Washington State has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the United States. Some professions have a higher wage rate in Washington than anywhere else. In 2020, Washington state law established a new minimum wage for computer professionals.
Washington State Minimum Wages
The 2022 statewide minimum wage for Washington workers aged 16 and older is $14.49 per hour, with some exceptions:
- 14- and 15-year-olds – 85% of state minimum wage ($12.32 in 2022)
- Seattle workers – employees within the City of Seattle have a higher minimum wage of $17.27 per hour in 2022.
- SeaTac hospitality and transportation employees – hotel and transportation employees within the city limits of SeaTac earn $17.53 an hour in 2022
- Computer professionals – exempt computer programmers and other computer professionals earn $50.72 per hour in 2022 (alternatively, employers can choose to pay the exempt salary threshold of $52,743.60 annually) or by the hour.
What is a computer professional?
Washington law defines a computer professional as someone who is a computer programmer, computer system analyst, software engineer, or similarly skilled worker. As of 2022, the minimum wage for computer professionals in Washington is 3.5x the minimum wage, or $50.72. This wage will increase over time as the state-wide minimum wage increases.
The Washington computer professional minimum wage does NOT include workers that manufacture, repair, or complete maintenance of computer hardware and related equipment. It also does not include workers who may use computers regularly but do not engage in computer systems analysis and programming or other similar computer-related occupations.
What is the difference between exempt vs. non-exempt employees?
Per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) the difference between exempt and non-exempt employees is whether they qualify for overtime pay.
- Exempt employees do NOT qualify for overtime pay
- Non-exempt employees DO qualify for overtime pay
Other differences include pay grades, whether the employee is covered by FMLA, and job duties. Know how your job is classified will help you better understand what your rights are as an employee. If you’re not sure whether you are exempt or non-exempt, check with your HR department.
Unpaid overtime and wage discrepancies
One of the many issues we hear about wages from clients involves unpaid overtime. Non-exempt employees qualify for overtime pay, but some employers don’t pay it properly, or even at all. If you are owed overtime pay or not being paid the proper minimum wage, give the employment attorneys at Emery Reddy a call. You deserve to be paid for your time and labor, and we can help.