TOP CHANGES COMING JAN. 1, 2024
This page features new laws or upcoming changes that go into effect in 2024. 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.
WASHINGTON STATE’S MINIMUM WAGE IS $16.28 PER HOUR
The state minimum wage applies to workers aged 16 and older. Under state law, employers can pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15. For 2024, the wage for that younger group will be $13.84 per hour.
The city of Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards (OLS) announced its 2024 minimum wage on Oct. 16.
As of Jan. 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Seattle will be:
$19.97/hour – Large employers (501 or more employees)
$19.97/hour – Small employers (500 or fewer employees) who do not pay at least $2.72/hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does not earn at least $2.72/hour in tips.
$17.25/hour – Small employers who do pay at least $2.72/hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does earn at least $2.72/hour in tips.
The city of SeaTac announced its 2024 minimum wage on Oct. 6. As of Jan. 1, 2024, the new minimum wage in SeaTac will be $19.71 for employees who work in the transportation and hospitality industries.
Large employers with more than 500 employees in Tukwila must pay $20.29 starting Jan. 1, 2024.
Mid-sized employers with between 15 and 499 employees must pay $18.29 starting Jan. 1, 2024, and $19.29 starting July 1, 2024.
Employers with fewer than 15 employees that make less than $2 million in annual revenue are not subject to these new wages but must pay the state minimum wage of $16.28 per hour.
You can learn more on our minimum wage resources page.
In addition to the new statewide minimum wage, the 2024 overtime threshold is two times the minimum wage. That means an exempt employee will have to earn at least $1,302.40 a week ($67,724.80 a year).
As of July 1, 2020, Washington state implemented new laws for salaried employees: depending on how much they make, they are entitled to overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours a week.
There is an eight-year implementation schedule that incrementally raises the multiplier until it reaches 2.5 times the minimum wage in 2028. The pace of the increase is based on the size of the employer.
You can download this schedule here.
For more information visit our Wages and Salaries toolkit.
WORKERS’ COMP RATES
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is proposing a 4.9% increase in the average hourly rate employers and workers will pay for workers’ compensation insurance next year. If adopted, the increase would mean employers and workers on average would jointly pay an additional $65 a year for each full-time employee within a business. Within hospitality, the proposed average rate increases for 2024 are:
- Catering – 1%
- Restaurants & Taverns – 5%
- Golf Courses – 6%
- Hotels & Motels – 8%
- Bowling Centers – 9%
- Card Rooms – 11%
PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE RATES
Premiums, collected from employees and employers through quarterly reporting, fund the Paid Leave program. By law, the Paid Leave premium rate is recalculated every October. The premium rate is adjusted based on premiums contributed and benefits paid during the previous year.
Starting Jan. 1, 2024:
The total premium rate will decrease to 0.74%.
Employers will pay 28.57% of the total premium and employees will pay 71.43%.
Businesses classified by the Employment Security Department as having fewer than 50 employees for the 2024 calendar year are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium. However, you must still collect the employee premium or pay employees’ premiums on their behalf.
For more information and next steps, visit our Paid Family and Medical Leave toolkit.
2024 LABOR POSTERS
There have been several updates over the last year, so you’ll want to make sure you display the 2024 version as soon as it arrives. We expect to mail 2024 labor poster shipments mid to late December. Order the most recent labor poster and find other resources on our Labor Poster page.
PLASTIC SHAMPOO BOTTLE BAN
During the 2023 legislative session, lawmakers approved House Bill 1085, which establishes a ban on single-use beauty products that are wrapped in plastic like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap and hand sanitizer in lodging establishment guest rooms. The government affairs team worked to push out the implementation date so small businesses can plan and budget for these changes, as well as advocated for strong state-wide standard language.
Starting on Jan. 1, 2027, lodging establishments with 50 or more rooms will no longer be able to offer single-use bottles that are six ounces or smaller, or bars of soap wrapped in plastic wrap. All lodging establishments will be required to comply with the ban starting Jan. 1, 2028.
In addition, local governments will not be able to pass, enforce, or enact any policy pertaining to these products after July 23, 2023.
If you haven’t done so already, lodging operators should create a plan to phase out these single use plastic products. Our bulk buying EcoCents solution replaces plastic bottle amenities with dispensers and liquids for our lodging members. By switching to dispensers, members save 30-70% over traditional bottle liquids. In addition, guests can read about the products and feel good about their environmental contribution.
For more information and resources visit Going Green.