• 34°

Minneapolis releases details of $15 wage ordinance

By Adam Belz

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minneapolis’ proposal to raise the minimum wage is expected to take final shape Tuesday afternoon at a special City Council meeting.

The council directed city staff in May to put together an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, with no exception for tipped workers, to be phased in over four years for large businesses. A staff presentation about the ordinance is the only item on the agenda for the Tuesday meeting at City Hall.

According to the draft ordinance, large businesses in Minneapolis must pay at least $10.50 per hour to employees starting July 1, 2018, and then bump up pay by $1.50 per hour each year until 2021, when they will be required to pay $15 per hour.

The distinction between a large and small business, and the timeline for the minimum wage to take effect for smaller businesses, are not put forward in the draft, and should be discussed Tuesday afternoon. The draft ordinance also leaves open the possibility of a third tier of so-called “micro” businesses, which could have a different timeline than the other two tiers of business.

No city in the United States has a $15 minimum wage for all businesses yet, but if Minneapolis approves the proposal, it would join several cities that have passed similar measures, including San Francisco and Seattle.

Businesses in San Francisco will be required to pay $15 per hour by the summer of 2018. In Seattle, businesses with over 500 employees started paying $15 per hour in January, but smaller businesses have until 2019 to meet the requirement. Tips will count toward wages until 2025.