In June 2014, the Seattle City Council unanimously adopted a $15 per hour minimum wage ordinance. Under Seattle’s $15 minimum wage plan, small businesses—categorized as fewer than 500 employees—have seven years to implement the new minimum wage. Big businesses have a phase-in period of up to three years.
In November 2014, San Francisco voters followed Seattle’s lead and passed a $15 minimum wage ballot measure. San Francisco’s new law will increase the city’s current minimum wage of $10.74 to $11.05 by January 1, then to $12.25 in May. From there, the city’s minimum wage is set to increase every year until it reaches $15 per hour by 2018. The yearly increase will be based on inflation in the Bay Area.
Both cities have yet to fully implement the $15 minimum wage, yet both cities have already suffered the first casualties of the new wage.
Cascade Designs, an outdoor recreational gear manufacturing company based in Seattle, announced it is moving 100 jobs (20% of the workforce) later this year to a new plant it is leasing near Reno, Nevada. The company has offered some employees positions in Reno, but others must reapply.
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