Businesses with 500 or more employees nationally will be required to pay the $15 minimum wage in three years, unless they offer health coverage, in which case they get four years. Businesses with fewer than 500 workers will get seven years to meet $15 an hour, though:
Within the first five years, a “temporary compensation responsibility “ of $15 an hour must be met by combining employer-paid health care contributions, tips received by consumers, and wages. [...]Seattle's $15 minimum wage will also rise by 2.4 percent each year once it reaches $15. Washington has had the highest state minimum wage, at $9.32 an hour, though several other states and the District of Columbia are now moving toward $10 or more an hour.
"This a historic moment for Seattle," Murray said at a news conference Thursday. "In seven years, a Seattle minimum wage worker will earn at least $4 an hour and $6,240 a year more than people elsewhere in Washington."
The advisory council members supporting the plan include union and business representatives, with one of the opponents being Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant, who supports a less gradual phase-in. If she and other activists see the current proposal as too weak, they could seek a ballot vote on the issue.