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Seattle Rolls Out New Commuter Benefit for 2020

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Seattle Rolls Out New Commuter Benefit for 2020

Beginning January 1, 2020, the City of Seattle is requiring all businesses with 20 or more employees to offer commuter benefits.  The new benefit will allow all eligible employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for certain work-related commuting expenses, such as vanpooling and transit passes.  Employers can also choose to comply by subsidizing the cost of these commuter expenses for employees.  While it is not required, employers may also offer qualified parking expenses on a pre-tax basis.
The new ordinance applies to employers who meet the size requirement and have at least one employee inside Seattle city limits, though government entities and tax-exempt organizations are excluded.

Eligible Employees

Employers are required to offer pre-tax commuter benefits to employees who worked in Seattle for at least an average of 10 hours per week in the previous month.

Employer Requirements

Seattle employers must implement a program by Jan. 1, 2020, that allows employees to set aside money from their paychecks on a pre-tax basis to pay for transit passes or vanpooling expenses (up to the full amount allowed by federal law).
As of Jan. 1, 2020, covered employers must display a notice of an employee’s rights to commuter benefits under the Ordinance, in English and the primary languages of employees at the workplace. 

Learn More

To learn more about the new Seattle ordinance,  contact our team at 877-466-1999 or info@redquote.com.  We are happy to guide you through the new requirements and answer questions at any time.  You can also visit the Seattle.gov Commuter Benefits homepage.  We will remind all eligible employers of this new benefit requirement to help you stay in compliance.  Please reach out to us with questions at any time.

Published Aug 12, 2019.

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