$15.00 Minimum Wage And Mandatory Paid Sick And Safe Leave For Transportation And Hospitality Workers Take Effect In City Of SeaTac

Author:Ms Pamela Salgado and Kellie A. Tabor
Profession:Littler Mendelson

Effective January 1, 2014, as a result of an Ordinance passed by the citizens of the City of SeaTac, Washington,1 certain transportation and hospitality employers in the City must provide their nonsupervisory employees working within the City limits a minimum wage of $15.00 per hour and paid sick and safe leave, among other benefits. Legal challenges to the Ordinance have already commenced. On December 27, 2013, King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas ruled that the Ordinance is invalid as applied to "employers and employees conducting business within the boundaries of SeaTac International Airport," holding that the City of SeaTac does not have the authority to set workplace rules at the airport because the Port of Seattle has exclusive jurisdiction there. On December 31, 2013, intervenors in the lawsuit petitioned the Washington State Supreme Court to review Judge Darvas' ruling. Also, on December 31, 2013, the SeaTac City Manager sent an official request to the Port of Seattle, asking the Port to give its consent for the Ordinance to apply to airport workers. Port officials have stated they intend to respond to the request by June, following public hearings. On December 31, 2013, the City of SeaTac created a website to provide guidance regarding the City's administration and enforcement of the Ordinance.2 The City will establish auditing procedures before December 31, 2014. The website also includes a claim form for employees who believe their employer is not complying with the Ordinance. Which Employers Are Subject to the Ordinance? The Ordinance provides an increased minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave time,3 and job security and other benefits to nonmanagerial, nonsupervisory employees working for covered employers in the hospitality and transportation industries within the City. Hospitality Industry Coverage. Large hotels, as well as any businesses operating within or in conjunction with large hotels, such as restaurants, bars, or spas, are subject to the Ordinance, as are any employers providing services for hotel customers on the premises, including temporary agencies and subcontractors. In addition, the Ordinance covers retail businesses located in and companies providing institutional food service for public facilities, corporate cafeterias, conference centers, and meeting facilities. The Ordinance specifically excludes from its coverage restaurants and retail operations that are not located within a hotel, public facility...

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