Published October 17, 2022
2023 Minimum Wage Increases Announced
In 2023, the Washington State minimum wage increases to $15.74 per hour. In Seattle, the minimum wage is even higher. Effective January 1, 2023, the Seattle minimum wage for large employers, which are employers with more than 500 workers worldwide, will be $18.69 per hour. Large employers are required to pay this minimum wage regardless of contribution to medical benefits. For small employers, which employ 500 or fewer employees worldwide, the new Seattle minimum wage also will be $18.69 per hour. An exception is small employers can instead pay a minimum wage of $16.50 per hour if they contribute at least $2.19 per hour toward employee medical benefits and/or the employee earns at least $2.19 per hour in reported tips.
2023 Exempt Salary Thresholds
On January 1, 2023, the new state minimum salary thresholds for exempt employees will again rise. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) determines minimum thresholds using a multiplier of the state minimum wage. For small businesses (1-50 employees), an exempt employee must now earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $1,101.80/week. For large businesses (51 or more employees), an exempt employee must continue to earn a salary of 2 times the minimum wage, or $1,259.20/week.
Washington employers will have to adhere to the state thresholds in 2023 since they are more favorable when compared to the federal threshold. The threshold multiplier will be phased in until it reaches 2.5 times the minimum wage in 2028, at which time increases will be determined by any changes in the minimum wage caused by inflation.
For more information, please visit L&I’s Overtime Rules Resources webpage.
For questions, please contact any member of Ryan Swanson’s Employment Rights, Benefits & Labor group.