Tag Archives: Minimum Wage

WA Minimum Wage Climbing to $11 in 2017; Paid Sick Leave Starting in 2018

The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $11 an hour starting on Jan. 1, 2017. The new minimum wage, a result of the passage of Initiative 1433 in November’s election, applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture. Workers under 16 years old can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $9.35 per hour, in 2017. In addition to minimum wage, the initiative addresses paid sick leave.

Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac have higher minimum wage rates for 2017. For employers in those areas, the local minimum wage rate will apply as long as it is higher than the state minimum. The new law does not change minimum wage exemptions or regulations regarding overtime pay.

Since 1998, L&I has been responsible for calculating the state’s minimum wage each September. Under Initiative 1433, the minimum wage will increase to $13.50 by 2020. L&I will resume calculating the minimum wage for calendar years 2021 and beyond.

Paid sick leave starting in 2018

Along with increasing the state minimum wage, the initiative requires employers to provide paid sick leave starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Under the initiative, L&I must adopt rules to enforce the new requirement, including, “…procedures for notification to employees and reporting regarding sick leave, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of sick leave…”

The official rulemaking process, which will include public comment opportunities, will take place in 2017. Interested parties can sign up for updates on the process on L&I’s Employment Standards Program listserv.

L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The agency investigates all wage-payment complaints. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available on L&I’s wage and hour webpage. Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

Photo credit: Internet Archive Book Images via Foter.com / No known copyright restrictions

 

Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

States Will #RaiseTheWage for More Than 2 Million Workers

By  on November 10, 2016 – –

It has been almost four years since President Obama called on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage. While Congress has refused to take action, this hasn’t dissuaded states and localities from stepping up and giving American workers the raises they need and deserve. Election Day was no exception. Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington cast their ballots to ensure that hard work is rewarded with a fair wage.

The resounding win for minimum wage ballot initiatives in these states will collectively result in nearly 2.2 million workers getting a raise.*

  • In Arizona, the minimum wage will be raised to $12 by 2020, lifting the earnings of 779,000 workers. Flagstaff passed an even bigger raise − $15 by 2021.
  • In Colorado, the minimum wage will be raised to $12 by 2020, lifting the earnings of 477,000 workers.
  • In Maine, the minimum wage will be raised to $12 by 2020, lifting the earnings of 181,000 workers.
  • In Washington, the minimum wage will be raised to $13.50 by 2020, lifting the earnings of 730,000 workers.

The Election Day results are another reminder that for most Americans, raising the minimum wage isn’t a partisan issue but rather a commonsense decision. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia – home to 61 percent of all U.S. workers − have minimum wage rates above the federal rate of $7.25.

Voters and policymakers in these states understand what labor economists have spent decades researching and confirming: minimum wage increases have caused little to no significant job loss, but they have reduced employee turnover, strengthened families’ finances, and ultimately helped grow our economy. As our economy continues to recover from the greatest economic crisis in generations, we should all share in the prosperity we are building. And there is no easier way to do that than by raising the minimum wage.

By casting their ballots for a fair wage, the residents of Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington renewed President Obama’s call to take action. It’s time raise the minimum wage for all workers in America.

Dr. Heidi Shierholz is the department’s chief economist.

*Source: The Economic Policy Institute.

Note: In Arizona and Washington, the approved minimum wage ballot initiatives also require employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Expanding access to paid sick leavehas been another top priority of the Obama administration, and these ballot victories will help thousands more workers be able to address their health needs without putting their or their families’ economic security at risk.

Minimum wage in Washington to increase 6 cents in 2017

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced today that the state’s minimum wage will increase 6 cents in 2017. The wage will rise to $9.53 an hour on Jan. 1.

L&I is responsible for calculating the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required under Initiative 688, which voters approved in 1998. The new wage is up from the 2016 minimum wage of $9.47 per hour. Some jurisdictions have approved local minimum wages that are higher than the state’s, including Seattle, Sea-Tac, and Tacoma.

The change reflects a 0.7 percent increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) over the last 12 months ending Aug. 31. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the change this month. The index represents a “shopping basket” of goods needed for everyday living, including groceries, gas, and clothing.

The increase in the minimum wage is expected to affect nearly 51,000 workers, based on full-time equivalent jobs, according to theWashington State Employment Security Department.

The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture. Workers under 16 can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $8.10 an hour, in 2017.

