Business Startup

New Seattle Minimum Wage Law Goes Into Effect April 1

Last time we wrote about the new Seattle minimum wage ordinance, we discussed how the International Franchise Association (IFA) filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the ordinance unfairly discriminates against franchisees. The IFA was asking for an injunction to prevent the law from going into effect on April 1. On March 17, federal Judge Richard Jones denied the group’s request for an injunction. Although IFA’s claim still hasn’t been fully litigated, Judge Jones decision regarding the injunction means the law will go into effect on April 1.

What you need to know?

The increase to the $15 minimum wage will be phased in, and April 1 marks the first incremental change.

Seattle Minimum Wage

Large Companies

If your business employs more than 500 people in the United States, then your business must pay each employee working in Seattle a minimum hourly wage of $11.00 by April 1.

Small Companies

If your business employs 500 or fewer people in the US, then your business must pay each employee a minimum hourly wage of $11.00 by April 1. However, if your employee receives tips or you make a contribution to your employee’s medical benefits, then you may pay a minimum hourly rate of $10.00 (as long as the $1.00 difference is covered by tips or medical benefits contributions).

All employers must also provide notice to employees of their rights under the new law. The notice must be provided in English, Spanish, and any other language that is commonly spoken by employees in workplace. You can get a poster that fulfills the notice requirement from the Seattle Office of Labor Standards.

If you want to learn more about how the rest of the law will be implemented over the next seven years, read our comprehensive blog post on Seattle’s Minimum Wage law. If you’d like to learn more about the Seattle minimum wage law or how labor laws affect your business, please  contact us today.

Photo: SounderBruce| Flickr


Charlene Angeles

Charlene makes time to enjoy the outdoors and has explored Washington's Big Four Ice Caves.

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