Information for Large Employers

(501 or more employees - also known as Schedule 1 employers)

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

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
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
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).

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Information for Small Employers
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Key Terms

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


Employer Size
To calculate employer size, count the employer's total number of individual employees worldwide. For franchises, count all employees in the franchise network.


Wage
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.


Medical Benefits
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. An employer cannot pay a reduced minimum wage if the employee declines medical benefits or is not eligible for medical benefits.

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
The Office of Labor Standards (OLS) began enforcing the Minimum Wage Ordinance on April 1, 2015.