A rise in the minimum wage and the arrival of mandatory paid sick leave are among the biggest changes on Jan. 1 for employers and employees.
The Washington state minimum wage will be $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1, a 50-cent increase compared to 2017. It will be the second-highest rate in the U.S., behind Washington D.C.
The beginning of 2018 is also when the mandatory sick leave law takes effect. Voters approved the change as part of Initiative 1433, which passed in November 2016.
Under the new paid sick leave rules, employees will earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, according to a news release by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. The law also requires employers to carry-over up to 40 hours of an employee’s unused sick leave from one year to the next.