usual they made a huge mistake because people stated living longer, well into their late sixties, seventies, eighties, and a few into their nineties.  They then had an unsustainable system but to add to their own stupidity they gave money away to people who had no right to our money.  Madoff looks like a Saint compared to these crooks in the government and of course no one will be held responsible.


This whole global warming theory is just another government plot to part fools from their money and to gain more control over our lives.  Quite frankly I never worry about Russia, China, or NK, our worse enemy is the US government

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@JohnDeas  - You should really know what you are talking about before spewing your ignorance.

JohnDeas
JohnDeas

@BillFleming1 @JohnDeas 

Which country would you like the U.S economy to resemble, Nigeria or Bangladesh?  Please don't compare the U.S. to any Western country because you don't want basic benefits of civilized countries like a minimum wage, health care, retirement benefits, etc.  Which all western/1st world countries have to a greater degree than the U.S.  

JohnDeas
JohnDeas

@BillFleming1 

Somalia, Cambodia, and Tonga are 3 nations who have no minimum wage laws.  Obviously these countries are economic powerhouses.  Sadly, Nigeria and Bangladesh have some worker protection, which limit their economic growth.

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

, my name is John and I spew out some foreign countries in my comment people will think I am smart der der der.....

Azure_Nightfalle
Azure_Nightfalle

@JohnDeas


You're looking at the extremes, darling.  Minimum wage is not going to be removed from this country anytime soon, even though you are correct.

Thinkthanspeak
Thinkthanspeak

Wages paid to employees is not an issue effecting the employee, employer. Wages/income are the basis for State & Federal assistance programs: rent/housing assistance, medical care, i.e., Medicaid for lower income persons/employees, food assistance, etc. For employees that qualify for any number of State or Federal ( low income qualified) assistance programs, who else is involved in the employee/employer relationship?

1)State tax payers who pay for the programs that lower income workers/employees qualify for.

2) Federal tax payers who: " "

3) Localities are effected by low wage environments have lower home values, lower rents, lower income that funds their schools. In many states, local property taxes collected in different parts of a " School District" are what determines the amount of resources area schools recieve. In many cases the schools needing the most resources, where low income, poverty stricken, residents live, recieve the least amount of funding, making it that much more difficult for children raised in these environments to compete later on in life, in the job market, applying for entry into college( if they make it through high school), further perpetrating a decay in these neighborhoods, higher crime, higher unemployment, higher costs to taxpayers as many residents have to use Emergency Rooms to recieve medical care.

There are many more players/payers in the equation, but my point is, is it fair that companies who do not pay living wage incomes to their employers, have their labor costs subsided by tax payers, just because they want to maximize the profits rarely shared with the employees that helped create that very profitability? Is it fair that you & I have to subsidize large companies like WalMart whose top level employees & the Walton clan reap the huge rewards of paying their workers wages that qualify their workers for every form of State & Federal assistance available? I don't think it's fair & I don't think it's right. I do not like the government involved in business yet without regulations, given the insane growing disparity between the rich & the poor, greed would destroy the lives, the neighborhoods, the education systems, the standard of living, the quality of life for all but those at the top. If we lived in a country whose society placed higher values on education, medical care maybe government wouldn't have to be involved, but the reality is that greed is growing out of control & paying higher wages benefit so many more, in so many ways than the employee her/himself. Thank you for thinking about this.

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@Thinkthanspeak Who are you to decide what is fair or unfair? Also if someone of authority would step up and promise a dramatic reduction in taxes that were used to pay for all the Welfare/Social programs for low earners because of your perception of a low minimum wage then maybe some would change their minds on this issue.

I for one would not since I believe the State is already far overreaching their authority granted by our Constitution.

InjuryLaw
InjuryLaw

A fair minimum wage is a basic human right. Living expenses are rising each year so the basic wage should reflect this.

InjuryLaw
InjuryLaw

@BillFleming1 could you please explain why it is NOT a basic right.  If you are working then it IS a right that you get a fair minimum wage. In the UK every working person has a minimum wage which employers must pay.

