Washington state's minimum wage will increase to $15.74 an hour in January, up $1.25 from the current rate.
Announcing the increase Friday, state labor officials said the 8.66% increase reflects rising costs of housing, food, medical care and other expenses as reflected in the Consumer Price Index. Washington Department of Labor and Industries calculates the minimum wage for the coming year based on federal estimates of price increases.
The state minimum wage applies to workers age 16 and older. Under state law, employers can pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15. For 2023, the wage for that younger group will be $13.38 per hour.
Cities can set minimum wages higher than the state. For 2022, Seattle's minimum wage is $17.27 an hour for most workers. SeaTac's is $17.54. The federal minimum hourly wage, unchanged since 2009, is $7.25.
L&I has also calculated new minimum salary requirements for managers and other employees who are exempt from overtime rules. The 2023 minimum salary for overtime-exempt employees working for employers with 50 or fewer workers is $57,293.60 a year, or is 1.75 times what a full-time minimum wage worker earns. The minimum salary is $65,478.40 a year for larger employers.
Since 2020, the department has been incrementally increasing overtime pay rates, which are expected to reach 2.5 times regular pay in 2028. The pace of the increase is based on the size of the employer.
Minimum pay rules for rideshare drivers, one of the protections included in legislation passed earlier this year, also go into effect Jan. 1. The rate varies by location; for trips within Seattle, drivers will earn 64 cents per passenger minute and $1.50 per passenger mile, or $5.62 a trip, whichever is greater.
Employers or workers can find more information on wage laws and make complaints on the L&I website, lni.wa.gov, or by calling 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.