SeaTac Minimum Wage Measure Doesn’t Apply to Airport, Judge Rules

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport photo via Atomic Taco/Flickr.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport photo via Atomic Taco/Flickr.

SeaTac Proposition 1 has been ruled as not applicable to workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to a King County Superior Court judge.

Prop 1 raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all employees in the hospitality and transportation industries in the city of SeaTac, Wash., including workers at Sea-Tac Airport. With only 77 votes separating the two sides, the minimum wage measure was passed by SeaTac voters in November and called for implementation on Jan. 1.

This ruling by Judge Andrea Darvas means that the minimum wage has now increased to $15 an hour for hospitality and transportation employees in the city of SeaTac but not for workers at the airport. According to Darvas, the Washington State Legislature has stated that only the Port of Seattle (which operates Sea-Tac Airport) has control over Sea-Tac Airport’s operations, including laws that oversee those operations.

“Pursuant to RCW 14.08.330, airport facilities and operations are ‘under the exclusive jurisdiction and control’ of the Port of Seattle, subject to ‘federal and state laws, rules and regulations’ but not subject to the rules and regulations of SeaTac or other municipalities,” according to Darvas’ ruling.

The ruling will most likely be appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court. While waiting for the final determination, SeaTac’s City Manager Todd Cutis has requested that Mark Reis, Port of Seattle’s director of aviation, give consent to have the provisions of Prop 1 apply at the airport.

The American Car Rental Association (ACRA) — along with the other industries that would be impacted by Prop. 1 — had joined together with Common Sense SeaTac, a political-action committee comprised of local businesses and residents in opposition of Prop 1.

"ACRA is encouraged by the recent court decision regarding the Living Wage Ordinance in SeaTac, and ACRA will continue to work with the coalition, Common Sense SeaTac, on this critical issue for our industry," says Sharon Faulkner, executive director of ACRA.

For more information on the new Employment Standards Ordinance, the City of SeaTac has created this website:


  1. Robert Boxer [ January 2, 2014 @ 02:37PM ]

    I recently wrote an article about how an increase in the minimum wage rate increases unemployment. You can read it here:

  2. Gary [ January 2, 2014 @ 04:15PM ]

    Robert Boxer, your article is a good analysis.

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