Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan on Thursday to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next three to seven years. It is the first major U.S. city to make a commitment to such a high base wage.
The plan, which was decided by committee, must still be approved by Seattle’s City Council.
Murray said at a press conference the plan demonstrates how Seattle “can lead the conversation and the nation to address this growing problem of income inequality.” Small businesses with fewer than 500 workers have seven years to implement the plan. Large businesses have three.
The plan is part of a nationwide push to combat income inequality. President Obama has so far failed in his efforts to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.