TACOMA (Dec. 15, 2015) — The city government is in the process of creating the rules of implementation for the new minimum wage law, which will raise the minimum wage to $10.35/hour in February 2016, $11.15 in January 2017, and $12 in January 2018, thereafter annually adjusted for inflation. Tacoma residents and unions representing members in the city are strongly urged to participate in the public process and offer comments, including at hearings today and Thursday.
“Not surprisingly there are some anti-worker measures that the city is trying to slip in,” reports 15 Now Tacoma in an email to activists. “These are above and beyond the anti-worker rules that are already in existing law.”
TAKE A STAND — Submit comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and attend public meetings at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch’s Olympic Room, 1102 Tacoma Ave S., on Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 17 from 10 to 11 a.m.
15 Now Tacoma cites the following issues of concern with the city’s draft minimum wage rules:
1. Charge Withdrawal: If a worker files a complaint about not being paid the minimum wage, and then withdraws that complaint, they can never file another complaint against that employer.
2. Mandatory tips as wages: If a restaurant or other business puts a mandatory tip or service fee on the bill, the amount received can be considered wages. This is a tip penalty. Washington state does not allow tip penalties.
3. Non-discretionary bonuses (like the gain sharing that is received by multicare workers) could be considered part of wages.
4. New definition of outside sales.
5. The city wants to push the responsibility of enforcing the law onto the state.