Seattle's minimum wage goes up to $16 an hour in January

SEATTLE -- Companies that employ 500 or more workers worldwide will need to pay their workers at least $16.00 an hour beginning January 1, 2019, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced.

In past years, there was a two-tier system under which large employers that contributed toward individual medical benefits paid a lower minimum wage than those that did not. This two-tier system ends in 2019.

Also, beginning on January 1, 2019, small companies that have fewer than 500 employees must pay at least $15.00 per hour. Small employers can meet this requirement by paying no less than $12.00 per hour in wages and contributing at least $3.00 per hour toward an employee’s medical benefits and/or reported tips.

Under Seattle’s Minimum Wage Ordinance, the minimum wage paid by large employers increases on an annual basis to reflect the rate of inflation measured by the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton Area Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (the CPI-W) for the 12-month period ending in August 2018. By law, small employers must also pay its workers a higher minimum wage.

Office of Labor Standards will update the required Labor Standards poster to reflect the minimum wage increases on or before December 1, 2018. Employers are required to display this poster, in a noticeable area in the workplace, in English and the primary language(s) of the employees at the workplace.

Detailed information on Seattle’s minimum wage increases also may be found on their website.