Group files charter amendment to lower Seattle's $15 minimum wage

Updated:

Small businesses push back on $15 minimum wage
SEATTLE —

 

Quick Facts:

  • Forward Seattle is a grass-roots organization representing small businesses
  • Charter amendment would overturn $15 minimum wage law
  • Their plan is for $12.50 an hour by 2020

The independent business group, Forward Seattle, has filed a charter amendment Thursday to overturn Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law.

The group is a grass-roots organization representing small independent businesses.

The group wants to replace the $15 minimum wage with a "no exception" phase-in to a wage of $12.50 an hour by the year 2020.  

Unlike Seattle's new law, the group's plan does not vary depending on the number of employees a business has.

Last month, before the $15 minimum wage law was passed, KIRO heard from small businesses that said a longer phase-in to reach the $15 minimum wage doesn't help them.

“I don't think it's going to help at all,” said Angela Cough, owner of Fremont’s Flying Apron Bakery.

Cough said when big businesses have to pay $15, small businesses will also have to pay at least $15 to compete for workers.

The owner of Mr. Villa’s Mexican Restaurant in Lake City said the same economic will apply there.

“If someone out there pays $13 to $14 an hour in the next year, we're going to end up paying those rates anyhow,” said Katrina Tugadi.

Tugadi and Cough are part of Forward Seattle.

Here is a comparison of the current plan under the new law and Forward Seattle's charter amendment:

CHARTER AMENDMENT

Same for all businesses, regardless of size

$10.10 by Jan. 1, 2015

$10.50 by July 1, 2015

$10.90 by July 1, 2016

$11.30 by July 1, 2017

$11.70 by July 1, 2018

$12.10 by July 1, 2019  

$12.50 by July 1, 2020 

CURRENT LAW

More than 500 employees

$11.00 by April 1, 2015

$13.00 by January 1, 2016

$15.00 by January 1, 2017

 More than 500 employees (with medical benefits)

$11.00 by April 1, 2015

$12.50 by January 1, 2016

$13.50 by January 1, 2017

$15.00 by January 1, 2018

 500 or fewer employees

 $10.00 by April 1, 2015

$10.50 by January 1, 2016

$11.00 by January 1, 2017

$11.50 by January 1, 2018

$12.00 by January 1, 2019

$13.50 by January 1, 2020

$15.00 by January 1, 2021

$15.75 by January 1, 2022

$16.50 by January 1, 2023

$17.25 by January 1, 2024

 500 or fewer employees (with minimum

Compensation such as bonuses, tips or

Money paid towards medical benefits)

 $11.00 by April 1, 2015

$12.00 by January 1, 2016

$13.00 by January 1, 2017

$14.00 by January 1, 2018

$15.00 by January 1, 2019

$15.75 by January 1, 2020