Photo courtesy of Pexels

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Washington state’s minimum wage increasing to $14.49 next year

Increase attributed to more expensive gas, housing, household furnishings and food, state’s Department of Labor & Industries says.

Washington state’s minimum wage is increasing to $14.49 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2022.

The state’s current minimum wage of $13.69 will rise 5.38% next year, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced on Sept. 30.

The increase is attributed to more expensive gas, housing, household furnishings and food, according to the department.

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 and 15. Next year, the wage for that younger group will be $12.32 per hour.

Cities are able to set minimum wages higher than the state’s; Seattle’s minimum wage is $15 per hour if an employer pays for the employee’s medical benefits and $16.69 for all other employees, according to the city’s website. The City of SeaTac implemented a minimum wage of $16.57 this year.

State law mandates L&I calculate 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).

Calculations are based on the L&I comparison of the CPI-W from August of the previous year to the index for August of the current year.

For overtime exempt employees

A higher minimum wage also means an increase in the minimum salary an employee must earn in 2022 to be overtime exempt, according to the department.

“White collar” positions held by executive, administrative, and professional workers plus computer professionals and outside salespeople are impacted under the state’s rules governing exemptions to the Minimum Wage Act.

Salaried exempt employees must earn at least a minimum salary that is established as a multiplier of the minimum wage.

Therefore, when the minimum wage increases, so does the salary threshold. L&I created an eight-year implementation schedule that incrementally raises the multiplier until it reaches 2.5 times in 2028.

However, the pace of the increase is based on the size of the employer, according to the department.

For 2022, to be exempt from overtime, an employee must earn at least $1,014.30 a week ($52,743.60 a year), or 1.75 times the minimum wage.

Computer professionals who are paid by the hour have a different threshold. The new minimums are a part of changes to the overtime rules that took effect July 1, 2020.

The minimum wage applies to most jobs, including those in agriculture. In addition, agricultural workers will be eligible to earn overtime after working more than 55 hours per week next year.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Screenshot
King County weather: Dec. 3-5

Here is your King County area weather forecast for Dec. 3-5, 2021.… Continue reading

Keith Wagoner
Senator becomes first GOP candidate for secretary of state

Sen. Keith Wagoner will challenge Democrat Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to the statewide post in November

The Federal Way Performing Arts and Event Center is located at 31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way S. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
FEMA to send mobile COVID-19 vaccination unit to Western Washington

The mobile site is set to open Dec. 20 in Federal Way; additional locations to come.

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washington health officials discuss response to new COVID variant

Things will be handled with Omicron variant similar to the Delta variant.

File photo
As new COVID-19 variant looms, vaccination disparities linger in King County

County data shows gaps among age, geography and race.

Chad and Jan Martinell are the owners of one of Cole Street’s newest businesses, “The Game Vault.”
Vaulting toward fun

New, big game store brings board games and other hobbies to the heart of Enumclaw.

The Enumclaw School District and its board of directors say they must follow the statewide mask mandate or risk losing three-quarters of its funding. Pictured is a student from Sunrise Elementary. Photo courtesy Enumclaw School District
Parents want local school boards to stand against mask mandate

But any meaningful action would result in major loss of state funding.

t
Counties certify election results, and Wilkeson, Black Diamond races flip from election night

Krista Farmer won the race for Wilkeson town council by 7 votes.

Most Read