New Bellingham citywide minimum wage goes into effect May 1; among highest rates in WA

As of May 1, Bellingham has a new citywide minimum wage. After a ballot measure handed final yr, town is elevating its minimum wage to $17.28, a greenback greater than the statewide rate. Here’s what it is advisable to know in regards to the new coverage.

Real enhance begins subsequent yr

Starting May 1 of subsequent yr, the Bellingham minimum wage will probably be set at $2 above the statewide charge. If the state minimum wage will increase, Bellingham will regulate the citywide charge accordingly. Since the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries units a brand new minimum wage every year based mostly on cost-of-living knowledge, Bellingham’s minimum wage will doubtless leap by greater than a greenback subsequent yr.

How does it examine to different cities in WA?

According to L&I, three different cities in Washington have a minimum wage above the statewide charge: Seattle, SeaTac and Tukwila. Seattle’s rate is $19.97 an hour for companies with greater than 500 workers and $17.25 for smaller companies. SeaTac’s minimum wage is $19.71 an hour, whereas Tukwila’s is the highest of the three at $20.29 for big employers and $18.29 for mid-sized companies. Burien not too long ago handed its own minimum wage law, but it surely gained’t go into effect till subsequent yr.

Washington already has the highest minimum wage of any state, according to U.S. Department of Labor, though Washington D.C.’s is higher.

Are there any exceptions?

The new minimum wage “applies to all hours worked by employees within the geographic boundaries of the city of Bellingham,” in line with town’s web site.

The coverage adopts the state’s definition of employee, which has exemptions for “casual labor,” in addition to elected officers, a small subset of piece-rate farm-workers, newspaper carriers and childcare staff at a charity, among different more and more obscure standards.

State law requires tricks to be added onto an worker’s wages, and suggestions can’t be counted towards minimum wage necessities.

The new Bellingham regulation additionally creates an exemption for metropolis workers, for the reason that city’s municipal code states {that a} poll initiative can’t set the salaries of metropolis workers. But the coverage nonetheless encourages town to adjust to the brand new minimum wage regulation.

What’s a residing wage in Bellingham?

A residing wage in Bellingham is $15.25 for workers with well being care included and $17.53 for workers with out well being advantages, according to the city. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that the actual quantity is $23.52 for a person and $29.97 for a household of 4 with two working mother and father.

Our personal analysis at the Bellingham Herald discovered {that a} extra sensible estimate of the residing wage in Bellingham is $27.59.

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