Washington Law Update
Washington Minimum Wage and Salary Increases and Agriculture Overtime Phased Out
On January 1, 2022, Washington’s minimum wage will be $14.49 per hour.
On January 1, 2022, Seattle’s minimum wage will be $17.27 per hour for:
• Large employers (501 or more employees)
• Small employers (500 or fewer employees) if they don’t pay at least $1.52 per hour toward the employee’s medical benefits or the employee doesn’t earn at least $1.52 per hour in tips
The city minimum wage will be $15.75 for:
• Small employers (500 or fewer employees) if they pay at least $1.52 per hour toward the employee’s medical benefits or the employee earns at least $1.52 per hour in tips
SeaTac Hospitality and Transportation Industry
The minimum wage for hospitality and transportation industry workers in SeaTac will be $17.54 per hour. The state minimum wage applies to those in other industries.
MINIMUM EXEMPT EMPLOYEE SALARY
The minimum salary for properly classified exempt executive, administrative, professional, and computer employees in Washington will increase to $1,014.30 per week ($52,743.60 per year) for both small and large businesses. (As a reminder, unlike under federal law, commissions and bonuses cannot be counted toward the minimum salary for exempt employees.)
The minimum pay for exempt computer professionals if they are paid by the hour is $50.72 per hour.
AGRICULTURE OVERTIME EXEMPTION PHASED OUT
Beginning January 1, 2022, agricultural workers in Washington will be newly eligible for overtime at the rate of 1.5x their regular rate of pay. The change is being phased in as follows:
• In 2022, overtime is owed for hours worked over 55 in a workweek
• In 2023, overtime is owed for hours worked over 48 in a workweek
• In 2024 and thereafter, overtime is owed for hours worked over 40 in workweek
WORKERS’ COMP PREMIUMS
The average workers’ compensation premium rate for hours worked in 2022 will go up 3.1 percent effective Jan. 1.
Starting next week, the Washington Labor & Industries Department (LNI) will begin mailing 2022 tax rate notices.
Learn more about L&I’s 2022 workers’ compensation rates here.
Tax Rate Notices Mailed by Dec. 29
Starting next week, the Washington Employment Security Department (WESD) will begin mailing 2022 tax rate notices.
Your 2022 tax rate may change
You can check your tax rate after Jan. 1, 2022, by logging into Employer Account Management Services (EAMS).
Your notice will be dated Dec. 29, but you could receive it earlier
WESD often mails tax rate notices in mid-December, but mailing dates vary each year. Legislative requirements, such as changes to tax rate calculations, and other considerations affect when WESD can send out tax rate notices.
For more information, go to esd.wa.gov/employer-taxes.