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Seattle Suburb’s Minimum Wage Legislation Fight Continues, Sets Up Appeal to State’s Highest Court

Warring factions continue to litigate over the legal viability of SeaTac, Washington’s Proposition One, a local ordinance increasing the minimum wage for work performed in SeaTac – a close suburb of Seattle and site of Sea-Tac airport – to a whopping $15/hour, considerably higher than the state minimum wage in Washington or any of the 50 states.  Proponents of Proposition One acknowledge that, in the wake of prior litigation and also a recently completed recount of the 77-vote margin supporting the bill’s original passage, a stay of enforcement pending appeal by a number of interested business entities and opponents of the bill – including prominently Alaska Airlines – is all but certain.  Those business entities have argued that the bill is preemptedby several provisions of federal law including the Railway Labor Act.

“The Proposition One issue has certainly been a microcosm for the oftentimes polarizing debate regarding the minimum wage and its role in and impact on businesses and economic growth,” observed Jackson Lewis’Bryan O’Connor, Managing Shareholder for the Seattle office.  “As practitioners, we will closely monitor the legal challenge in the state court, including presumably appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.”  O’Connor also noted that proponents of the bill have taken the position that the effective date of the bill is January 1, 2014, thus if implementation is delayed by litigation but ultimately upheld, employers who do not comply may be retroactively liable for pay between January 1, 2014 and conclusion of the proceedings confirming the statute.

States and municipalities continue to enact protections beyond the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the FLSA.  Multi-jurisdiction employers in particular must be mindful of the vagaries of state and local law.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume III, Number 354
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About this Author

Noel Tripp Principal Employment lawyer at Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal

Noel P. Tripp is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Since joining Jackson Lewis as a summer associate in May 2005, he has practiced exclusively in employment law.

Mr. Tripp has been involved in matters pending before federal and state courts and administrative agencies covering the gamut of employment-related matters from discrimination and workplace harassment to wage/hour disputes and affirmative-action compliance. His principal focus is the defense of class and collective action...

631-247-0404
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