Washington Labor Laws

As of 2022, Washington state’s minimum wage rate is $14.49 per hour.

State requires employers to pay tipped employees a minimum cash wage above the minimum cash wage required under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ($2.13/hour).

In calculating the overtime rate for the tipped employee, the restaurateur must multiply the minimum wage ($13.50 per hour) by 1½ (1.5), subtract the tip credit ($11.37 per hour), multiply that figure by the number of overtime hours worked, and then add that sum to their 40-hour total. 

Employees have a right under Washington law to take rest breaks and meal breaks. Employees under 18 have different standards than those listed on this page. With only a few exceptions, an employee’s work schedule is set by their employer.

Although the employer doesn’t technically “take” the employee’s tips, the employer gets to count some tips as if the employer had paid them directly to the employeeWashington does not allow employers to take a tip credit, however.

If you are an employee in Washington State, your employer is now required to provide you with paid sick leave. The paid sick leave law was one of several changes to worker rights mandated by Initiative 1433, approved by Washington voters in 2016. You must earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours you work. Employers may provide more leave if they choose.

Employment Law Firms

HKM Employment Attorneys


Committed to workplace fairness, our firm represents employees throughout the Seattle area and Washington State. Our attorneys have experience successfully helping employees in all practice areas, from discrimination to non-competes to harassment. We represent employees in all industries, and at all employment levels, and we have the experience, the resources, and the skill to help you against any company, from Microsoft, Amazon or Boeing to even a smaller employer or start-up. Click here to see a list of the companies we have gone up against on behalf of employees.