Seattle Is Soon to Have the Highest Minimum Wage in America

An ordinance was passed unanimously by The Seattle City Council today that will gradually increase Seattle's minimum wage to $15 an hour, which would make it the highest in America.

Seattle's newly-elected mayor Ed Murray had made the minimum wage raise part of his campaign last year. The measure, which will take effect on April 1, 2015, will see the wage increase being phased in over several years. Businesses with over 500 employees nationally have three years to phase in the new minimum hourly rate, while small business will have seven years.

Newly elected City Council member Tom Rasmussen was in favor of the change. As was reported in the Associated Press:

"This legislation sends a message heard around the world: Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages and that we deplore the growth in income inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor."

But not everyone is pleased with the passed ordinance. The International Franchise Association, a business group that represents franchise owners, plans to sue.

In a statement shared by the AP, a spokesperson for IFA said:

"The City Council's action today is unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise business owners."

The current highest hourly minimum wage in America is in San Francisco at $10.74.

[Image via AP]