October 8, 2014 •
King County, Washington Council Passes Living Wage Ordinance
On Monday, October 8, 2014, the Metropolitan King County Council passed an ordinance establishing a living wage. Ordinance 2014-0299 applies to all county employees and to county contractors with contracts totaling more than $100,000.
Beginning April 1, 2015, Schedule I employers, which are companies with more than 500 employees in the U.S., must pay their employees $11 per hour. The hourly living wage rate will increase on January 1, 2016, to $13 per hour or $12.50 if the employer contributes to its employees’ health plan. The hourly wage will increase yearly as provided in the ordinance until 2018, when all further increases will be tied to the national inflation rate. Beginning January 1, 2019, payment by the employer of health benefits will no longer affect the hourly rate.
Schedule II employers, which are companies with 500 or fewer employees in the U.S., must pay their employees $10 per hour. Beginning January 1, 2016, the hourly rate increases yearly to reach $17.25 by 2024. Beginning January 1, 2025, Schedule II employers must pay their employees a living wage equal to that of Schedule I employers.
The living wage ordinance applies to any contract over $100,000 entered into on or after April 1, 2015, the effective date of the ordinance.
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