WA minimum wage workers will see a raise in 2021

SPOKANE, Wash.– Washington workers making minimum wage will see a 19 cents increase starting January 1, 2021. The wage will rise to $13.69 per hour.

The adjustment is based on a 1.39 percent increase over the last 12 months in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, according to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I).

The state minimum wage applies to workers age 16 and older. Under state law, employers can pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15. For 2021, the wage for that younger age group will be $11.64 per hour.

According to L&I, the new minimum wage will also impact some people exempt from overtime and other Minimum Wage Act protections. The state agency said this will extend to certain employees who usually must earn a salary that meets or exceeds a minimum specified threshold.

L&I changed how this minimum threshold is determined when updates to the state overtime rules took effect July 1. The salary thresholds are now a multiplier of the minimum wage.

Using the 2021 minimum wage, L&I has calculated the salary thresholds taking effect Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Small businesses (1-50 employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year).
  • Large businesses (51 or more employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year).

The new minimum wage also changes the 2021 thresholds for computer professionals who are paid by the hour.

Learn more HERE.