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@InjuryLaw @BillFleming1 Why do you not first define a "Basic Human right"? I am pretty sure your definition is much more liberal then mine.

How about the "basic human right" for a business owner to pay what they believe is a fair wage?

FYI I could give a rats ass what the UK does.

InjuryLaw
InjuryLaw

@BillFleming1 @InjuryLaw That's the whole point of a minimum wage, to pay each employee a fair wage. What good employers deem to be a fair wage may be more than the minimum wage and that is fine. The problem is those employers who would rather save money by not paying a fair wage for work done, those who exploit young people, foreigners or anyone else they think they can get away with paying as little as possible.  That is why a minimum wage protects these people so that they can afford to live.  Can I ask are you a business owner Bill?

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@InjuryLaw @BillFleming1 No am not a business owner but I have managed business's and operations. With that said I am not a believer in the State coercing a PRIVATE business to pay some "minimum wage" that they deem acceptable.

The real issue I have is that you have somehow determined that a minimum wage is a basic human right and I flat out disagree with you.

Are you going to give me your definition of a basic human right so I can attempt to understand your thought process on the subject?



InjuryLaw
InjuryLaw

@BillFleming1 @InjuryLaw My thoughts are that it is a basic human right to have an acceptable standard of living, to be able to afford to live in dignity, not in poverty. A basic wage provides this.  This quote further explains my point - “One of the fundamental human rights is the right to a just remuneration that ensures an existence worthy of human dignity. The preamble to the Constitution of the International Labour Organization identifies the provision of an adequate living wage as one of the conditions for universal and lasting peace based on social justice,” says ILO senior economist, Patrick Belser.

“Although there is no universally accepted amount that defines such remuneration, it can be described as a wage from full-time work that allows people to lead a decent life considered acceptable by society,”

These are just my thoughts on the matter, I just don't understand why people would be so against a basic wage. 90% of the developed world has a basic living wage with the US seeming to be lagging behind.  I live in the UK by the way, and I know you don't give a toss about what happens here, but I was just interested as to why businesses are so against this basic right as the rest of the world sees it.

bayhuntr
bayhuntr

There is a minimum cost to a citizen in our country, minimum education minimum healthcare minimum housing minimum food minimum retirement. If our economic system does not produce enough wealth for that, then we have a failed system, I don't think you're suggesting that.

What you seem to be missing, is that if the business does not pay a citizen, enough for those minimums, then somebody else has to pay for it, and that's called welfare. If the government has to pay welfare, because you do not pay enough for the basics, then you're not part of the free market. You could be producing a product, that there's not enough demand for, and you should go out of business, what you been propped up by government covering part of the cost of your labor.

We decided, in our society, that we don't let people freeze to death in the cold, or starve to death, or go without healthcare, so yes those things or a right in this country. If you want to change that, be my guest, get a petition going. Until then, don't just play lip service to the free market, try living it.

bayhuntr
bayhuntr

No I'm not a socialist, I believe in the free market. You're just not educated on business, or economics. And since your answer had no substance, i'm guessing you just want to feel good with what you say. Your feelings and a buck won't buy you a cuppa coffee. Everything I said is logical and reasonable and expected by anybody who understands the free market. You do not.

bayhuntr
bayhuntr

The American society decides that, I believe it starts with an education from 1 to 12, the food required to keep you healthy, the healthcare required to keep you healthy, minimum housing, those things for a minimum retirement. As a society, we do not believe in letting people by on the sidewalk in front of the hospital, that's why hospitals have to except people. Again if you feel that is on the acceptable, you need to convince society to change that law, until then that is an American expectation. And I'm talking about, a full-time worker earning enough income to pay for this. A free-market society, needs people willing to do menial jobs, they need to be able to survive. It is not up to government to supplement those employees.

From those basics, if you want more you work harder you study you go to school.

JohnDeas
JohnDeas

@BillFleming1 @InjuryLaw 

Why should anyone work for a sub living wage?  Why wouldn't they join the millions on fake disability or the millions of illegals sucking on the goverment's teets.

