As we reported this time last year, based on the approval of Initiative 1433 in the November 2016 election, the minimum wage in the State of Washington will increase every January 1 through 2020, with annual adjustments for inflation thereafter. The next increase occurs on January 1, 2018.

Initiative 1433 also included a new Paid Sick Leave (PSL) law, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

According to Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries, the Your Rights as a Worker notice will be updated to include information on the new PSL law. The notice is expected to be released sometime in November.

Details of the Minimum Wage & Paid Sick Leave Law

New Minimum Wage Rates for 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $11.50 per hour. Workers who are 14 or 15 years old may be paid 85% of the minimum wage, which is $9.78 per hour.

Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2018, most employees in Washington will be able to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. These benefits apply to both part-time and seasonal workers.

Leave may be taken after 90 days of employment, and any unused PSL of 40 hours or less must be carried over to the next year.

Employees may use PSL as follows:

  • To care for themselves or their family members
  • When their workplace or their child’s school/place of care is closed by a public official due to a health-related issue
  • For absences qualifying for leave under Washington’s Domestic Violence Act

Employers should note that they may allow their employees to use paid sick leave for other reasons.

Staying on Top of All the Changes

Labor law changes can take you by surprise, but have no fear, our Research Team is on the case! If you sign up for our OneSystem 1-Year Compliance Plan, you will automatically receive the updated Washington poster as soon as it becomes available. And, because we offer free poster updates for mandatory changes, no matter how many occur during the year, you will never have to worry about being in compliance.