Revisions to Rules proposed for City of Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) is currently in the review process for revisions to Chapter 90 Rules for Seattle's Minimum Wage Ordinance (SMC 14.19). The revisions reflect legislation establishing OLS as an independent office, changes resulting from the Wage Theft Prevention and Harmonization Ordinance of 2015, revisions to Washington State's minimum wage law resulting from Initiative 1433, and other requests for clarification from the public.

Key revisions include:

Employment in Seattle: Clarify that the phrase, "... typically based outside of the City working in the City on an occasional basis," means the employee works for an employer outside Seattle city limits for more than 50% of the employee's work hours in a year.

Service charges: Delete the provision that permits service charges to count as commissions, but clarify that service charges paid to an employee may still count toward Seattle's minimum wage and minimum compensation for the employee's earnings above the state minimum wage, as set forth in RCW 49.46.020

Employers' payments toward individual employee's medical benefits plans: Clarify that an employer pays the lower minimum wage allowed by the ordinance only when that employer is paying toward an individual employee's medical plan in which the employee is enrolled and eligible to receive benefits (subject to limited exceptions).

Payroll records: Clarify that employers must keep records of service charges, tips, payments toward employees' medical benefits, and the actuarial value of medical benefits.

Work Study: Delete the definition of "work study" because that exemption was removed from the ordinance.

Publications and Resources

Press Release: Revisions to Rules proposed for City of Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance February 8, 2017

Draft Minimum Wage Ordinance Rule Revisions

Chart Minimum Wage Ordinance Rule Revisions

Chart 1433 and Seattle Comparison

Statewide Initiative 1433

Signed Ordinance 124960

Draft Subminimum Wage Rule