Minimum wage climbing to $11 in 2017; paid sick leave starts in 2018

The minimum wage in Washington will increase to $11 an hour starting on Jan. 1, 2017, and to $13.50 by 2020.

The new minimum wage, a result of the passage of Initiative 1433, applies to all jobs, including those in agriculture. Workers under 16 years old can be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage, or $9.35 per hour, in 2017. And of particular concern to the construction industry is the requirement, also included in (-1433, that employers provide paid sick leave starting Jan. 1, 2018.

Under the initiative, L&I must adopt rules to enforce the new requirement, including, “…procedures for notification to employees and reporting regarding sick leave, and protecting employees from retaliation for the lawful use of sick leave…”

How the requirement will be applied within the construction industry is unclear at this time. L&I has promised to discuss the matter directly with AGC members. Meanwhile, the official rulemaking process, which will include public comment opportunities, will take place in 2017. Interested parties can sign up for updates on the process on L&I’s Employment Standards Program listserv.

For more information, contact AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry VanderWood at 360.352.5000.