Know Your Rights: Seattle Wage Theft Ordinance

Last Wednesday, Seattle’s wage theft and minimum wage ordinances went into effect. The anti-wage theft provisions will be monitored by the new Office of Labor Standards. Reports may be filed up to three years after the violation.

Employers need to pay wages and tips on a regular pay day. In addition, the Wage Theft Ordinance requires specific notice requirements, including written notices for:

  • At the time of hire: explaining pay rate and pay day
  • Each pay day: employee’s gross wages and tips, pay rate, pay basis, and all deductions
  • Each change in employment status: pay rate and tip policies

It also requires a poster in English, Spanish, and other common languages in that workplace.

The SPD and US Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division entered into a formal agreement in December to coordinate enforcement.

15 min city of seattle

Not sure when to expect a raise? The graph above from the City of Seattle shows when different kinds of employers are raising their wages.

This year, the new office will depend mainly on complaints, rather than random checks on businesses.


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