OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington state's minimum wage will increase to $13.50 an hour in the new year, the final of four set increases set by a ballot measure that passed in 2016.
The increase — up from this year's $12 an hour — was set by Initiative 1433. Under that measure, the minimum wage has increased in yearly stages, starting with the first boost to $11 an hour in 2017.
Starting in 2021, the wage will continue to increase yearly depending on inflation.
Starting in September 2020, the Department of Labor and Industries will make a cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers and that new wage will take effect Jan 1, 2021, and yearly thereafter.
The state's minimum wage applies to workers in both agriculture and non-agricultural jobs, although 14- and 15-year-olds may be paid 85% of the minimum wage under the law.
For employers in Seattle and SeaTac, which already have higher minimum wages, the local minimum wage rate will apply as long as it is higher than the state minimum. Seattle is currently at $15 an hour and SeaTac is at $15.64 an hour.