BillFleming1
BillFleming1

@JohnDeas @InjuryLaw Because they want to survive.

FYI collecting on disability fraudulently is actually illegal and so is being illegally in this country. If you have issue with that, as I think most do, take it up with your beloved government. Maybe if they spent more time enforcing the Constitutional laws on the book rather then usurping the Constitution and coercing private businesses to pay some "minimum wage" they deem appropriate we as a country would be much better off.

ride_bicycles
ride_bicycles

@InjuryLaw  With your logic a job is a basic human right.  But with a minimum wage it's guaranteed that low skilled workers will not get a job.  Companies will buy robots and computers and amortize the cost into the future.

BongBong1
BongBong1

Politicians: Crippling businesses and competitiveness with legislation since the beginnings of civilization.

dingwood
dingwood

I really would like everyone in the discussion to really read all of the replies and to really understand what the underlying meaning for each of these individuals and what it means to them.The people working hourly are for it. The small business owners are against it. Seattle has no real statistics yet due to the fact that they just started the increase to 15 per hour and it will take a couple of years to get there. I have the odd situtation of being both hourly and business owner. I work 2 jobs. Business owner  I receive no benefits but have created an enviroment that I love working in. Hence the 2nd job that is less than 15 per hour but after 8 years later I am almost there but the benefits are why I am really working there. I work in my kids school in the cafeteria. If all workers were to start at what it has taken me 8 years to reach Is that fair? expecially since this is not a technical job. With budgets placed and everyone goes immediatly to starting pay at 15 what do you think that will do to the benefits. Cuts will have to go somewhere so do we think it will be in the benefits area. If a burger joint pays all employees 15 per hour than are all people willing to pay 1/3 more for each item. Your familys grocery bill is 150 per week than do you think the store will raise their prices 1/3  and your bill will now cost an average of 200 a month more? Where do you think the cuts will come in and who will get cut. Hours, benefits or customer service. If a restaurant is now having to pay a waitress who earns minimum wage and tips can average 200 per night but now the employee must pay them 15 per hour are you willing to pay instead of 25 for a meal but 37 for that same meal? how many times will you go out and eat. What if the restaurant owner say no longer tipping but your meal will cost more and so because of no tipping the meal will cost only  a little bit more than if you were tipping.  your waitress  now making less than ever before and very few restaurants give employees benefits as most staff is part time. I think everyone needs to stop, take a deep breath and revisit seattle in the aftermath. Business are talking about closing down, cutting hours, benefits and employees. And the gentlemen who was talking about the different kind of statistics in the different kinds of professions is correct and yes the general overall unemployment rate is better but look at were it is better. The most hit by this increase is the small business owners. We keep talking about saving the middle class which involves the small business and so far we just keep stabbing and shrinking the small business. Business are already starting to close their doors. The city counsel is saying it is not due to increase in min wage but the small business owners are. Until we see a true gage on what is happening lets just put the breaks on and let the test cities settle into the wage increase and then lets revisit the issue. Because once the min wage is in place it will not be able to be recinded.

