The public has until March 6 to comment on proposed rules for Seattle's minimum wage law, which takes effect April 1.

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Less than two months before Seattle’s minimum wage law kicks in, the city on Friday issued proposed rules designed to clarify questions such as how much to pay minors and how to determine how much temp workers should make.

The draft rules say employers have to pay minors younger than age 16 at least 85 percent of the minimum wage.

For temp workers and others working at staffing agencies that contract with outside employers, whichever employer is larger — either the staffing agency or the outside employer — determines how much the employee will be paid.

For instance, if a small staffing agency with 500 or fewer employees contracts to provide workers for a large business with more than 500 employees, then the temp worker must be paid according to what a large employer would pay. And vice versa: If a large staffing agency provides workers for a small business, those workers must be paid large-organization wages.

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Large organizations in the city, starting April 1, must pay their workers at least $11.

Smaller businesses (those with 500 or fewer employees) must pay what the city is calling a “minimum compensation” of $11. They have two ways of reaching that minimum compensation: either by paying a flat hourly rate of $11, or by paying a reduced rate of $10 an hour with the $1 difference made up in either tips or payments made to a qualifying medical-benefits plan.

The public has until March 6 to comment on the proposed rules, either by emailing OCR_minwagequestions@seattle.gov, calling 206-684-4536, or writing to:

Seattle Office for Civil Rights
810 Third Ave., Suite 750
Seattle, WA 98104-1627
Attn:Minimum Wage Rule Comment

More information on the law is posted at the city’s minimum wage ordinance website.