Proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance” is much more than a $15 minimum wage

Oct 28, 2015

Earlier this week I blogged about a proposal by Olympia City Councilmember Jim Cooper to force every employer to pay a $15 minimum wage, provide paid sick leave, give 3 weeks notice of scheduled shifts, allow a minimum 11 hours of rest between shifts and require employers to give current employees the opportunity to work additional hours before hiring additional employees. 

Councilmember Cooper revealed the details of his proposal at a City Council “study session” on the minimum wage yesterday.  While the proposed ordinance does not appear to be available from the city website yet, the union-backed activist group Working Washington had posted a copy of Cooper’s draft ordinance on their website just hours after the Council's "study session" meeting.  That Working Washington had a copy before the city is not surprising, since the ambitious proposal was the handiwork of unions.

While the title on Cooper’s proposal is “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” the proposed regulations would mandate much more.  Employers would be subject to a slew of detailed, complex and inflexible mandates that will make running a business a paperwork and record-keeping nightmare.

Due to the byzantine nature of the various provisions of the “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” I will break them down over multiple blog posts.  Normally I would not go into much detail in a blog post, but these proposed regulations that fill 14 pages are so burdensome for employers they merit thorough examination.  Employers in Olympia must be aware of the far-reaching labor rules the city is considering.

Part 1 will detail the “$15 Minimum Wage” provision, Part 2 will cover the “Promoting Full Time Employment” provision, Part 3 will explain the “Adequate Rest Between Shifts,” “Advanced Notice of Work Schedules” and “Advance Notice of Change in Work Schedules” provisions, Part 4 will analyze the “Paid Sick Leave” provision of the ordinance, and Part 5will explore the  “Enforcement” provisions of the new laws.