Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

Oct 21, 2021

WASHINGTON: Seattle and SeaTac increase minimum wages in 2022

Wage and Hour 

The minimum wage in both Seattle and SeaTac will exceed $17.00 an hour as of January 1, 2022.

The City of Seattle is increasing its minimum wage requirement to $17.27 per hour for most employers. Seattle’s minimum wage rates apply to all non-exempt employees for all hours they work within the city limits. The specific minimum wage requirements for 2022, shown on the city’s minimum wage web page, will be:

  • $17.27 per hour (up from $16.69 per hour) for large employers (more than 500 employees worldwide); or
  • $17.27 per hour for smaller employers (500 or fewer employees) who don’t pay at least $1.52 per hour toward an employee’s medical benefits and/or if the employee doesn’t earn at least that much per hour in tips; or
  • $15.75 per hour (up from $15.00 per hour) for employees of smaller employers who receive medical benefits worth at least $1.52 per hour or earn at least that much per hour in tips.

Employers are required to provide a written notice to each employee working in Seattle before any change in their wage rate or other terms of employment. An explanation of this requirement and a sample notice form can be found on Seattle’s wage theft ordinance web page. If you will be adjusting wages as a result of the minimum wage increases, make sure you notify any affected workers. Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards will be mailing a new 2022 version of its required workplace poster to every business with a Seattle business license. The workplace poster is also available online for free to download in several languages.

The City of SeaTac also maintains its own minimum wage rate covering certain transportation and hospitality employees working within the city, which is adjusted each year by October 15. The 2022 minimum wage for those employees is $17.53 per hour.

Tips: The minimum wage rates in both of these cities continue to exceed Washington’s state minimum wage, which rises to $14.49 per hour in 2022 (as we recently reported). Remember that employees must be paid at the highest minimum wage rate that applies to them. Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney if you have questions about which rates apply.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.