Seattle city council approves hourly $15 minimum wage

By Kyle Johnson,

The Seattle City Council unanimously voted in approval on Monday to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The plan was approved 9-0 to set up the highest baseline pay in the country, which will begin to go into effect on April 2015, reports KIRO-TV. The wage will be phased in over a period of three to seven years depending on the size of the company.

Smaller businesses will have four to seven years to phase-in the $15 an hour wage, while larger companies have three to four years.

Working Washington's Sage Wilson said before the vote that the plan isn't perfect, but is a step in the right direction. Activists in favor of the new baseline wage weren't happy that the plan doesn't start for nearly another year, will allow certain businesses to count health care costs towards the wage and a lower wage will be paid out for trainees.

According to Businessweek, the plan was created by an advisory group called the Income Inequality Advisory Committee, which Mayor Ed Murray helped put together. The committee consisted of union, business and advocate leaders.

USA Today notes that another part of the approved plan is that teenagers seeking a job will not make $15 an hour, but rather a lower wage that wasn't specified.

Critics of the plan, including a trade group, have threatened to sue if the new minimum wage was approved.

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