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Washington State Raises Its Minimum Wage to $15.74 per Hour in 2023



Per state statute, Washington’s minimum wage increases each year as a function of increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). Effective January 1, 2023, Washington’s Minimum Wage will increase to $15.74 per hour—up from 2022’s rate of $14.49.

Likewise, the minimum salary required for an employee to be exempt under the Executive, Administrative, and Professional exemptions (commonly referred to as the White Collar exemptions) will increase this year as a result of inflation and also the phase-in adjustment for larger employers.

In 2023, Washington employers with up to 50 employees will have to pay a weekly salary of $1,101.80 (annually, $57,293.60) to treat an employee as exempt from overtime and other requirements.

Washington employers with 51 or more employees will have to pay a weekly salary of $1,259.20 (annually, $65,478.40) in 2023 to treat an employee as exempt from overtime and other requirements.

Computer Professionals can be exempt either under the minimum salary requirement, or alternatively, if they are paid at least $55.09 per hour for all hours worked.

As a reminder, these White Collar exemptions also require that an employee meet a duties test, in addition to being paid at least the applicable required minimum salary.

The state minimum compensation level to enforce noncompetition against a former employee, the employee’s annualized taxable income [Box 1 W-2 income] at termination must meet the minimum level of $116,593.18 in 2023. To enforce a noncompetition provision with an independent contractor, the 2023 compensation level is $281,482.95.


Seattle and SeaTac have their own higher minimum wages, which for 2023 will be:

    • Seattle: $18.29 per hour. Employers with fewer than 500 employees worldwide can meet this by paying $16.50/hour and $2.19/hour in paid benefits or allowed tips.
    • SeaTac: $19.06 per hour. Applies to Hospitality and Transportation employees only.

The legal issues impacting workplaces are ever changing (Employment Law in Motion!) and since publication, new or additional information not referenced in this blog post may be available.

This article is provided for informational purposes only—it does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader. Readers should consult legal counsel before taking action relating to the subject matter of this article.

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