$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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30 comments
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.

strena
strena

Iits about time that wages begin to reflect the cost of living.  In my opinion this should be state wide.   It costs more to live here than most other places, beside New York and California.  When it costs almost $5.00 for a loaf of bread not on sale, and $4.99 for a pound of butter its time to raise wages.  Wages in this state haven't increased in 20 years!  Wake up people.  Why on earth ANYONE would be against this is beyond comprehension.  People who already make $20.00 and hour or or more or have an annual  income of $75.000.00 and up have NO  IDEA what it't like to struggle and make it paycheck to paycheck because employers refuse or won't increase wages.  I grew up in the 60's and was working for $7.35 and hour in the 80's.  How said is it that,  after thirty years or better, the job I used to do (legal and tax secretary) only pays about $2.00 more an hour?!!  What is wrong with people who think its OK to keep things the way they are.  IT"S NOT WORKING.   How many ways can it be said.  The rich keep getting richer and the poor just get poorer.  There is no middle class anymore, which is ridiculous since most of America IS the middle class!  This has to start somewhere, and what better place than Seattle where apparently there alot  of very narrow minded greedy tunnel visioned people.  When a one bedroom apartment is at least $1000.00 a month and utilites and food etc.  are astronomical how on earth is a person making $9.50/ hour supposed to pay their bills!!

strena
strena

Yes but the actual tax an individual has to pay is very little in the broad spectrum of things.  And any time tax increase is said most people put their hand up and say oh no I'm ' not paying more taxes!.   The taxes you are talking about doesn't amount to that much.   In my opinion, owners of business had it pretty good and have made a lot of money, at the expense of their under paid employees.  The employers don't want to give up their cushy little bit of heaven.  I mean come on. it's not like the employees get to have the full $15.00 all at once!  We're  talking  three years before they can even reap the full benefit of the increase!.  $15.00 and hour should be what the average person is paid NOW.  Oh, I've heard all the arguments, that minimum wage originally was never meant to support a family, etc, etc.  But the reality is,  in this day and age,  unless you went to college and have a good degree, a huge percentage of business ONLY pay minimum wage.  A large part of the working population works for minimum, NOT just service employees!

SteveDouglass
SteveDouglass

Cushy little bit of heaven? Guess you have no clue what it is to be a business owner. We business owners are the ones who risked the money to start the business, spend 24/7 worrying about the business, pay higher tax rates on our income, match our employees SS and FICA contributions, contribute to insurance and retirement funds, give them paid time off for vacations when we get no work in return. And those are just the headaches with employees. Hell, I haven't had a vacation in many years. I don't have anyone to depend on for my retirement or insurance (at a higher rate). Then start dealing with the government and vendors. It is insane the amount of state and local regulations a business must deal with, all with fees and taxes that employees have no clue about. Just a liquor license here in Texas costs an average of $7000 a year. Sales taxes, property taxes, liquor taxes. At least in Texas we don't have an income tax. Don't whine to me with your socialist drivel. Grow a set and start your own business and then come back to this conversation.

strena
strena

@SteveDouglass Oh I have. and trust me, its all of that, but why are you killing yourself then. It  it's SO hard then why don't you go to work for someone else and get paid way less than you deserve or can live on.  I think you''re the one who has no clue.    You are stuck in what most people are stuck iin.  Ignorance to the rest of the world and mostly concerned with \your own little world, not what affects the rest of the population.  This country used to be great, and people got a fair shake, but this is not the case anymore.  And that, is the last  of my comments on this subject anyway.

SteveDouglass
SteveDouglass

Because, unlike people like you, I want control of my own future. The capitalist opportunity. You can continue to be a sheep because you're too lazy to build something of your own and then demand that the person who DOES build something finance your laziness. That is the epitome of a leech. A taker from society rather than a producer. You are the one who is only concerned with your little world. I produce products, services, jobs, sponsor charity events, help build a church, care for elderly. You and your type of thinking are not worth the air you consume.

