Minimum Wage Ordinance

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards Announces 2019 Minimum Wage Increases for All Employers

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) announces that the 2019 minimum wage for all large employers (employing more than 500 workers worldwide) will be $16.00 per hour. 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 employers (with 500 or fewer 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.

OLS 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.


Seattle's Minimum Wage Ordinance went into effect on April 1, 2015. The Minimum Wage Ordinance applies to overtime-eligible employees who work in Seattle.

2018 Minimum Wage

For Large Employers (501 or more employees)
Does employer pay toward medical benefits?
No Yes
$15.45/hour $15.00/hour
Large Employers: More Information

2018 Minimum Wage

For Small Employers (500 or fewer employees)
Does employer pay $2.50/hour toward medical benefits and/or does employee earn $2.50/hour in tips?
No Yes
$14.00/hour $11.50/hour
Small Employers: More Information

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The Office of Labor Standards has jurisdiction within Seattle city limits.

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