The Minneapolis City Council is poised to approve a $15 minimum wage – with no tip penalty – on Friday, after its Committee of the Whole gave preliminary approval to the measure Wednesday. The action came as a new study indicates the Seattle minimum wage law has increased pay for low-wage workers without causing job loss.
Under the proposed ordinance, large businesses will phase in the $15 wage by July 1, 2022, but small businesses — those with fewer than 100 employees — would have until July 1, 2024.
Advocates of the higher wage point to a new report that “confirms that Seattle has seen none of the negative impacts predicted by business lobbyists,” according to 15Now Minnesota.
The study, by the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, focused on food service jobs.
“Seattle’s minimum wage law is working as intended, raising pay for low-wage workers, without negatively affecting jobs,” said Professor Michael Reich, lead author of the report. “These findings are consistent with the lion’s share of rigorous academic minimum wage research studies.”
Seattle was one of the first municipalities in the U.S. to enact a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 an hour.
The findings mirror the expectations that were laid out in the official report from the City of Minneapolis late last year when the City Council commissioned a study on raising wages. More than 71,000 workers would benefit from the higher wage.
A final vote on the wage is scheduled Friday morning. As currently proposed, it maintains current state policy of not allowing employers to deduct tips from wages they are required to pay.