MarkPalenik
MarkPalenik

@SteveDouglass If everyone started his own business, who would you hire?  It must kill you to have to hire all those leaches who suck up your hard earned money in the paychecks you're forced to give them.  What a bunch of freeloaders, taking money for doing a job.

sdoug1963
sdoug1963

@MarkPalenik  If they are the type of people who demand to make business decisions for me about my business when they have no clue about the numbers or obligations, then yes. A fool who demands something based on only what they want deserves to lose their job. People do not start a business and take so many risks just to have a bunch of kids just out of college start screaming demands. I have built my businesses over years with a lot of sacrifice. Some little libturd comes out of a libturd left coast college demanding what they want as if they are entitled to it can take a flying leap. I would fire them as soon as I heard their first complaint. I've done it before, and will do it again.

sdoug1963
sdoug1963

@MarkPalenik Yes Mark, of course they do. Instantly, graduating from college guarantees you EXACTLY the dream job you always wanted with tons of cash flowing in, all the vacation you want, benefits that will make you a billionaire in retirement, very short work hours, life will be a dream just because you went to college. My degree was in Computer Science. I own an air conditioning company, a bar, and some apartment complexes. None of my businesses have anything to do with my college degree. Most people today do not spend their careers in what they were trained for in college. Also, when I graduated from college, I waited tables in a restaurant and drove a delivery truck until I found a job in IT. But, I didn't bitch and complain and demand a higher wage than they were willing to pay. If I wanted more money, I found another job or got additional work.

MarkPalenik
MarkPalenik

@sdoug1963 @MarkPalenik I'm just surprised there's a whole lot of appeal moving from the west coast to Texas for a bar job.  That type of thing tends to not be difficult to get more locally, especially given the number of bars in and around college towns and, well, closer cities.  Regardless, I find it surprising that you're so passionate about the minimum wage in a totally different economic environment than yours.  A lot of the arguments that apply in Texas, most likely don't hold in Seattle, and vice versa.


For example, the cost of living where I live now, compared to Indiana where I got my PhD is significantly different, and I would never expect the economics that apply here to apply there (rent is an extra $1000 a month for essentially the same apartment with a few more amenities, sales taxes are higher, food costs more, etc).  It would be ridiculous to expect employees to get paid the same amount here for the same job, given the cost of living, that they did in Indiana.  The cost of living here was driven up by an influx of lawyers over the past 20 years or so that were willing to pay outrageous prices for a tiny apartment downtown, for example.


And, before the discussion comes to it, at one point, I owned a fairly simply to manage business (I was the only employee and didn't depend on it as my sole income).  Currently, I'm a postdoctoral fellow at the naval research lab in DC, but I live in Alexandria, Virginia.  


I have no idea whether or not the $15/hour initiative will be successful.  I find a lot of arguments against it overly simplistic, making assumptions and generalizations that MAY not hold--note that doesn't mean they're necessarily wrong--but all you can do is wait and see what effect the (gradually implemented) increase will have on the economy, which will change in a variety of ways as it gets implemented.


If it's successful, that doesn't mean that the economic environment in Texas will support it.  If it's not, then that's an interesting piece of data that people can actually cite the next time they want to argue about the minimum wage.  Either way, it doesn't really affect you or your ability to operate a business.

strena
strena

@SteveDouglass Wow what a pompous small minded .........you are, and YOU are the epitome of whats wrong with this world.  You know NOTHING about me, so stop trying to categorize me into your rationale of an excuse.   I'm not the one I'm talking about,.  I have a good job and make decent money;, but I know a lot of people who don't, so before you go on attack mode, which buy the way doesn't surprise me, that's what most people like you do, better get your facts first.  And now, I really won't waste anymore of my time having a dead end conversation.

