Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced the new state minimum wage in 2024. Starting January 1, 2024, the Washington state minimum wage is $16.28/hour.
State law mandates that L&I calculate the minimum wage for the coming year based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). To calculate, L&I compares the CPI-W from August of the previous year to the index for August of the current year. The rate for August 2022 was 3.4%, with gasoline being the most significant contributor.
The minimum wage applies to most jobs, including those in agriculture. In addition, agricultural workers are eligible to earn overtime after working more than 40 hours per week, beginning January 1, 2024.
The following municipalities use the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Area Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12 months ending in August to establish their minimum wage increases. This rate ending in August 2023 was 5.4%
Starting January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Seattle for large employers (over 500 employees worldwide) is $19.97/hour. The minimum wage for small employers (500 or fewer employees worldwide) is $17.25/hour if the employee also receives tips and/or payments toward the employee’s medical benefits. For Seattle businesses with 500 employees or less who do not pay medical benefits and/or allow employees to earn tips, it will be the same for large businesses at $19.97/hour.
SeaTac announced a change to their minimum wage for hospitality and transportation employees to $19.71/hour starting January 1, 2024.
In July 2023, the City of Tukwila implemented a new tiered minimum wage stating, “every large employer shall pay to each employee an hourly wage of not less than the 2022 “living wage rate” in the City of SeaTac.” In addition, the ordinance stated, “On January 1, 2024, and on each January 1 thereafter, the hourly minimum wage shall increase by the annual rate of inflation to maintain employee purchasing power.”
The new minimum wages in Tukwila, starting January 1, 2024, are:
- Large Employers (more than 500 employees worldwide, and all franchisees associated with a franchisor or a network of franchises with franchisees that employ more than 500 employees in aggregate) – $20.29/hour
- Mid-size Employers (at least 15 employees regardless of where those employees are employed or have annual gross revenue over $2 million) – $18.29/hour.
- Employers with less than 15 employees pay at the state minimum wage.
The Mid-Size Employer rate will go to $19.29/hour starting July 1, 2024.
Overtime Exempt Employees
The change in the state minimum wage also increases the new state minimum salary thresholds for Overtime Exempt Employees.
Using the 2024 minimum wage starting January 1, 2024, L&I calculated the salary thresholds for all employers to be at least 2X the state minimum wage, or $1,302.40/week ($67,724.80/annually).
The rate in 2025 for employers with 1-50 employees stays at 2X the minimum wage. For large businesses (51 or more non-exempt WA employees), rates increase to 2.25X the state minimum wage. The goal is for the salary threshold for Overtime Exempt Employees to be 2.5X the state minimum wage by 2028.
All hourly computer professional employees must earn at least 3.5X the state minimum wage ($56.98/hour).
Minimum pay for Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare drivers
The legislature granted new rights and protections to rideshare employees starting January 1, 2023.
For trips within Seattle in 2023, drivers will earn 64 cents per passenger minute and $1.50 per passenger mile, or $5.62, whichever is greater.
For trips outside of Seattle in 2023, drivers will earn 37 cents per passenger minute and $1.27 per passenger mile, or $3.26, whichever is greater.
Workforce mobility is essential to economic growth and development. The Washington Department of Labor annually updates the Non-competition enforceability thresholds to account for inflation. Any non-competition clause or agreement is not enforceable if an employee’s salary is below the mandated threshold amount. Starting January 1, 2024, the new thresholds are $120,557.35 for employees and $301,393.37 for independent contractors.
How Can We Help
Learn how to use Scheduled versus Actual labor costs in our time and attendance system. In addition, if you need help changing hourly wages in your system, contact Time Equipment Company at email@example.com or 800-997-8463.
*This document simplifies complex information as it is understood by Time Equipment Company. It is not to be taken as legal advice. The guidelines are consistently changing. For further information, please visit lni.wa.gov or www.seattle.gov.