Renton’s new minimum wage goes into effect July 1

With the passing of Initiative Measure No. 23-02, Renton’s minimum wage is now one of the highest in the nation.

It’s official — Renton now has one of the highest minimum wages in the country, on par with its neighbor, the city of Tukwila.

Renton residents have voted to adopt Initiative Measure No. 23-02 during the city’s February special election. The final results were last updated at 10:02 p.m. Feb. 22 with 8,144 voters (58.04%) having voted in favor of the measure, and 5,888 voters (42.96%) having voted against it.

According to the final results, 23.91 percent of registered voters in Renton had their votes counted, with 14,048 votes counted out of 58,745 registered voters.

About the ballot measure

As of Jan. 1, the current minimum wage in Renton is $16.28 per hour, and is monitored and mandated at the state level. Now that is has passed, Initiative Measure 23-02 will compel businesses in Renton that employ at least 15 employees, or have annual gross revenue of over $2 million to pay employees a minimum of $20.29 per hour for large employers and $18.29 for smaller-covered employers, according to the city.

The lower wage would be phased to equal that of large employers in two years, and the wage would be adjusted for inflation annually, according to the city’s webpage on the initiative.

Tips and service charges paid to employees in the service industry are in addition to, and may not count toward, the employee’s hourly minimum wage.

The initiative also has provisions that create regulations about when hours must be offered to part-time employees before making new hires or subcontracting work; creates rules against retaliation; and creates requirements that the city must create and enforce rules, including a compliance certification for all businesses.

The policy will take effect on July 1, 2024.