Minimum Wage Ballot Success in SeaTac Points to Possible Changes in Seattle

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For those who haven’t been following the polls for the recent November 5th election, despite a few ballots still left to count, it appears that SeaTac Proposition 1 (a measure to raise the minimum wage in SeaTac to $15/hr for hospitality and transportation workers in and around SeaTac Airport) will pass. What’s more, labor activists have announced that they intend to next turn their attention to the city of Seattle’s wage floor, a plan fully supported by Seattle’s newly elected Mayor Ed Murray. Murray pledged to raise Seattle’s hourly minimum wages to $15/hr for all workers as part of his campaign, and this week he told reporters that he will work on the issue “early” in his administration in hopes of having $15/hr minimum wage by the end of his first term.

In light of the recent changes in employee benefits required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now might be the right time for employers to consider how they will manage an increase in minimum wages and what it might mean in terms of employee compensation generally. The minimum wage for the city of Seattle and the rest of Washington State is currently $9.19.

We will continue to monitor this issue and update as the topic evolves

About the Authors

Lauren Parris Watts

Lauren Parris Watts’ practice focuses on representing and advising individual clients and small to medium-sized business clients in risk management, contractual matters, employment and general tort litigation. She counsels clients on a variety of issues, including compensation and severance agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation restrictions, disability accommodations, FMLA and other leave rights and misconduct investigations. She also represents her clients in lawsuits alleging wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination.

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