Understanding the Washington State Minimum Wage in 2024

Understanding the Washington State Minimum Wage in 2024
Browse this comprehensive guide to the Washington minimum wage in 2024, including exemptions, projections, and other information for small business owners.
by Meredith Galante Nov 10, 2023 — 2 min read
Understanding the Washington State Minimum Wage in 2024

With many states implementing multi year minimum wage campaigns, it can be hard to stay on top of what you’re required to pay in your state.

Washington state will raise the minimum wage in 2024 and plans to do so every year according to the Consumer Price Index. Here’s what you need to know.

Learn how to formalize and grow your business. Check out the Employer Launchpad.

What is the Washington state minimum right now?

The minimum wage in Washington will increase from $15.74 to $16.28 per hour on Jan. 1, 2024. Younger workers, ages 14 or 15, can expect to be paid $13.84 an hour (85% of the standard minimum wage).

But if your business is in Seattle, the requirements are different.

When it comes to wages, Seattle delineates businesses by size: 500 employees or fewer and more than 501 employees.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, businesses with 501 or more employees are required to pay $19.97 an hour, regardless of if they pay toward medical benefits. Seattle businesses with 500 or fewer employees must pay $17.25 an hour if they pay $2.72 an hour toward medical benefits and/or their employee earns $2.72/hour in tips. If that’s not the case, then the business must pay $19.97 an hour.

Keep in mind that other counties, cities, and towns may have their own minimum wage laws. You should do the research to determine which local wage laws may apply to you.

Minimum wage in Washington

Date Minimum Wage
January 1, 2021 $13.69
January 1, 2022 $14.49
January 1, 2023 $15.74
January 1, 2024 $16.28

Seattle employers with 500 or fewer employees

  Pays $2.72/hour toward medical benefits and/or the employee earns $2.72/hour in tips  
Year Yes No
2021 $15.00 $16.69
2022 $15.75 $17.27
2023 $16.50 $18.69
2024 $17.25 $19.97

Seattle employers with 501 or more employees

Date Minimum Wage
2021 $16.69
2022 $17.27
2023 $18.69
2024 $19.97

How should I prepare for changes to the minimum wage as a business owner?

Washington state and Seattle are raising wages consistently for the next few years. Each year, you should examine your business and determine how those changes might affect you. Here are a few things you may want to do:

As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance (for example knowing your employee’s rights or getting an EIN, you should discuss Washington minimum wage laws with your accountant and lawyer.

Meredith Galante
Meredith Galante is a freelancer writer based in New York City. She's been writing for Square since 2017 where she's covered everything from the best software for restaurants to use to maximize profit, minimum wage laws across the country, and tips for entrepreneurs to maximize their impact.


Keep Reading

Tell us a little more about yourself to gain access to the resource.

i Enter your first name.
i Enter your last name.
i Enter a valid email.
i Enter a valid phone number.
i Enter your company name.
i Select estimated annual revenue.
i This field is required.

Thank you!
Check your email for your resource.

Results for

Based on your region, we recommend viewing our website in:

Continue to ->