Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (LNI) announced that Washington’s minimum wage will increase from $15.74/hour to $16.28/ hour beginning January 1, 2024. The 3.37% increase is based on state law, which requires the state’s minimum wage to be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Workers (CPI-W).
Washington State’s minimum wage continues to be the highest in the nation. Cities, however, can establish a minimum wage higher than the state. SeaTac, Seattle, and Tukwila have higher minimum wages than the state, with additional cities considering similar policies.
The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour.
The state minimum wage applies to workers 16 years of age and older. For workers ages 14-15, employers can pay 85% of the state minimum wage under certain circumstances.
The adjustment in the minimum wage also triggers adjustments to the minimum salary requirements for executive, administrative, and professional workers to be exempt from overtime compensation. For 2024, the minimum salary for overtime-exempt employees for both large and small employers will be two times the minimum wage, an increase to $67,724 per year. Under rules adopted before the pandemic, LNI is increasing the overtime exemption threshold annually to reach 2.5 times the minimum wage by 2028 for all employers. In 2025 and 2027, smaller employers (with 50 or fewer employees) will have slightly fewer salary exempt thresholds than larger employers ( 50 or more employees).