Starting January 1, 2024, Washington State is set to introduce a series of wage adjustments that will impact businesses of all sizes. In 2020, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries updated the rules for exempt workers by creating an eight-year implementation schedule that incrementally raises the multiplier until it reaches 2.5 times in 2028. Though the pace of the increase is based on the size of the employer, small enterprises to large corporations alike will feel the effects of these changes.
Who Qualifies for the Raise on Minimum Wage?
Employers with Overtime Exempt Workers
Small business employers will be required to raise their employee’s pay from $1,101.80 weekly ($57,293.60 annually) to a minimum of $1,302.40 weekly ($67,724.80 annually) effective January 1, 2024.
Employer with Exempt Computer Professionals
Washington employers must pay exempt computer professionals at least $56.98 per hour, three-and-a-half times the hourly minimum wage rate.
State and Local Minimum Wage Increases
Washington State will increase its minimum wage for non-exempt and exempt employees sixteen years old and older from $15.74 to $16.28 per hour. For employees fourteen to fifteen years old, the minimum wage will also increase from $13.38 to $13.84.
SeaTac will increase its minimum wage to $19.71 per hour for covered hospitality and transportation industry workers.
For Employers with 501 or more employees, Seattle will increase the minimum wage to $19.97 per hour. For employers with less than 500 employees who do not pay at least $2.72 per hour toward medical benefits or whose employees do not earn at least $2.72 per hour in tips, the minimum wage must increase to $19.97. Employers who pay at least $2.72 per hour toward medical benefits or whose employees earn at least $2.72 per hour in tips must increase their minimum wage to $17.25 per hour.
Effective January 1, 2024, to June 30, 2024, the minimum wage for mid-sized employers will increase to $18.29 per hour and $20.29 for large employers. On July 1, 2024, the minimum wage for mid-size employers will increase to $19.29 per hour and remain $20.29 for large employers. Employers that do not meet the definition of mid-size or large-size employers will be subject to Washington state minimum wage requirements. As mentioned previously, in 2024, the Washington state minimum wage requirement will be $16.28.
“Mid-size” is defined as having 15-500 employees worldwide or generating over $2 million of annual gross revenue in Tukwila.
“Large” employers are employers who employ more than 500 employees.
How can employers prepare for these changes?
To smoothly transition into the new wage threshold and to ensure compliance with the new regulations, employers are advised to ensure all workers are paid at the new rates effective January 1, 2024.
- Minimum Wage
- Washington’s minimum wage will hit $16.28 per hour in 2024
- Announcement Poster
- Workers’ Rights
For more detailed information and resources on Washington’s minimum wage regulations, employers and employees can refer to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries website