Tumwater – The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $11 an hour starting on Jan. 1, 2017. Since the recent election, the Department of Labor & Industries has received scores of calls asking for clarity on the details of the new law.
The new minimum wage, a result of the passage of Initiative 1433, applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture. Workers under 16 years old can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $9.35 per hour, in 2017. In addition to minimum wage, the initiative addresses paid sick leave.
Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac have higher minimum wage rates for 2017. For employers in those areas, the local minimum wage rate will apply as long as it is higher than the state minimum.
The new law does not change minimum wage exemptions or regulations regarding overtime pay.
Since 1998, L&I has been responsible for calculating the state’s minimum wage each September. Under Initiative 1433, the minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020. L&I will resume calculating the minimum wage for calendar years 2021 and beyond.