The GSBA Blog

New Seattle Labor Ordinances Take Effect: Is Your Business Up-to-Date?

by Eli Coffin
| Jan 07, 2020

2020 is here - a brand new decade, ushering in opportunity for growth and change. For businesses in Seattle, this new year comes with more major changes within municipal code around labor standards. These impact all employers with one or more employee within the city of Seattle, regardless of employees’ immigration status or location of their employer.

Seattle workers have protections around minimum wage, paid sick and safe time, fair chance employment, wage theft, and new in 2020 - commuter benefits. To get a complete training on all standards and how to implement them correctly, please feel free to reach out to to schedule an individual consult. Some major changes for all employers to look out include the following:

  • New 2020 Workplace Posters are coming! Keep an eye out in your mailbox and make sure you have an 11x17" employment poster in English and any other primary languages of employees posted in a conspicuous location. If you haven’t received your 2020 poster, let us know and we can get you what you need.
  • Small Employer minimum wage is increasing to $15.75 an hour. If you provide at least $2.25/hour towards medical benefits and/or tips, you can pay $13.50/hour. This wage will continue to increase by a cost of living every year, implemented on the first of January each year.
  • Finally, Commuter Benefits! If you have 20 or more employees, you may allow employees to make a pre-tax deduction up to the full amount allowed by federal law or subsidize all or part of the purchase price of a transit pass.
    • The Office of Labor Standards are still working on the rules and enforcement process for this ordinance. Exact details around logistics, minimum requirements, and compliance have yet to be released. However, at GSBA we know many of our members use trusted third party system, like Alice, to operate and track these kinds of pre-tax deductions. As the city rolls out more information around compliance we will keep you updated.

As we turn our calendars, button the hatches, and prep for a new year, hopefully this can give you a piece of mind you are still on track. Concerned you aren’t in compliance or need another set of eyes? Please feel free to reach out to Eli Coffin at and they are happy to answer any other questions regarding the Seattle labor requirements.