sdoug1963
sdoug1963

@MarkPalenik @sdoug1963 Texas, we have people flooding in from the West Coast. Most of them fleeing the tax costs (which create higher costs of living on everything), high cost of living, and overregulation. Yes, I have college graduates applying for jobs as bartenders and waitresses. But, the point of lower paying jobs is that they are TEMPORARY. I pay the average to those workers, which is $2.15 an hour plus tips. 7 hour shift, 4 nights a week, they will take home about $600 a week CASH. But, a 2 bedroom apartment will rent for about $700 a month. My air conditioning technicians work about 9 months of the year (we really don't have winters in Texas so not much work) and they will make about $2000 a week, but I pay them a percentage of the profit for each job they do. The profit margin of the bar after expenses is about 8%. The profit margin on the AC business is higher. So, tell me. Should I pay them both the same wage? The bartender works less time with no specialized training slinging drinks. The AC tech is licensed, has to crawl into attics in over 100 degree weather working longer hours (10 hour days 6 days a week). Should I pay them both $15 an hour, just because some libturd screams and whines? If the bartender or technician either come to me screaming for more money, I would replace them immediately. I don't believe in minimum wage, and am not a fan of hourly wages for a couple of reasons. I understand that an hourly wage is necessary for a lot of jobs. But, I prefer to pay someone based on production. I have tried hourly with my AC techs. Sales went down, labor cost percentages went up. If the tech was paid hourly, he spent more time goofing off and made less service calls. He got paid even though he was producing less. Same with the bartenders.

MarkPalenik
MarkPalenik

@sdoug1963 @MarkPalenik I mistook someone else's reply for yours.  I apologize.


My impression of Seattle is that it's more like it is here than in Texas.  A single bedroom apartment not in the downtown here goes for about $1600/month give or take + sewage/water/gas/electricity/parking/ammenity fees/the stupid valet trash service a lot of apartments make you pay for.  The cheapest I saw was around $1450 including utilities but was in a neighborhood that most people would probably not choose to live in.  In downtown Alexandria, it becomes significantly more expensive and in DC even more so.  Based on my limited knowledge of Texas, I don't think the minimum wage there should be $15/hour.  And yes, if the bar tender is getting minimum wage, I think the AC tech deserves more.


For someone with specialized skills, hourly may not be the best option.  But for a McDonalds employee or people who work variable hour weeks depending on what shifts they can get, I think hourly is ok.


I have some econ friends who seemed to think that Seattle would be an unusual case regardless, because of a combination of the cost of living and average income.  It's pretty difficult to extrapolate the effect of economic changes outside of the areas they take place, from what I gather.

sdoug1963
sdoug1963

@MarkPalenik What I think the main problem is, looking at the reasons for the $15 minimum wage campaign, is the outside interference of the admittedly Socialist Seattle Councilwoman who first trumped up the issue as a campaign hook into the businesses of private individuals. Being a loyal American capitalist and amateur historian, seeing politicians stir up the uneducated and unemployed/underemployed using anti-business rhetoric is a technique that enrages my sensibilities. Councilwoman Sawant has interfered into the finances of every business, large and small, in Seattle. Councilwoman Sawant has no clue how much someone had to borrow or saved up in order to bootstrap a business. My first business was started after 9/11 after I had been unemployed for a couple of years and started it with the last $25 to my name. A business does not instantly have the money to pay for additional labor, nor does it have the customer base to support a new employee. It is a fine balance between having the correct amount of labor and the customer base to support expanding the number of employees. Councilwoman Sawant suddenly drove up costs, whether phased or immediate, to the business. This means the small business suddenly has to match SS, FICA, unemployment, Workmen's Comp, insurance, all without hiring another additional employee. But, where does all that additional money come from? Does Councilwoman Sawant know what the liabilities are of every business in Seattle? Does Councilwoman Sawant know what it takes for every employee to have a 'living wage'? Should someone who is single be paid more than someone who has other household income? Should someone who isn't intelligent with their purchasing choices be paid more so that they can have a 'living wage'? Perhaps Seattle's problems are inflationary with only a certain segment of it's workforce and have gentrified the city to a point that lower wage employees should live in suburbs? If so, why is the small business responsible for making up the difference? Supply and demand always works. Perhaps there are too many illegals who are willing to live 8 to a room at $8 an hour so that they can send money back to Mexico and that drives demand for higher wages down? Perhaps the hipster culture just expects that it deserves a car, Play Station, Birkenstocks, the newest iPhone, and Starbucks Carmel Macchiato to be included as a 'living wage'.

SFreyer
SFreyer

@strena I have run businesses for 30 years.  My position on this is that I have no problem increasing the wages of any employee as long as the buyers are willing to pay the increased prices. Period.  


Because wages also have employer and employee tax costs, the increase in wages results in an increase in those costs.  They are percentages based on gross.  


