What is the Current Minimum Wage in Washington?
As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in Washington is $13.50. You must be paid at least this amount for every hour of work. If you are getting paid at a “piece rate,” then your weekly income must reflect an average hourly rate that meets the minimum wage. For the most current information related to minimum wage, visit http://www.lni.wa.gov/workplacerights/wages/minimum/.
The City of Seattle has higher minimum wages which depend on the size of the company, including up to $16.39 an hour (as of this writing) for large companies with over 500 employees.
Working Time and Overtime
If you are paid by the hour or if the type of work you do is not “exempt” from overtime, your employer is required to pay you not just for your regular work, but also for work-related travel, training sessions and meetings outside of work hours. However, your employer does not have to pay you for your work and home commute or “on call” time.
Generally, for every four hours on the job, you must be given a 10-minute paid break. If your shift lasts longer than five hours, then you must also be given at least a half hour meal break. Employers are not required to pay for your meal break unless you are required to remain at the work site.
Any hours worked above the regular 40 hours will usually be compensated with overtime pay, which most employers consider 1.5 times the normal pay rate. Employees who work in agricultural, administrative, executive, and other professional occupations do not fall under the protection of overtime laws.
You must be paid by your employer at least once a month. If you are terminated from your position, you must receive your due payment on the next usual payday. You must also receive from your employer a statement that details your worked hours, pay rate, gross wages and all wage deductions.
Any deductions from your wages must either be required by law or confirmed beforehand by you in writing. Your employer cannot hold you financially liable for any broken or lost equipment unless some intentional or deceitful actions on your part directly led to damages. Your employer can hold you liable for a cash register shortage, but only if you were the only employee manning the register throughout the whole shift and counted the money before and after the shift.
If your employer is violating any Wage and Hour laws, you should call the State Department of Labor and Industries, Employment Standards Division, at (360) 902-5316.
If you believe your employer is violating the rights of many workers, or your losses total over $5,000 please feel free to give me a call and we can either assist or refer you to someone who can.