America’s Highest Minimum Wage May Come to Seatac in November

minimum wageToday, more and more workers are struggling to get by on the minimum wage: young adults are increasingly moving back in with their parents; parents are forced to make decisions between paying rent and buying groceries; and a record number of workers are taking on second and even third jobs just to scrape by.

Labor and Employment Law

However, workers are fighting back. Over the past year, low-wage workers have organized nation-wide campaigns to restructure the minimum wage and expand basic benefits for employees. Now, residents of SeaTac will get to vote on whether the city should raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour, which would make it the highest in the nation according to labor employment lawyers. This news comes from a ruling by the Washington state appeals court last week, which reversed an August ruling that would have disqualified signatures required to put the measure on the upcoming November ballot.

That order, issued by a three-judge panel under the Washington Court of Appeals, has not yet released its written opinion as to why King County Superior Court Judge’s initial ruling was faulty in throwing out 75 signatures submitted by registered voters who signed petitions.

Nonetheless, the appeals panel reversed Darvas’ ruling, nullifying an order that would have disqualified the ballot measure.

“Without a writ, the measure is going to the ballot,” said Dmitri Iglitzin, the lawyer representing the SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs, a citizen group backing the measure.

As predicted by a number of labor and employment law firms, many prominent Seatac employers, including Alaska Airlines, Filo Foods, BF Foods and the Washington Restaurant Association, filed a motion earlier today for a Supreme Court emergency review of last week’s Appeals Court ruling.  These companies have been vocal opponents of any increase to the minimum wage since the beginning of the campaign.

Yet as L and I lawyers explain, even with the opponents’ appeal of the ruling, they will be unable to block Proposition One, the so-called “Good Jobs Initiative,” from going on the ballot in November.

The Seatac businesses want the state high court to offer a hearing on the case by tomorrow, since ballots will be printed and mailed to voters in the coming week. After that deadline, they will be out of time and unable to change the ballots, according to the motion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Emery Reddy