L&I provides materials to help employers inform workers about minimum wage and their rights as workers. Employers are required to post a “Your Rights as a Worker” poster in the workplace, which supplies general information about employment issues. An optional minimum wage poster is also available for employers. Both are free from L&I.

L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The agency investigates all wage-payment complaints. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available on L&I’s wages webpage. Employers and workers may also call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

 

Photo credit: Denis Bocquet via Foter.com / CC BY

No Increase to Washington’s Minimum Wage in 2016

Washington state’s minimum wage will stay the same in 2016 — $9.47 per hour — because the national Consumer Price Index did not increase.

Changes to the minimum wage are based on the nationwide Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the 12 months ending each Aug. 31. The index represents a shopping basket of goods needed for everyday living, including groceries, gas and clothing. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPI-W decreased 0.3 percent between August 2014 and August 2015.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announces the state’s minimum wage each year in September as required under Initiative 688, which Washington voters approved in 1998. Under the law, the minimum wage can’t be decreased.

It’s the second time the state minimum wage has remained flat since passage of the initiative. The last time was in 2010.

An estimated 67,000 full-time equivalent wage jobs are affected, according to the state Employment Security Department.

For years, Washington’s minimum wage has been the highest in the country. That will change Jan. 1, 2016, when minimum wage in California and Massachusetts will reach $10 per hour.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs. Youth ages 14-15 may be paid 85 percent of the adult wage, $8.05 per hour.

L&I provides a minimum wage poster for employers to post if they wish. Employers are required to post the “Your Rights as a Worker” poster, which provides general information about employment issues. The posters are available from L&I free of charge.

L&I enforces the state’s wage-and-hour laws. The agency investigates all wage-payment complaints it receives, as required by state law. More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.lni.wa.gov. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.

 

Photo credit: Denis Bocquet / Foter / CC BY

“Minimum wage?!” Singapore Clarke Quay Elgin Bridge underpass 2013 (by RSCLS street art collective)

Wal-Mart & McDonald’s: Passing the Buck to Taxpayers

Today’s post comes from guest author Charlie Domer, from The Domer Law Firm.

Came across this post today: “How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens.”  News like this has become so commonplace that you almost accept it with a shrug.   Yeah, big box stores and fast food chains are paying their workers cruddy wages, forcing them to go on state health insurance and food stamp assistance.  Oh well.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.

But the outrage should exist.  These stories make my blood boil.  Many of these companies are making massive profits.  You’re telling me you can’t pay a living wage?  All of us, as taxpayers, are helping pad the the coffers of these companies.  By not providing sufficient wages or health care, the actual taxpayers serve as the necessary social safety net for these workers.  Is that really how we want our society and country structured?

Admittedly my experience is anectodal, but I see a number of these workers in my practice–from the greeters at Wal-Mart to those flipping burgers at McDonald’s.  Many are making a minimum hourly wage of $7.25.  No matter how hard they work (and, in my experience, some of these fast food and retail workers are the hardest workers out there, in light of their work condition), they cannot get ahead or make enough to avoid the necessity of seeking food stamp assistance or of searching for the local food pantry.  

Corporations simply should not be able to get rich on the public’s back.  As taxpayers, we continue to allow this grossly one-sided equation to continue.

 

Washington’s Minimum Wage to Increase – The Highest of the 50 States

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs,

Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.19 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced today.

L&I calculates the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998. The 15-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.04 to $9.19 an hour, reflects a 1.67 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index (for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI‑W) announced earlier this month by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

The CPI-W measures average price changes for goods and services purchased by urban wage earners and clerical workers. The goods and services it monitors include basic living costs such food, clothing, shelter, fuels, and services such as doctor visits.

 

The 15-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.04 to $9.19 an hour, reflects a 1.67 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index (for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI‑W) announced earlier this month by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

 

According to the BLS’ Sept. 14 announcement, about 80 percent of the increase was due to a jump in gasoline prices, which rose an average of nine percent over the past 12 months.  

Washington is one of 10 states that adjust the minimum wage based on inflation and the CPI. The others are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont.

Washington has the highest minimum wage, followed by Oregon, which recently announced its 2013 minimum wage will rise 1.7 percent, or by 15 cents, to $8.95 per hour.

Washington’s minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although 14‑ and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $7.68 in 2012.

More information on Washington’s minimum wage is available at Wages.Lni.wa.gov. Employers and workers also may call 360-902-5316 or 1-866-219-7321.