Minimum wage to increase in Washington state to $13.69 in 2021

Washington state's minimum wage is set to increase by 19 cents, and Seattle workers can expect a larger increase in the new year, according to a Department of Labor and Industries news release.

Starting Jan. 1st, the state minimum wage will change to $13.69. In Seattle, the minimum wage will increase from $15.75 to $16.69 an hour and SeaTac workers will also see a slight increase from $16.34 to $16.57 an hour.

LnI says if you work December 2020, expect the initial minimum wage to be reflected in the first January 2021 paycheck.

"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," Joshua Grice, Employment Standards Program manager at L&I said in the release. "This is something we remind businesses and employees about frequently."

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, equating to $11.64 an hour.

Salaried executive, administrative and professional workers, and computer professionals must earn a salary above a minimum specified amount to remain overtime-exempt. 

Exempt employees at businesses with up to 50 employees must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum $42,712.80 a year.

At businesses with more than 51 employees, exempt employees must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $49,831.60 a year.

The 2021 minimum wage is based on a 1.39 percent increase over the last 12 months in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. Since 1961, the state's minimum wage has gradually increased. Beginning in 2021 and each year after, the department says "L&I is required to make a cost-of-living adjustment to the minimum wage based on the CPI-W."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.