|Editor’s Note: From time to time, our Woodinville Chamber will bring you guest posts from Woodinville Chamber Members that will aid in educating and informing our members about a topic of interest. The article below is a guest post by JB Consulting Systems.
by JB Consulting Systems
Are You Ready for the 2023 Washington State Compensation Changes?
Effective January 1, 2023, Washington state employers have two compensation related changes:
1. Increase in the salary threshold related to the white-collar exemption; and
2. Salary and benefit posting requirements on job advertisements.
What does this mean to you, the employer of employees in Washington State? Below we review each change individually.
Salary Threshold Increase
If you employ employees in Washington State that are currently classified as exempt from overtime compensation and minimum wage laws, you need to ensure that those employees meet the increased amount related to the salary threshold part of the exemption test. If you employ 1-50 employees in the state of Washington, the salary threshold as of the first of the year is equivalent to 1.7-times Washington State’s minimum wage (increasing to $15.74). That equates to an annual salary threshold of $57,293.60 or $1,101.81 on a weekly basis. If you employ 51+, the salary threshold is equivalent to 2-times the minimum wage, or $65,478.40 annually, or $1,259.20 weekly*. Washington state determines if your employee size based on total actual employees working in the state of Washington regardless of their full or part time status. If Washington state has classified as a 50 or fewer employer for the purposes of Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program, you can rely on that status for the salary threshold requirements.
If your exempt employees do not meet this threshold, you will need to decide whether you increase their salary to meet these minimum thresholds or do you re-classify those individuals to be salaried, non-exempt, or hourly, non-exempt. Each option brings about change and communication that must be done. Our seasoned HR Consultants are available to help you evaluate the alternatives, cost to the Company and guidance on communicating strategies and tactics for communicating with employee.
Salary & Benefit Posting Requirements
Washington State’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act has been revised and requires employers with 15 or more employees to include salary ranges and a general description of all benefits on all job postings. Additionally, when promoting or transferring an existing employee to a new position, you are required to provide them with the wage scale or salary range if the employee requests that information.
Compliance with these new requirements may sound easy, but there is more to it than just listing a minimum pay amount, such as minimum wage, up to some random amount or listing depending on experience (DOE). Ranges must be applicable to the job, or the various levels of jobs being posted and if there is a change to the range, you are required to repost, allowing an opportunity for all candidates to consider applying based on that revised information.
What should you do if you do not have wage or salary ranges, you need help or guidance developing general descriptions for your benefits offered, and/or need help developing job postings that will comply with these new requirements? Our senior HR Consultants can assist you in evaluating your internal compensation rates against the demands of the market, with the development of wage or salary ranges, as well as guidance on complying with the general description of your benefits and job posting.