Washington’s minimum wage will hit $16.28 per hour in 2024

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Washington’s minimum wage is going up to $16.28 an hour next year, a 3.4% increase over 2023. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced the increase Friday. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Under state law, L&I calculates the minimum wage for the coming year based on the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). In making the calculation, L&I compares the CPI-W index from August of the previous year to August of the current year.

In 2023, Washington has the highest state-level minimum wage in the nation. The federal minimum wage remains set at $7.25 an hour.

Cities can set minimum wages higher than the state. Seattle, SeaTac, and Tukwila, have higher wages.

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 2024, the wage for that younger group will be $13.84 per hour.

More information about the minimum wage is available on L&I’s website, along with details about overtime, rest breaks, meal periods, and how to file a wage complaint. A poster with information about the 2024 minimum wage is also available in 15 different languages.

Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321 with questions.

The increase in the state minimum wage affects several areas for workers. See below for information regarding overtime exempt employees and drivers for transportation network companies such as Lyft and Uber.

L&I also calculates new minimum salary thresholds for overtime exempt employees based on changes in the minimum wage. This change impacts how much executive, administrative, and professional workers plus computer professionals and outside salespeople must earn in salary to be exempt from the requirement to pay workers overtime.

The 2024 threshold for employers is two times the minimum wage. That means an exempt employee will have to earn at least $1,302.40 a week ($67,724.80 a year).

L&I updated the rules for exempt workers in 2020, creating an eight-year implementation schedule that incrementally raises the multiplier until it reaches 2.5 times in 2028. The pace of the increase is based on the size of the employer.

Under the same rules, exempt computer professionals may be paid an hourly rate rather than with a salary. The applicable hourly rate is 3.5 times the minimum wage, regardless of employer size. For 2024, that will be $56.98 per hour.

Minimum pay drivers for transportation network companies like Lyft and Uber will earn beginning Jan. 1 is also going up. The minimum pay is one of the new rights and protections granted to TNC drivers by legislation passed in 2022.

  • For trips within Seattle in 2024, drivers will earn 66 cents per passenger platform minute and $1.55 per passenger platform mile, or $5.81, whichever is greater.
  • For trips outside of Seattle in 2024, drivers will earn 38 cents per passenger platform minute and $1.31 per passenger platform mile, or $3.37, whichever is greater.

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.

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