t

State minimum wage goes to $13.69 per hour starting Jan. 1

Current rate is $13.50

  • Wednesday, December 30, 2020 10:34am
  • Business

There’s a question about the minimum wage that the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) receives a lot, especially at the start of a new year. Here’s the answer:

“If you receive the minimum wage, and worked during December but are paid in January for that time, then you’ll receive the 2020 minimum wage,” said Joshua Grice, Employment Standards Program manager at L&I, in a Dec. 30 news release. “This is something we remind businesses and employees about frequently.”

The state’s minimum wage will increase to $13.69 per hour starting Jan. 1. It’s based on a 1.39% increase over the last 12 months in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

The state minimum wage applies to workers age 16 and older. Under state law, employers can pay 85% of the minimum wage to workers ages 14-15. For 2021, the wage for that younger age group will be $11.64 per hour.

New salary thresholds for exempt employees

Salaried executive, administrative and professional workers, and computer professionals must perform certain specified duties, and earn a salary above a minimum specified amount to remain overtime exempt. For 2021, it means:

• For small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, an exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year).

• For large businesses with 51 or more employees, an exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year).

There also are threshold changes for exempt computer professionals paid by the hour.

The new thresholds are a part of changes to the overtime rules that took effect July 1.

Complete information about the minimum wage is available on L&I’s website, as well as details about overtime, rest breaks, and meal periods. Also, there is a new, free, “Your Rights as a Worker” poster that businesses in Washington are required to display in their workplace.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

2021 Lexus RX 350L. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Lexus RX 350L

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s always a good day when a Lexus… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Blazer. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to certain car models they… Continue reading

The Cadillac CT4 is designed to appeal to a new generation of Cadillac buyers with its athletic design and astute driving dynamics. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

By Larry Lark, contributor With apologies to Oldsmobile, “the 2020 CT4 Premium… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes E-350 luxury sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor Mercedes-Benz occupies rarified air in the automobile pantheon.… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Fisher Scones
Fisher Scones parent company fined for overworking teenage employees

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries found more than 1,500 instances of violations including missing meal breaks, working during school hours and more.

Courtesy photo
Snoqualmie Hampton Inn owners seek to separate from franchise

The owners of the Snoqualmie Hampton Inn and Suites is asking the… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Coronavirus stimulates RV sales and rentals | Brunell

Before the pandemic came ashore, the number of active camping households was increasing.

Dick’s Drive-In announces search for new Eastside location
Dick’s Drive-In announces search for new Eastside location

The local popular burger chain is looking for public suggestions on possible properties

Port commissioner talks COVID-19 impacts
Port commissioner talks COVID-19 impacts

Sam Cho at SnoValley Chamber luncheon: Air traffic down 75 percent at Sea-Tac Airport.

Snoqualmie Casino unveils first Seahawks-themed table games pit
Snoqualmie Casino unveils first Seahawks-themed table games pit

The Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept.… Continue reading

Stock photo
Union files charges against QFC, Fred Meyer over Black Lives Matter button ban

Grocery store workers condemn ban; QFC spokesperson says wristband options available to employees