Minimum-wage increases took effect Jan. 1


Minimum-wage increases took effect Jan. 1 across Washington State

Washington's minimum-wage employees received a 16 percent raise on the first of the year -- with a few exceptions.

On Jan. 1, the statewide minimum wage increased to $11 an hour, the first step increase to $13.50 under I-1433, which voters approved last month. The minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020. The initiative's mandated safe and sick leave takes effect in 2018.

Seattle's minimum wage on large employers (more than 500 workers) that do not pay toward medical benefits will reach $15 an hour on Jan. 1. Large employers that do pay toward medical benefits must pay $13.50. Smaller employers have a longer phase-in, but all must pay $15 by 2021.

Because Seattle's ordinance bundles locally owned franchises with these big employers, even small local franchisee business owners with just a handful of employees will have to pay the $15 or $13.50 "large employer" hourly minimum wage.

The minimum wage in Tacoma increased to $11.15 on Jan. 1st.

The Seattle Times has more on the patchwork of minimum-wage increases.