4/16/2015 by Breanna M. Sheetz, Daniel L. Thieme and James Zissler
Effective April 1, 2015, a new Wage Theft Ordinance imposes specific wage and tip notice requirements on employers in the City of Seattle.1 The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) is granted power to investigate complaints, and employers who violate the Ordinance are subject to orders to pay wages and tips, as well as civil penalties.
What Employers Should Do Immediately to Comply with this Ordinance
Following are the immediate steps that employers should take if they have non-exempt employees2 working in Seattle:
1. Provide immediate notice of the wage theft law to Seattle employees.
Employers must provide notice of employees’ rights under this law in writing (or electronically, as noted below). The SOCR has issued a poster that includes the required information about the new wage theft law, as well as information about Seattle’s new minimum wage law. The poster is available in English (http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CivilRights/mwo-poster-english.pdf) and Spanish (http://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/CivilRights/mwo-poster-spanish.pdf). In lieu of displaying the poster, employers can comply with this requirement by reprinting the information in a handbook, or duplicating the poster in another format such as a letter or online system that is accessible by employees.