On Jan. 1, Washington’s minimum wage increased to $12 per hour in accordance with Initiative 1433, approved by voters in 2016.
The wage hike applies to all employees who are at least 16 years old. Workers under the age of 16 can be paid 85 percent of the state’s minimum wage, or $10.20 per hour for 2019. Under Washington law, tips do not count toward an employee’s pay.
Initiative 1433 sets a four-year schedule that will eventually raise the minimum wage to $13.50 in 2020. After that, the Department of Labor & Industries will calculate minimum wage increases using a formula based on the rate of inflation.
Seattle, SeaTac, and Tacoma have their own laws that set the minimum wage at a higher rate than the state’s. Depending on the size of the employer, Seattle’s minimum wage ranges from $12 to $16. SeaTac’s minimum wage, for certain industries, is $16.09 per hour. In Tacoma, the minimum wage increased to $12.35 on the first of this month.