The Seattle mayor has set the minimum wages for the low income workers working within the city limits of the Seattle through the recommendations of a committee he constituted shortly after taking office. The following article includes some details about this new ordinance.
Like a number of other cities, Seattle is also considering the benefits and costs of applying citywide laws for the minimum wage of the workers. The citywide minimum wage laws provide the local governments with effective tools for helping the low-income workers and also the low income families within the communities. These kinds of laws also considerably affect the business in those cities and also effect the operation of those businesses.
The newly elected mayor of the Seattle Mr. Murray soon after taking the office constituted a committee namely the Income Inequality Advisory Committee (IIAC) to establish the applicable recommendations about the minimum wages for the low-income workers with a meaningful increase in their per hourly wages within the city of Seattle on a priority basis.
The committee represented diverse and broad perspective and includes the representatives from all the departments concerned which included the representatives from the non-profit, labor and business.
On 1st may, 2014, the Labor Day, Mayor Murray announced that the committee he formed shortly after taking the office has finally reached an agreement on those recommendations.
The details of these recommendations are as follows
The Seattle’s new minimum wage ordinance will be effective from April 1, 2015
This new minimum wage legislation that was passed by the city council of Seattle and was then signed into law by the mayor Murray recommended for an increase in the minimum wage of the low income workers to 15$ per hour, phased over time, beginning from April 2015 with in the city of Seattle.
Smaller business which employees less than 500 employees will reach the 15$ an hour mark within the next 7 years.
Larger businesses which employees more than 500 employees will reach the minimum wage of 15$ an hour within the next three years after the implementation of the legislation. The wages of those employees who receives the healthcare benefits from the employers will reach the minimum wage of 15$ an hour in next four years.
The city council has also created a new department namely Office of Labor Standards which will be responsible for the provision, administration and enforcement of this new ordinance.
The ordinance also applies to those workers who primarily work outside the city limits of Seattle but also work inside of the city limits on an ad hoc or irregular basis. Employees will be covered under this ordinance if they work for more than 2 hours over the period of 2 weeks within the city limits of Seattle.
Another important aspect in this ordinance is that the employers must count all of their employees temporary, part-time, full time who works in Seattle or anywhere else in the United States.
The wages include the hourly pay, salary, commissions, piece rate, and non-discretionary performance bonuses. Employer payment toward a medical benefits plan and tips would not be included in the wages.
Employers are required to provide their employees with the notice of entitlement to the minimum wage and minimum compensation as mentioned in the ordinance, the prohibition against retaliation and also the ability to file a complaint if the minimum compensation or wage is not paid or the employee has retaliated against the ordinance.