If consumers/clients support higher prices, I have zero problem with higher wages.  

feotoid
feotoid

@SteveDouglass Seems funny to me that you think all of your employees(if you have any) are not worth the air they consume.. and yet, the only reason you have a business(with employees or not) is because somebody does have employees. You produce products with other products mostly likely shipped to you or packaged or produced by an employee. 

If you have control of your own future and you are taking your capitalist opportunity than why does it matter to you that other people are going to be able to build their own opportunity? 

Unlike people like you, I actually care about and appreciate society and understand that it isnt laziness to work for somebody else, it is working for somebody else. Employees make the world we live in go around. If you think that an employee doesnt deserve to survive working full time, than you are the lazy one who cant even care about the community that you live in. 

Build a church, get real. Help a real person for a change.

SteveDouglass
SteveDouglass

Okay, somebody is drunk and has a 'hate the world' attitude. When you sober talk to me.

AlbertTorres
AlbertTorres

@strena Why not make the Min wage $25 per hour? Minimum wage jobs are for young people and unfortunately people that make bad decisions in their lives. if you are 40 years old, single and have 3 children and you make minimum wage, you screwed up in life. Yeah some people have things in life that happen out of their control that put them in places like this but 90% are there because they have no ambition, partied through their younger years, smoke pot and think that flipping burgers should pay $70,000 per year. I worked very hard going to school and then dealing with crappy job after crappy job until I could get something that was what I considered a livable wage and now this law comes along and cuts all good wage earners in the Seattle are in half or a third. The funniest part is when it hits $15 per hour after inflation it wont be $15 and then people like you will cry that will need to be raised again, plus most businesses do not have 500 or more employees and so on. You are fooled by political tricks that do not accomplish anything but making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside but someday when you go to buy a Big Mac and its $12 and hundreds of business relocate 5 feet from the Seattle border then maybe you will understand why these cheap tricks play buy city council members that have never owned or run anything in their lives have no business making policies for any business.

SteveDouglass
SteveDouglass

Then the problem isn't a matter of wages. The problem is high taxes. Taxation icreases the cost of everything and must be passed along. Increasing taxes on a business just passes that increase to the consumer. If you worked as a tax secretary, it should have been obvious to you.

Higher Prices
Higher Prices

You are right on the $. It is going to get really expensive to live in Seattle over the next 10 years.

sdoug1963
sdoug1963

Wow! Communism in action! If I owned a business in Seattle, I would be doing everything possible to unload it as soon as possible, take the hit, and try to open doors somewhere else. Looking at that list of Committee Members, small businesses in Seattle were railroaded by socialist government members and labor unions. Taking from owners of small businesses in order to redistribute does nothing but create an environment of desperation and lack of incentive. I am a small business owner in a different state and would never consider opening a business in Washington, especially Seattle.

Higher Prices
Higher Prices

The net/net result of Seattle"s $15 min wage will be higher prices for rent, food, clothing and almost everything low wage earners purchase. It will drive out senior citizens, crush teenage employment,and  almost eliminate nonprofit organizations. It makes no economic sense for the fast food restaurant inside 145th NE to be paying up to %50 more for labor than the fast food outlet on the other side of 145th, Tom Douglas estimates that he will need to raise prices by 25%. The City seems to think that everything else will remain static. Watch these companies automate dramatically. Are any of these effected employees more productive at $15 an hour than $10 an hr? Time to purchase an apartment buiding!

mamazelin
mamazelin

Where can I find the required workplace poster? I have looked high and low on the Seattle.gov website and cannot find it anywhere.

locustdawn
locustdawn

If an employer offers a silver level medical plan, but an employee chooses to not sign up, do I have to pay that employee more per hour because he/she did not sign up for the plan?

WovenCable
WovenCable

@locustdawn  Either way the company should provide the same monetary benefits/income to each employee if absolute minimum is paid. So the answer is probably that you would have to pay the higher wage even if the employee opted out of insurance you offer. Additionally, there are always a number of employers glad to take advantage of minimum wage workers and they are likely to evade money outlays by "claiming" an employee turned down insurance when they never did....i.e. lying.


Frankly, just asking a question like this is a bit sketchy and may indicate that person is likely to play that game.