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Seattle Proposes Revisions to Minimum Wage Rules

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) has proposed revisions to the city's minimum wage rules.

New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws for Washington Employers

November 2016 was a dynamic month for laws relating to Washington State workers. At the state level, Washington voters approved Initiative Measure No. 1433 (“the Law”), which provides incremental increases of the state minimum wage beginning January 1, 2017 and paid sick leave beginning January 1, 2018. Washington was one of two states—the other being Arizona—to approve ballot measures providing for paid sick leave during the November general election. Washington and Arizona join five other states—California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon and Vermont and numerous other localities including the Washington cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane— who already require employers to provide employees paid sick leave. Locally, Seattle voters also approved Initiative 124, which imposes new and significant health and safety, healthcare, and hiring requirements on the City’s hotel industry.1

Washington’s New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Become Law With Fast-Approaching Effective Dates

With all of the votes counted, Initiative 1433, which will raise the minimum wage and require paid sick leave throughout Washington, has passed by a fairly wide margin. The first substantial increase in the minimum wage begins on January 1, 2017, while the paid sick leave requirement goes into effect on January 1, 2018. Here are the key details about both the minimum wage increase and the paid sick leave requirements.

Seattle Retail and Food Services Employers Beware: New City Ordinance Restricts Scheduling Practices

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a bill on September 19, 2016, enacting secure scheduling regulations for large employers in the retail and fast food businesses. Seattle is the second city, after San Francisco, to adopt such regulations. Mayor Ed Murray announced he plans to sign the ordinance within the next two weeks. The Seattle Secure Scheduling Ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2017.

Seattle Passes Predictable Scheduling Ordinance

The City of Seattle has passed a bill requiring certain large employers operating within Seattle city limits to give their hourly workers advance notice of their schedules and to pay workers extra for being required to work on call. Mayor Ed Murray announced he plans to sign the Secure Scheduling Ordinance. The bill will go into effect on July 1, 2017.

Seattle City Council Approves Secure Scheduling Ordinance

As widely anticipated, on September 19, 2016, the Seattle City Council passed the Secure Scheduling Ordinance (SSO), CB 118765,1 by a unanimous vote. The SSO mandates that large retail and food service employers provide two weeks’ advance notice to employees of their schedules, and compensate employees for alterations to their scheduled hours. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has publicly supported the SSO, and is expected to sign it promptly. Even if Mayor Murray does not approve the SSO, it will take effect pursuant to Seattle Municipal Code § 1.04.020 on July 1, 2017.

The Unpredictability Of Seattle’s Proposed Predictable Scheduling Law

In keeping with its goal of pioneering workers’ rights, Seattle’s City Council is expected to pass its Secure Scheduling Ordinance this fall, requiring certain retail and food establishments to provide both a “livable wage” and a “livable schedule” to their employees. While originally designed to imitate San Francisco’s secure scheduling law for large “formula” retailers, Seattle’s proposed ordinance will far surpass San Francisco’s in its employee and employer coverage, onerous requirements, and penalties.

Seattle Mayor’s Office Proposes Predictable Scheduling Law

The Seattle Mayor’s Office has proposed a Secure Scheduling Proposal that would require certain large employers operating within Seattle city limits to give their hourly workers advance notice of their schedules and to pay workers extra for being required to work on call.

Seattle Ballot Initiative Targets Hotel Industry

According to Ballotpedia, 140 state ballot initiatives in 35 states have already been certified for the November 8, 2016 election. This number does not include the many city-wide measures that will be before voters on Election Day. These ballot questions touch on a variety of topics, including raising the minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, and mandating paid sick leave. Among these measures is Seattle Initiative 124, which would impose new and significant health and safety, healthcare, and hiring requirements on the City’s hotel industry.

Seattle’s Updated Labor Standards Requirements

Seattle, Washington has amended the quartet of laws addressing labor standards (Seattle Sick Time and Safe Time Ordinance, Seattle Fair Chance Employment Ordinance, Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance, and Seattle Wage Theft Ordinance). These changes affect, among other things, notice and posting requirements and also strengthen enforcement.