We’ve heard about it for more than a year, and now it’s finally about to become a reality: Seattle’s landmark $15 minimum wage law takes effect April 1. Well, sort of. No one’s making $15 an hour yet. Those who work for companies with more than 500 employees and don’t get medical benefits will get a nice raise from $9.47 (the state minimum wage) to $11; it’ll be two more years before they make it to $15. And those who work for companies with 500 or fewer employees will get a more modest bump to $10. They won’t see $15 until 2021. Baby steps.
But while we’ve heard from supporters and opponents and learned how the law came about and how some have tried to tear it down, the voices we rarely hear are the people who will benefit most from a higher minimum wage: minimum-wage workers.
This month we’ll let several of those people tell their own stories. In their own words.
Check back regularly for more stories.