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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal

Representing the 7th District of Washington

Jayapal Hails $15 Minimum Wage in Seattle

January 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal issued the following statement applauding Seattle’s minimum wage increase, as the hourly wage for some workers hit $15:

“I’m incredibly proud that Seattle is continuing to lead the way in the fight against income inequality,” said Rep. Jayapal. “No one should work full time and live in poverty.”

As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage for tens of thousands of workers at Seattle’s largest businesses is $15 per hour.

In 2014, Pramila Jayapal served on the committee created by Mayor Ed Murray that drafted the landmark minimum wage law. The ordinance enacted a multi-year timeline of wage increases.

“The federal government must follow Seattle’s example,” Jayapal continued. “We should listen to the hard-working men and women in the ‘Fight for 15’ movement and raise the nationwide minimum wage to $15 per hour.”

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. For many tipped employees, the minimum wage is just $2.13 per hour. This represents an appalling hardship for workers in the service industry.

The new $15 per hour wage will affect about 70,000 workers in Seattle whose companies have 501 employees or more and do not pay individual medical benefits.

Workers at smaller businesses will also receive higher wages this year – between $11 to $13, depending on their benefits. Their hourly wage rises along a slower timeline, reaching $15 in 2019 or 2021.

For more information about the law and labor enforcement, refer to the City of Seattle’s minimum wage website.

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