dingwood
dingwood

I actually work 2 jobs. I own my own lease hair salon, work behind the chair and I also work at my childrens school. So I have an understanding of both sides of the coin. I disagree with min. wage going to  15 an hour. Several reasons. I work at my school job because of benefits which as a business owner I do not get. I make less than 15 an hour for an unskilled labor job. At no time did I ever expect 15.00 an hour. I am at present getting an associate degree so that I may apply for one of the other jobs that pays more. I am not sitting back waiting for the goverment hand out. I never had. If I want more money than I need to become educated to be able to recieve a better wage. Maybe the goverment should help not just high school seniors with a 2 year free education who is right out of school but anyone who wants to better them selves. On the other side of the coin as a business owner I have one employee. Because all we can pay out of the business is minimum wage. I give her another 100  monthly bonus out of my own pocket  but with that extra money it comes with that money I have more expectations. A receptionist at the salon makes min. because it is a non-skilled job except for customer service. You say more people will spend more money? Complete bunk. In my field there is such a compitition with salons run by people who run their shops illegially and undercut prices for services that we have to be very careful how much we can charge for rent for their space. We are already at the top of the scale. Because we have a receptionist. My salon is designed that we need a receptionist. At raising min wage more than 33percent will cause us to loose our receptionist which means we will not be able to keep the doors open and all the people working in the salon will be displaced. Now I know a lot of people who have an education are working for less than 15 an hour but my question to you is are you working in the field you have a degree in and if the answer is yes than did you not do the research for the pay in the field you decided to major in. My son wanted to be a mechinical engineer. Did the research and found the industry is not doing well at this time, nor do they think it will improve in the next 5 year. He changed his major. Min. wage was not designed for raising a family but entry level positions, 2nd type jobs, high school and elderly extra income. Non skilled labor. I truely believe that if you want skilled level of pay than you need to get skills to meet those wage increases and stop waiting for the goverment hand out. Want a hand out. Ask for better and higher education.

skristensen
skristensen

To believe that raising the binding minimum wage in Seattle's competitive unskilled labor market to $15/hour does not cause an increase in unskilled labor unemployment, one has to believe, for example,  that if one increases the price of a product or service, more of the product will be bought, or at-least not a decrease in sales. Can anyone name a good or service for which more will be bought if the price rises? There is no such product or service in a competitive market. And yet the moron's in the People's Republic of Seattle and the city board of economic ignorance, actually think raising the price of unskilled labor will not result in less sales,  hence fewer employees needed. Hence, lay-offs or cutting back of employee work hours will result. Does no one in Seattle have a Economic 101 textbook?

mserou
mserou

@skristensen Do you think that econ101 will provide for a real city with real people working real hours and living below the poverty line because they don't make a living wage? 

BerthaB
BerthaB

I know I'm a little late but I still want to post. 


Lame and fascistic-like forcing this on so many who won't be able to keep up.  I know I should be happy for this minimum wage hike  having been a low wage earner most of my working life and from a union family, but it was a poorly thought out liberal band-aid that will cause more problems than it will solve.  Perhaps these people protesting didn't understand what they were asking for.  They wanted and needed well-deserved raises, there is no doubt about that…I agree with raising the minimum wage but $15 minimum???!  That's ludicrous and throws everything off.  What about the new people coming in, they'll be at the same rate as those having worked there for 5 years.  Fair? I think not. 


Small businesses won't be able to compete with corporations that pay these hike minimums.  They'll be forced to accept the lowest skilled workers who weren't able to get into corporate offered jobs or teens cutting their teeth on a new job for a short period. The teens are ok but more likely to leave sooner.  

Or eventually scale down their employees and work those left to death, including the business owners themselves.  Many may even close as a result of this.  Then all that will be left are big ass corporations dominating the market.  That or it will drive the price of EVERYTHING way too high…higher than it is now. 


There's no way small businesses can live up to these wage scales they will be enforcing??!  

What no one seems to remember are wage scales…they could have raised the minimum to $11/12 and then demanded raises for those who have been at a job for a long time….TO 15 or 17 but not making the entire minimum wage $15.  

Jobs will become SOOOO competitive between applicants it will go back to the same thing during the recession where it took a master's degree to make coffee.  :/  


--I"m a New small business owner who started a business because of health problems that made it hard to work for others and still doesn't make much money.  


Some people are so rude and uncaring to small business owners thinking they're all just greedy capitalists and not just people carving out a life for themselves. Small businesses are the backbone of American society.  They have always been part of this culture. Corporations are taking over though…maybe some don't care about that.

Most of us won't be able to afford these rate hikes and it may threaten our businesses.  Those who don't care about small business owners are directly benefiting the corporations who take over and make everything the same.  So think twice about ragging on business owners who don't like this wage hike…there is a legit reason for it.  Less small business owners=less jobs=less individualism and creativity and more corporate conformity.  Bleh...


