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Rental Car Companies Agree to Pay Nearly $2 Million Owed in Back Pay

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced that rental car companies Thrifty and Hertz have agreed to pay nearly $2 million in back pay owed to their workers in Seattle-Tacoma International Airport under the city’s increased minimum wage law.

State officials reported that 157 workers filed claims with the state labor department for the wages they were owed from January of 2014 through September of 2015.

"People have a right to get paid what they've worked hard for," labor department director Joel Sacks said in a statement. "Now that this agreement is in place, we're moving ahead to get this money into the hands of the people who worked hard for it.”

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage took effect at the beginning of 2014, and the Washington Supreme Court ruled that the increased wage also applied to companies located at the airport. The two sides were able to come to an agreement without going to court. According to Matthew Erlich, a spokesperson for the labor department, the deal was made after the complaints were filed with the department.

Workers will receive anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $30,000, including interest. The back wages owed totaled approximately $1.51 million, while the interest ended up being about $458,000 according to the state.

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