Washington State's minimum wage increases to $11.50 effective January 1, 2018. The new minimum rate applies to all hours worked on or after January 1st. Hours worked in 2017 but paid in 2018 can be paid at the current minimum wage rate of $11.00. The cities of Tacoma, SeaTac, and Seattle have set independent minimum wage rates that employers must meet for employees working in those cities, even if the employer is located elsewhere.
The city of Tacoma's 2018 minimum wage rate is $12.00 per hour. The minimum wage rate applies to all employees who work 80 or more hours per year within Tacoma city limits. Tips and gratuities can not be used to meet the minimum wage rate.
The city of SeaTac's 2018 minimum wage rate is $15.64 per hour, however it applies to hospitality and transportation employees only. Employees working in other industries are subject to the Washington State minimum rate of $11.50 per hour. Hospitality and transportation employers are required to provide written notification of the wage increase to employees. Tips, gratuities, service charges, and commissions can not be used to meet the minimum wage rate.
The city of Seattle's 2018 minimum wage rate is dependent on the worldwide size of the employer and whether the employer pays medical benefits. For employers with 501 or more employees worldwide, the minimum rate for employees working in Seattle is $15.00 per hour if the employer pays towards medical benefits and $15.45 per hour if they do not.
For employers with 500 or fewer employees worldwide, the minimum rate for employees working in Seattle is $11.50 per hour if the employer pays at least $2.50 per hour towards medical benefits or the employee earns at least $2.50 per hour in tips. If neither of those qualifications are met, employers must pay a minimum of $14.00 per hour. If the employer pays medical benefits and/or the employee receives tips, but they do not total $2.50 per hour, the employer must adjust the employee's hourly wage rate so the sum of hourly wages, employer-paid medical benefits, and tips is equal to $14.00 per hour.