This page features new laws or upcoming changes that go into effect in 2023. We will update this page with new information, so make sure to bookmark it and check back for helpful information as the new year approaches.

 

Top changes coming Jan. 1, 2023

 

Washington state’s minimum wage is $15.74 per hour

In addition to the new statewide minimum wage, the overtime threshold will increase to $57,293 for small employers (1-50 employees) and $65,478 for large employers (51+ employees).

  • The SeaTac minimum wage for workers in the hospitality and transportation industry is $19.06.
  • Seattle’s minimum wage differs based on your business size and the employee’s health benefits and tip earnings.
    • $18.69 per hour for large employers (501 or more employees)
    • $18.69 per hour for small employers (500 or fewer employees) who do not pay at least $2.19 per hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does not earn at least $2.19 per hour in tips.
    • $16.50 per hour for small employers who do pay at least $2.19 per hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does earn at least $2.19 per hour in tips.
  • Tukwila voters approved a ballot measure increasing the minimum wage effective July 1, 2023.
    • Large employers (over 500 employees) must match the SeaTac minimum wage.
    • Covered employers (15 to 500, or annual gross revenue over $2 million) have a phased in approach, which starts at $17.06 effective July 1, 2023.
    • Small employers (fewer than 15 employees) are exempt.

You can learn more on our minimum wage resources page.

Employers required to include salary information in job postings

During the 2022 legislative session, Washington state lawmakers passed ESSB 5761, which requires employers with 15 or more employees to include salary and benefits information in job postings. You can learn more and find additional resources here.

Paid Family & Medical Leave premiums increase

Starting Jan. 1, 2023, the total premium rate increases to 0.8%.

Employers will pay 27.24% of the total premium and employees will pay 72.76%.

As a reminder: Employers report each employee’s total gross wages, not including tips, and collect premiums up to the Social Security cap. Once an employee meets the Social Security cap, you must stop collecting premiums but continue to report their wages.

Businesses classified by the Employment Security Department as having fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium but must still collect the employee premium.

Learn what you need to know to be prepared on Jan. 1, 2023, including employee notifications and state reporting deadlines, on the Washington Paid Leave website.

2023 labor posters

Keep an eye out for your 2023 labor poster, which will be arriving in mailboxes in early January. Several posters were updated over the last year, so you’ll want to make sure you display the 2023 version as soon as it arrives.

Additional posters and other resources can be found on our Labor Poster page.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) reporting required

All employers will be required to report SOC codes or job titles starting with the fourth quarter 2022 tax report for unemployment insurance. SOC is a federal coding system that helps government agencies and private businesses compare occupational data.

A full list of SOC codes can be found on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website.

ESD is hosting a free webinar for employers on the new SOC code reporting requirements on Monday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. Register here.

ESD has a previously recorded SOC code webinar and slide deck presentation that reviews commonly asked questions and answers.

If you have any questions about how to report SOC codes, send an email to or call 855-829-9243.

Looking ahead

Certified Food Protection Manager requirement takes effect in March

The federal food code has required establishments to have a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) for several years, and now it is a requirement in Washington for the first time after inclusion in the most recent update to our state food code.

Unlike the other food code changes that took effect in 2022, food establishments have until March 1, 2023, to comply with the new CFPM requirement. CFPMs must get certified through an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited program. Washington Hospitality Association members can sign up for training and certification through our partnership with the National Restaurant Association and ServSafe.

You can find more details and resources here.

 

The variance allowing businesses to offer alcohol-to-go is set to expire July 1, 2023

The Legislature could vote to extend this variance again or make it permanent. You can have an impact on the fate of this extension by staying in compliance if you offer alcohol-to-go. Engaging with your lawmaker or sending your story to our government affairs team if this variance has helped your business can also help move the needle on this issue.

 

WA Cares on hold until July 2023

Expect to hear more on this one. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill on Jan. 27, 2022, that delayed parts of WA Cares implementation by 18 months. Collection of employee premiums will remain on hold until at least July, 2023. This delay gave the Legislature time to make necessary changes to the program. This promises to be one of the biggest issues for legislators during the 2023 session. We will provide new guidance for members if the Legislature enacts updates to WA Cares next session.

 

2023 workers’ comp rates

The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) proposed a 4.8 percent increase on the average price employers and workers pay for workers’ compensation insurance in 2023. If adopted, the increase would mean employers and workers would pay an additional $61 on average a year for each full-time employee within a business.

Final rates will be adopted on Nov. 30 and go into effect Jan. 1, 2023.