The measure is set to take place gradually over several years.
Seattle is raising the minimum wage to $15, following a unanimous vote by the Seattle City Council Monday.
“Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages” and address the “widening gap between the rich and the poor,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
The measure is set to take effect on April 1, 2015, and it gradually increases the minimum wage over several years until it reaches $15. The plan gives businesses with more than 500 employees nationally at least three years to phase in the increase. Those providing health insurance will have four years to complete the move. Smaller organizations will be given seven years.
The International Franchise Association, a Washington, D.C.-based business group that represents franchise owners, said it plans to sue to stop the ordinance.
The current minimum wage in Washington state is $9.32 an hour.
San Francisco currently has the nation’s highest hourly minimum wage at $10.74.