Significant changes went into effect this month that impact workers around the state.
They include: minimum wage and minimum salary for overtime-exempt employees are increasing; agricultural overtime eligibility is expanding; rideshare drivers are gaining access to minimum trip pay and other rights; and job-seekers will see wage transparency in job postings.
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries wants to make sure everyone is aware of the changes and how they may be impacted.
State minimum wage
The state’s minimum wage for 2023 will increase to $15.74 per hour. That applies to workers ages 16 and older. Employers may pay 85 percent of the minimum wage — $13.38 per hour — to workers ages 14-15. Cities can set a higher hourly minimum wage. For example, Seattle and SeaTac both have higher wages.
Overtime exempt salary threshold
To be exempt from the state Minimum Wage Act, executive, administrative, professional or computer professional, and outside salespeople must earn at least the minimum salary.
For employers with 50 or fewer employees, the 2023 salary threshold is 1.75 times the minimum wage: $1,101.80/week ($57,293.60/year). For employers with 51 or more employees, the threshold is double the minimum wage, $1,259.20/week ($65,478.40/year).
Agricultural workers will have to work fewer hours in 2023 to be eligible for overtime pay. As of Jan. 1, 2023, agricultural workers must work at least 48 hours in a workweek before earning overtime.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, overtime eligibility will start after 40 hours in a workweek.
Rideshare driver rights
Drivers for companies like Lyft and Uber will also have new rights and protections beginning Jan. 1, as a result of legislation passed in 2022.
Rideshare drivers will have the right to minimum trip pay, paid sick time, workers’ compensation coverage, and protection from retaliation for exercising these rights.
The legislation also created a Driver Resource Center, which will assist if drivers appeal being removed from a company’s app.
Job posting requirements
With the start of the new year, businesses with 15 or more employees must include the following in each job posting or advertisement:
Salary range or pay scale;
General description of all benefits offered;
Identify any other compensation.
Employers must also provide an employee who is promoted, or transferred to a new position, with the pay scale for the new position, if requested.
There’s more information about the posting requirements in L&I’s administrative policy.
Wage complaints investigated
L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws and investigates all wage-payment complaints. A worker rights complaint can be filed online, downloaded and mailed to the agency, or at a local L&I office.
More information is available on L&I's website about minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks, meal periods, and how to file a wage complaint. Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.
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