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Washington Minimum Wage is $8.67 in 2011

Posted by Tamara

All employers, including those in Washington, are required to display current labor law posters. After January 1, 2011, each Washington company will be required to post an updated 2011 minimum wage poster. On that day, the Washington minimum wage will increase from $8.55 per hour to $8.67 per hour.  

Director of the Washington Bureau of Labor and Industry, Judy Schurke, announced the increase after some legal debate, including an opinion by the Attorney General’s office.  

This 1.4% increase is based on the nationwide Consumer Price Index for Urban and Clerical Workers in the year ending August 31, 2010, and is the first increase to the Washington minimum wage since January 1, 2009. Because the recession caused the cost of living to decline in 2010, there was no adjustment to the minimum for that year.

Washington’s state minimum wage is still the nation’s highest in 2011. Second highest is the neighboring state of Oregon.

In many states, tipped employees are allowed to be paid a lower wage. That isn’t true in Washington. The state does not allow a tip credit, so tipped employees are entitled to the full state minimum wage of $8.67 per hour.

Employers are allowed to pay certain employees less than the state minimum wage. Young workers, aged 14 or 15, can be paid 85% of the minimum, or $7.37 per hour in 2011.

Unlike many other states, Washington does not exempt agricultural workers from the state minimum wage. Many of these occupations, however, may be exempt from overtime under the Washington minimum wage law.

All employees in Washington, according to the Washington Bureau of Labor and Industry, are entitled to be paid for every hour worked, which includes opening and closing the business, training and required meetings. Washington employees must also be paid on a regularly scheduled payday at least once per month. Employee earnings statements must display hours worked, wages earned, payroll period and deductions.


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