Washington State’s Minimum Wage to Rise to $ 14.49 on January 1, 2021


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Washington State minimum wage increases Saturday, reflecting inflation over the past year.

The new hourly minimum, which applies to employees 16 and older, will increase by 80 cents per hour to $ 14.49 from the current $ 13.69, according to the State Department of Labor and Industry . Employees between the ages of 14 and 15 will earn $ 12.32 per hour.

L&I is required to make adjustments to the minimum wage every year based on cost of living expenses. High gasoline prices, high housing costs, and rising food prices were all factored into the new increase by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The L&I minimum wage statement noted that Seattle and SeaTac already have higher minimum wages, as cities have the flexibility to set their own minimum wages. Seattle’s minimum hourly wage will drop to $ 17.27 in January.

Other changes are also coming for different types of employees.

For employees exempt from overtime, the minimum wage they must earn to be considered exempt will increase to $ 52,743.60 on January 1. .

For the first time ever, Washington farm workers will be eligible to earn overtime.

A progressive schedule will reduce the number of hours needed to work before farm workers are considered eligible for overtime. In January, 55 hours per week of work will allow farm workers to earn overtime. In 2023, these hours will be reduced to 48 hours per work week. By 2024, the hours will be reduced to 40 hours per week.

L & I’s also reports that workers’ compensation premiums will rise 3.1% in January. As in 2021, workers will pay on average a quarter of the premium. The rates can go up or down for each employer depending on a variety of factors.

This story was originally published December 31, 2021 at 12:14 pm.

Shauna Sowersby was a freelance writer for several local and national publications before joining the Northwestern McClatchy newspapers covering the Legislature.