Washington Minimum Wage for 2022, 2023
Contents :: Washington Minimum Wage
Washington's state minimum wage rate is $15.74 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. You are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to most employees in Washington, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.†
The Washington minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $7.67 from $8.07 to $15.74. Washington's minimum wage rate is linked to a Consumer Price Index, which is intended to raise the rate along with inflation. The current minimum wage rate is re-evaluated yearly based on these values.
Minimum wage in Washington state is currently $15.74/hour. There is no tip credit permitted (all tips and service charges must be paid directly to employees, see Minimum Wage Act (RCW 49.46.020(3)). Cost of Living adjustments will be made in September 2020 and will go into effect January 1, 2021, to be made yearly thereafter.Workers who are 14 or 15 years old may be paid 85% of the adult minimum wage, or $13.38 per hour. Cities can set minimum wages higher than the state. Seattle and SeaTac both have higher wages.
Employers can also pay some workers less than the state minimum wage, including: Minors 14 to 15 years old (no less than 85% of minimum wage), Jobs that are exempt from the Minimum Wage Act. Employers can apply for a sub-minimum wage certificate in the following areas: Certificated on-the-job learners (no less than 85% of minimum wage). Certificated student workers and student learners (no less than 75% of minimum wage)and Certificated workers with disabilities and Certain apprentices.
Washington employers may not pay you under $15.74 per hour unless you or your occupation are specifically exempt from the minimum wage under state or federal law.
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All Washington employers must display an approved Washington minimum wage poster in a prominent place to inform employees about the minimum wage and their worker's rights under Washington labor law.
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Washington Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Washington labor law requires all employers in Washington to visibly display an approved Washington minimum wage poster, and other Washington and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and Washington labor law and overtime regulations. Failure to display a Washington labor law poster in the workplace can result in severe fines.
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The Washington minimum wage poster, and additional required Washington labor law posters, are also available on the Washington labor law posters download page.
Washington Overtime Minimum Wage
All workers who put in over 40 weekly hours are entitled to a minimum wage of at least 1.5 times the regular applicable minimum wage (learn more about Washington overtime pay). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (Washington law does not specify a daily overtime limit).
The FLSA guarantees all WA employees adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If your employer does not pay adequate overtime wages, you can file an unpaid overtime claim with the Washington Department of Labor.
Washington Minimum Wage Exemptions
In addition to any Washington-specific minimum wage exemptions described above, the Federal Fair Labor Standards act defines special minimum wage rates applicable to certain types of workers. You may be paid under the Washington minimum wage if you fit into one of the following categories:
- Washington Under 20 Minimum Wage - $4.25 - Federal law allows any employer in Washington to pay a new employee who is under 20 years of age a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
- Washington Student Minimum Wage - $13.38 - Full-time high school or college students who work part-time may be paid 85% of the Washington minimum wage (as little as $13.38 per hour) for up to 20 hours of work per week at certain employers (such as work-study programs at universities).
- Washington Tipped Minimum Wage - See Here - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a lower cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $15.74 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the Washington tipped minimum wage.
Local Minimum Wage Rates in Washington
While Washington's state minimum wage is $15.74 per hour, there are localities that have set their own, higher minimum wages that apply to some or all employees within their jurisdictions. The following is a table of all Washington localities with established minimum wage laws.
|Locality||Applies To||Minimum Wage||Comparison to State|
|Sea Tac||All employees||$19.06||+$3.32|
|Seattle||Large employers 501 or more employees||$18.69||+$2.95|
|Small employers 500 or less employees who pay at least $2.19 per hour towards medical benefits or in tips||$16.50||+$0.76|
|Small employers 500 or less employees. Does not pay $2.19/hour toward medical benefits and/o employee does not earn $2.19/hour in tips.||$18.69||+$2.95|
Frequently Asked Questions - Washington Minimum Wage & Labor Law
- What is the Washington minimum wage?
The current Washington minimum wage of $15.74 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee in Washington can legally be paid for hourly work. Special minimum wage rates, such as the "Washington waitress minimum wage" for tipped employees, may apply to certain workers.
- How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin Washington?
A full time minimum wage worker in Washington working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $125.92 per day, $629.60 per week, and $32,739.20 per year1. The national poverty line for a family unit consisting of two people is $16,020.00 per year.
- What is the Washington under 18 minimum wage?
Washington employers may pay 18 year olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in Washington may exist.
- I still can't find the answer to my question about the Washington minimum wage!
If you have read the FAQ and still cannot find the information you need, please contact us with your question.
1 These earnings estimates do not account for the Washington income tax , federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
2 Poverty line for a family of two in the lower 48 published 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Labor Law Footnotes, Sources & Citations:
- The weekly earnings estimate of $629.60 is based on a standard 40-hour workweek
- The yearly earnings estimate of $32,739.20 is based on 52 standard 40-hour work weeks. Since most hourly employees don't work full time and/or take time off, actual yearly earnings will likely be lower.