The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has announced a hike in minimum wage from $9.03 to $9.19, effective January 1, 2013.  The $.16 increase reflects the state’s higher cost of living as calculated by the Consumer Price Index. Washington will continue to have the highest minimum wage in the country, followed by Oregon at $8.95 per hour.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although 14- and 15-year-olds may be paid 85% of the minimum wage.

Washington employers are required to post the “Your Rights As A Worker” poster in designated workplace areas. The poster, which provides information about the minimum wage and other topics, are available on the L&I website. Employers do not need a new posting with the minimum wage increase, but should check to ensure that current postings are up to date.

For history buffs, L&I released a history of the minimum wage in Washington, beginning with $1.15 in 1961.

For more information on Washington wage requirements or related employment issues, please contact the Foster Pepper Employment & Labor Relations Practice Group.