Washington State 2014 minimum wage increase

Minimum wage will increase by $0.13 in Wash. on Jan. 1, 2014. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, minimum wage applies to workers in both agricultural and non-agricultural jobs.

There are exemptions with 14 and 15 year old workers. They are entitled to 85 percent of the minimum wage. There are also exemptions on minimum wage for hand harvest laborers who are generally seasonal farmers hands hired to pick produce for no longer than 13 weeks per season.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) website explains that workers must be paid for “hours worked,” according to Washington state law. “Hours worked” is described as any time entered on the employers premises including meetings and trainings.

The minimum wage in Wash. changes frequently by law to adjust for inflation. According to L&I, RCW 49.46.020 was amended in 2000, issuing the Minimum Wage Act.

Using the consumer price index for “urban wage earners” and “clerical workers”, L&I determines every September what the increase will be for the following year.

SPSCC student Maren Sekerak works a minimum wage job part-time and does not favor an increase. “Jobs are really hard to get as it is,” said Sekerak. Sekerak also disagrees with the SeaTac minimum wage increase to fifteen dollars an hour.

Alec Walsh, SPSCC student, works a minimum wage part-time job said, “I am pretty indifferent, but If I had to choose if I were for or against the increase I would be against it.” Walsh comes from Alaska and said jobs are difficult to find. “Washington has the highest minimum wage in the United States,” said Walsh. He does not agree with wage increases to account for inflation and thinks it will limit employers hiring capabilities. Walsh said, “The wage increase in SeaTac to fifteen dollars is ridiculous.” He does not think that the the majority of the people who voted for the SeaTac wage increase are even affected by the outcome.