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View Diary: BREAKING: Seattle City Council passes $15 Minimum Wage Ordinance! (68 comments)

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  •  It's not slow for the very small businesses. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jpmassar, angel d, bleeding blue

    Since they only distinguished between >500 and <500 employees, the schedule for the real small ones (<10, which was the distinction in the SeaTac regulation) is rather challenging.

    I support this increase. But my wife has a single part-time employee, my wife herself probably makes less than minimum wage if one accounts for all the countless hours she puts into her art business (and my pro-bono hours are off the record, of course), and the overall earnings fluctuate with the economic barometer.

    It will be a challenge to ramp the wage up on this schedule, and I'm sure my wife is not alone. In fact, right now her employee still doesn't want to go fully on-record and prefers a 1099-MISC (she does get above minimum).

    I hope the nationwide minimum-wage movement does not make the mistake of failing to distinguish between the 3 groups - corporate, medium size, and mom-and-pop businesses. Certainly we don't want to encourage exploitation at the mom-n-pop level, but it's also far easier for these businesses to fall below the viability line for employing anyone.

    Or else... are people willing to pay for the true value of handmade local art? Right now I help subsidize that cost for my wife's customers.

    •  It's a slippery slope. (2+ / 0-)
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      angel d, Assaf

      Why exactly should paying someone enough to live on be dependent on the size of employer?

      Pretty soon little lobbies will spring up demanding that nail salon workers who work for a botique with five or less employees be paid less, or shoe stores be given an exception, or...

      I wonder if using 1099-MISCs / contractors will become a way around the minimum wage law.  I didn't see any discussion of that in the Seattle debate.

      •  I'm not saying no minimum wage for mom'n'pop (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bleeding blue, jpmassar

        but they are not the same beast as even a 50-employee business, let alone a 500-employee one.

        I do my wife's taxes.

        Paying someone to do payroll for my wife's lone employee would cost about half what she pays her (she's part time, remember).

        The employee has other jobs the rest of the time... there it's strictly cash, so 1099-MISC is "on the record" vs. what most of that field is doing.

        We want to go payroll, but that just means I'll have to calculate the paychecks. For free, of course. Other's in my wife's situation don't have the fortune of a life-partner with a stats Ph.D. and enough time on her/his hands to do it.

        I can bet you there are no meaningful lobbies protecting the 5-employee business. How do I know? Precisely because they were lumped together with the 500-employee ones in this law.

        •  For $25 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jpmassar, Tonedevil

          I'd be happy to give you a spreadsheet that you can use to calculate all of the taxes automatically by just putting in the hours for each paycheck. It would take me about 10 minutes of work & you could likely use it in perpetuity, as I doubt your employee would get above the 10% federal bracket.

          Further, as you have 1 employee, you'd only have to make state & federal payments on payroll taxes on a quarterly basis. I could even file your quarterly returns for you for $50/quarter. Payroll companies are a total rip off.

    •  You're describing a "Schedule D" business (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angel d, AJayne, Tonedevil

      In 2015 the WA state min wage will be $9.54. The City of Seattle min wage will be $10.00 starting April 1, 2105. If your employee was full time (2080 hrs/yr) that would represent an extra $717.6 in labor costs for 2015.  

      In 2016 the WA state min wage will be $9.77. The city of Seattle min wage will be $10.50/hr for a Schedule D business. This represents a $1,518.4 increase in labor costs for a full time employee.

      I respect the fact that you and your wife are running a small business. I know what that is like--been there, done that. But we are talking about a $2,236 increase above the state min wage over a two year period for a full time employee. I'm not sure how much more slowly the Schedule D increase can be put into effect and still represent an increase.

    •  The deal that passed today is phased in over (5+ / 0-)

      7 years for "small" businesses....I dislike the fact that a WA-based company with up to 500 employees will be classified as such.  There must be a much lower bar to make a company "small", say 50 employees?

      Some guy that owns a single Subway franchise with a half-dozen employees is a "large" business according to the new law. But...if that same person owned a chain of restaurants solely in WA state that employes 499, he would be a "small" business. I just don't see the fairness in that.

      I really wish that this new minimum wage was region-wide (if not state-wide). I can take a 5 minute walk and be outside the city, and patronize a super market that doesn't need to comply with what Seattle does. I can see businesses slipping down the road a few miles.

      I too support this increase, it's long overdue. But lots of it really sticks in my craw, it's poorly thought out.

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