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Seattle City Council approves $15 minimum wage

Seattle's City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 by 2021.
By Kate Stanton Follow @KateStan Contact the Author   |   June 2, 2014 at 8:48 PM

SEATTLE, June 2 (UPI) -- Seattle's City Council approved a historic measure to phase in a minimum wage of $15 per hour, America's highest minimum wage, on Monday.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the ordinance, which calls on businesses to start paying their employees at least $15 per hour by 2021.

Larger businesses will be expected to reach the $15 mark in three years, or four if they offer health insurance, according to the bill passed Monday. Small business have seven years.

A spokesman for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said the mayor plans to sign the ordinance into law on Tuesday.

The International Franchise Organization has already announced plans to sue over a portion of the law grouping franchises with big businesses.

"The City Council's action today is unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise businesses owners," IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira said in a statement.

Workers in Washington state are already entitled to the nation's highest, state-level minimum wage -- $9.32 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

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