The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $12 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2019, for workers age 16 and older.
L&I urges businesses to know other requirements about minimum wage, including:
- It applies to most jobs, including those in agriculture.
- Tips can’t be used toward wages owed a worker.
- Workers under 16 years old can be paid 85% of the minimum wage, or $10.20 per hour.
It’s important to note employers in the cities of Sea-Tac, Seattle, and Tacoma may need to pay a minimum wage higher than the state rate. Check with those cities for specific information. You can get complete information about the minimum wage by visiting Lni.wa.gov and putting “minimum wage” in the search box. There you can find out about overtime and exemptions, rests, meals, and schedules, and even a history of the state’s minimum wage.
When Initiative 1433 passed in the fall of 2016, it set out a schedule for the minimum wage over a 4-year period. The minimum wage for 2020 will be $13.50. For the following year, L&I will calculate minimum wage for the following year using a formula tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
Passage of the initiative also led to requiring paid sick leave. To help employers, L&I launched an online Employer Resource Center that covers key topics such as how to implement a paid sick leave policy and how to notify employees of their paid sick leave rights.
L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The agency also investigates all wage-payment complaints. More information is available on L&I’s wage and hour webpage. Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.