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Washington State Minimum Wage to Increase; Remains Highest in U.S.

Fast Food WorkerAccording to an announcement by the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), the minimum wage in Washington State is scheduled to increase to $9.19 per hour on January 1, 2013,

Each year L&I determines the state’s minimum wage as required by Initiative 688, passed by Washington voters in 1998. The 15 cent per hour increase, up from $9.04 to $9.19 an hour, marks a 1.67% increase in the Consumer Price Index announced earlier last month by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The CPI-W tracks price changes for goods and services bought by urban wage earners and clerical workers. The goods and services calculated here include basic living expenses like food, clothing, housing, energy expenses, and medical services.

According to the BLS announcement, 80% of the increase can be traced to the rising price of gasoline, which went up an average of 9% over the past year.

Washington is one of 10 states that modifies its minimum wage according to inflation and the CPI. Other states that follows this progressive practice include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont.

Washington has the highest minimum wage in the U.S. The next highest state is Oregon, which has announced that the 2013 minimum wage will increase by 15 cents, 1.7%, to $8.95 per hour.

Washington’s minimum wage covers workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs, although employers can pay 14‑ and 15-year-olds 85% of the adult minimum wage (which will be $7.81 in 2013).

Employment Law Attorneys

More information on Washington’s minimum wage can be reviewed at Wages.Lni.wa.gov. If you are involved in an overtime or unpaid wages dispute with your employer, contact an Employment Attorneyat Emery Reddy today.

If you have a Workers Compensation case and need a work injury attorneyto help recover the full benefits and medical compensation you deserve, the experienced teamat Emery Reddy can represent your interests

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