15Now has been threatening a ballot initiative ever since Socialist Alternative party member Kshama Sawant won her Seattle City Council seat campaigning on a $15/hr minimum wage. Talks and hearings have been held for the past couple of months with no apparent agreement on a City Ordinance to be passed by the City Council in lieu of a ballot amendment. This despite recent polling showing that 68% of Seattle's voters approve of the idea of a $15 minimum wage.


SEATTLE - A group advocating a $15 an hour minimum wage will be filing a ballot initiative Monday morning with the Seattle city clerk's office.
And indeed just a few minutes ago they did so. The Rubicon has been crossed, the gauntlet thrown down.

A week ago, activists in San Francisco beat Seattle by days, filing a ballot initiative for a $15/hr minimum wage, albeit with certain caveats. Perhaps the two cities will simultaneously pass such a living wage in November, or perhaps their respective City Councils will choose to act.

9:10 AM PT:

9:13 AM PT:

10:25 AM PT:

5:11 PM PT: Here's a summary of the ballot initiative.

Raise the minimum wage in Seattle for businesses with more than 250 full-time employees, or businesses that are part of a franchise, to $15 an hour starting on January 1, 2015
• Phase in that wage increase for nonprofits and non-franchise businesses with fewer than 250 full-time employees over the course of three years, starting at $11 in January 2015
• Adjust the city minimum wage annually by the same standard the state uses, the Consumer Price Index
• Strengthen wage-theft enforcement by establishing a private right of action for employees to take wage-theft claims directly to the courts, with a potential penalty of triple their damages (lost wages, tips, overtime, etc.) plus court costs
• Set up a community-based outreach and education program to alert employees, especially in low-wage sectors, of their rights

Originally posted to jpmassar on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 09:07 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Hellraisers Journal, and Seattle & Puget Sound Kos.

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