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Seattle Minimum Wage For Large Employers

For Large Employers, the City of Seattle’s $15.00/hour wage will be phased in over the next 3–4 years.

The Office of Labor Standards will implement the new ordinance.

Minimum Wage

Large employers can meet this requirement in two ways:

  • Pay hourly minimum wage; or
  • Pay reduced hourly minimum wage if the employer makes payments toward an employee’s silver level medical benefits plan.

1. Hourly Rate

Large employers who do not pay towards an employee’s medical benefits plan pay hourly minimum wage based on the following schedule:

  Minimum Wage
2015 (April 1) $11.00/hour
2016 (January 1) $13.00/hour
2017 (January 1) $15.00/hour

2. Medical Benefits

Large employers who do make payments toward an employee’s medical benefits plan pay a reduced minimum wage based on the following schedule:

  Minimum Wage
2015 (April 1) $11.00/hour
2016 (January 1) $12.50/hour
2017 (January 1) $13.50/hour
2018 (January 1) $15.00/hour

 

Once Seattle’s minimum wage reaches $15.00/hour, payments toward medical benefits no longer impact employees’ minimum wage. In subsequent years, the City of Seattle will calculate percentage changes to the minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Download Fact Sheet (Large Employers)
Information for Small Employers
Frequently Asked Questions
Wage Calculator

Key Terms

Employees
Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance applies to employees working in Seattle, regardless of employees’ immigration status.

To calculate employer size, count the employer’s total number of individual employees within the United States, regardless of where those employees work.

A wage includes salary, hourly pay, commissions, piece-rate, and non-discretionary bonuses. Wages do not include tips or payments towards medical benefits. However, payment toward medical benefits can reduce employers’ minimum wage requirements temporarily until 2018.

For an employee’s medical benefits to qualify toward the minimum wage, the plan must be the equivalent of a “silver” level or higher as defined in the federal Affordable Care Act.

Example

ABC company is a large employer with both part-time and full-time employees.

For part-time employees, ABC company does not pay towards a silver level medical benefits plan.

ABC company will pay its part-time employees a minimum wage of:

  • On April 1, 2015, $11.00/hour.
  • On January 1, 2016, $13.00/hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, $15.00/hour.

For full-time employees, ABC company pays$1.50 per hour toward a silver level medical benefits plan.

ABC company will pay its full-time employees a minimum wage of:

  • On April 1, 2015, $11.00/hour.
  • On January 1, 2016, $12.50/hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, $13.50/hour.

Other Requirements

Notice to Employees
Employers must provide employees with notice of their rights under the Ordinance. The notice must be in English, Spanish, and any other language that is commonly spoken by employees in the workplace.

 Download Workplace Poster

Record Keeping
Employers must keep payroll records for three years.

Retaliation Prohibited
An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for:

  • Requesting to be paid the minimum wage.
  • Filing a complaint with the Office of Labor Standards concerning a potential minimum wage violation.
  • Telling a person about a potential violation or about their rights.

Enforcement
On April 1, 2015, the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) begins enforcing the Minimum Wage Ordinance. During the first year, OLS will obtain full payment of worker wages and help employers comply with ordinance requirements. Penalties will be withheld except for repeated or egregious violations.

 

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