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Washington - Wage and Hour Laws - Employment Law Handbook

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Minimum Wage

Washington's current minimum wage is $9.32.
For more information on Washington's minimum wage laws, visit our Washington Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topic covered on other pages include:

Overtime

Washington requires an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee's regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. WA Dept. of Labor: Understanding Overtime. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

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Meals and Breaks

Washington employers must provide employees a paid rest break of at least ten (10) minutes for each four (4) hours worked. The rest period must be allowed no later than the end of the third hour of the shift. Employers must provide at least a thirty (30) minute meal period if an employee works more than five (5) hours in a shift. Employees must be at least two (2) hours into the shift before the meal time can start and the meal time cannot start more than five (5) hours after the beginning of the shift. Employers are not required to pay for meal periods if workers are free from any duties for their entire meal period. Workers must be paid during their meal break when:
  • they are required or allowed to remain on duty
  • they are required to be on-call at the business premises or designated worksite to be available to return to duty even if they are not in fact called back to duty
  • they are called back to duty during their meal period even though they normally are not on call during the meal period
Wash. Admin. Code 296-126-092; WA Dept. of Labor: Break & Meal Periods.
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Vacation Leave

Information about Washington vacation leave laws may now be found on our Washington Leave Laws page.
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Sick Leave

Information about Washington sick leave laws may now be found on our Washington Leave Laws page.
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Holiday Leave

Information about Washington holiday leave laws may now be found on our Washington Leave Laws page.
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Jury Duty Leave

Information about Washington jury duty leave laws may now be found on our Washington Leave Laws page.
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Voting Leave

Information about Washington voting leave laws may now be found on our Washington Leave Laws page.
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Severance Pay

Washington law does not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. WA Dept. of Labor: Severance. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
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