OLYMPIA — The state’s minimum wage will increase to $13.69 per hour in January, a 19 cent increase.

The wage, calculated by the state Department of Labor & Industries, is based on state law that links it to increases to the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

For the past four years, increases were mandated as a result of passage of Initiative 1433, which set the minimum wage at $11 per hour in 2017 and added 50 cents each year until it was $13.50 this year. Moving forward, the increases will be based on the price index, which is how they were calculated before 2016.

The minimum wage applies to workers age 16 and older in most jobs, including those in agriculture. Tips and service charges do not count toward the worker’s minimum wage.

State law does allow employers to pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15. For 2021, that will be $11.64 per hour, according to information released Sept. 30 by L&I.

The state also has new rules, which went into effect July 1, on the minimum a salaried worker must make to be considered exempt from overtime for working more than 40 hours a week. That threshold is now connected to minimum wage.

  • Businesses with 1-50 employees must pay overtime to salaried employees who make less than 1.5 times the minimum wage. In 2021, that will be $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year).
  • Businesses with 51 or more employees must pay overtime to salaried employees who earn less than 1.75 times the minimum wage. In 2021, that will be $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year).

For details on the minimum wage laws, check the L&I website at wwrld.us/36JkKpF.

Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151

mcdaniels@wenatcheeworld.com