The City of SeaTac on Tuesday (Dec. 31) announced the launch of a page on the city’s website to “inform citizens, businesses and workers covered under a new ordinance, Setting Minimum Employment Standards for Hospitality and Transportation Industry Employers, which goes into effect January 1, 2014.”
“There will understandably be many questions regarding the new ordinance resulting from Proposition 1, and we want to provide as much information as we can so people know if and how they will be impacted,” said Todd Cutts, City Manager. “We are confident that local businesses will voluntarily comply with the new law, but we want to be proactive in offering this web page as part of our outreach and administration of the ordinance. We will continue to update the site as new information becomes available.”
The site includes frequently asked questions, the full text of the ordinance, and a list of codes from North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
There is also a claim form for employees who believe their employer is not complying with the ordinance.
The web page can be found at:
This ordinance, which goes into effect January 1, 2014, establishes a variety of requirements for hospitality and transportation employers in the City of SeaTac, including the minimum wage standard, paid leave for sick and safe time, and several other provisions.
For those employees covered by the new law, the minimum wage increases to $15 an hour, an increase from Washington State’s 2014 hourly minimum rate of $9.32.
Businesses in the City of SeaTac should review the ordinance and consult with their financial and legal advisors about whether the law applies to them and if so, how to comply.
Proposition 1 was certified by King County with 3,039 yes votes and 2,962 no votes (50.64% to 49.36%). A recount confirmed the vote. On Friday, December 27, King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas issued a memorandum opinion on the declaratory relief action that was brought by Alaska Airlines, Filo Foods, and others on a variety of complex legal issues. Some of the main issues that Judge Darvas ruled upon include:
- The Ordinance is constitutional and Plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof in proving that the ordinance is unconstitutional.
- The Ordinance will not apply to affected employees at the airport and will only apply to hospitality and transportation employers who are not located at the airport.
- Section 7.45.090 is preempted by federal labor law. This is the provision that could make it illegal for a covered employer to retaliate against any covered employee who makes a complaint under this ordinance making this provision of the ordinance void. NOTE: This isn’t to say that retaliation will be tolerated, only that this offense is covered by federal law and not SeaTac Municipal Code.
- All other federal preemption issues raised by plaintiffs do not apply.
It is anticipated that multiple parties may appeal various portions of this decision and the City is currently assessing the next course of action to ensure compliance.