JoePetner
JoePetner

It's very simple .. All business with 500+ will just leave.  You will stunt growth and the entire area will be nothing but small businesses that don't have to abide by that rule.  Now all your workers will have zero opportunity to move up the corporate ladder and they are stuck working at flower shops making the same minimum wage they made before the law was passed.

dingwood
dingwood

@JoePetner even small business will have to pay the hike in wage they just get an extra year to do it.

waterfrontrentalshome
waterfrontrentalshome

When the property rates are too high and are they can not be met at that time it is better to go for serviced accommodation option. Though rents are high but still there are option available that comes under economical price range.

JeanetteNewman
JeanetteNewman

we can go back and forth all day...the bottom line is that wages do need to be increased! I agree with strena it's time for an increase and a major one. Cost of living is going up and up and wages are staying the same. As business owners, if people are making more money, that helps the economy, you know...have some money to spend, at the rate we are at now people really do struggle to live and take care of their family. I make more than minimum wage, certainly not 15.00 an hour and I have a family to take care of and I have a degree so here in Washington it's just expensive, PERIOD! Taxes are high to but I don't pay sales tax on my apt or my bills so leave taxes out. This is a great place to live if you can afford it. All I can say is this is MY opinion.

skristensen
skristensen

@JeanetteNewman why don't you give up your job to someone who will be losing theirs due to the increase in minimum wage?

BongBong1
BongBong1

@JeanetteNewman If your city cannot provide any work at rates that will sustain your lifestyle, you may want to consider moving.

Trackbacks

  1. […] ** Seattle’s New minimum Wage Ordinance – For employer with less than 500 employees, minimum wage will increase to $11.00 beginning April 1, 2015- Dec31, 2015. If employees do receive tips and/or payments to a medical benefits plan, the employer can pay $10.00/hour as minimum wage, plus $1.00/hour made up of tips and/or contributions to a medical benefits plan.  http://murray.seattle.gov/minimumwage/#sthash.9poqOzOM.dpbs […]

  2. […] Considering this thread is ALL about a 15/hr minimum wage in Seattle Washington, throwing around "monthly net" when no one here KNOWS what payroll taxes are in Washington state is just throwing out straw men arguments. Stick with the facts. The facts are that over a 7 year period starting April 1 of this year local restaurants that employ less than 500 employees nation wide, will have to implement the 15/hr minimum wage. For those too lazy, or too stupid to look up the facts in this matter. $15 Minimum Wage  […]

  3. […] mentioned this as an issue*, another major factor affecting restaurant futures in our city is the impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour. Starting April 1, all businesses must begin to phase in the wage increase: Small employers have […]

  4. […] Seattle starts phasing in a $15/hour minimum wage, it’s worth pausing to consider exactly how higher minimum wages affect local housing values and rents.  The minimum wage question is very, very complicated, when you peel away the political rhetoric and start looking at the underlying economics. […]

  5. […] なお、レンシ氏の試算には、最低賃金時給15ドルに関する現在の状況が考慮されていない。「時給15ドル」に関して一番有名だと思われるシアトルの場合、市が行った初回の調査結果では、(失業が増えるという予測もあったがそうした事実は生じておらず)「破滅的な状況には陥っていない」という結果が出ている。もちろん、これはまだ最終的なデータではないし、現在の最低賃金は時給13ドルではあるのだが(2021年までに段階的に値上げされる計画だ)。なお、シアトルでは、18歳未満の労働者などには最低賃金を15ドルより低くすることが認められている。 […]

  6. […] An online petition has surfaced calling out Starbucks for cutting hours and under-staffing cafes in what they say is a response to higher labor costs. At the time of this writing, the petition has reached over ten thousand signatures after just ten days. This comes roughly a year after the Bernie Sanders campaign made the conversation of a $15/hr minimum wage commonplace in America. Businesses and legislators all over the country have been dealing with the mounting pressure from a growing population of people who believe that the best way of reducing poverty is to use this country’s wealth to lift up the underprivileged. Even Starbucks’ home town of Seattle has passed $15/hr minimum wage legislation. […]