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Payroll and Benefits Guide United States – Washington

Last updated: Apr 04, 2023

Currency
United States Dollar (USD)
Employer Taxes
8.52% –19.67%+SPF
Payroll Frequency
Monthly/Semi-monthly
Employee Costs
8.55%
Capital
Olympia
Date Format
mm/dd/yyyy
Fiscal Year
1 January - 31 December
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Contribution

Employer Employer Payroll Contributions
1.25%-8.15% Unemployment Insurance (state) applied on salary up to 7,000 USD annually (includes employment administrative fund and social cost surtaxes)
Varies by industry Unemployment- New Employer (state)
6.20% FICA Social Security (federal) applied on salary up to 168,000 USD annually
1.45% FICA Medicare (federal)
0.60% – 6.00% The FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act)  is 6.0% applied on salary up to 7,000 USD annually. However, if states operate their unemployment insurance programs in compliance with federal law then the FUTA tax is reduced (credit) by 5.4% to 0.6%.
0.0686 USD per hour Supplemental Pension Fund (SPF)*
8.52% –19.67%+SPF* Total Employment Cost
Employee Employee Payroll Contributions
6.20% FICA Social Security (federal) applied on salary up to 168,000 USD annually.
1.45% FICA Medicare (federal)
0.90% Additional tax on earnings over 200,000 USD (high-income earners also pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes)
7.65%-8.55% Total Employee Cost
State Employee Income Tax
Washington has no state Tax
Federal Employee Income Tax
Federal Tax – Singles
10.00% Up to 11,600 USD
12.00% 11,601 USD to 47,150 USD
22.00% 47,151 USD to 100,525 USD
24.00% 100,525 USD to 191,950 USD
32.00% 191,950 USD to 243,725 USD
35.00% 243,725 USD to 609,350 USD
37.00% 609,350 USD or more
Federal Tax – Married, filing jointly
10.00% Up to 23,200 USD
12.00% 23,201 USD to 94,300 USD
22.00% 94,301 USD to 201,050 USD
24.00% 201,051 USD to 383,900 USD
32.00% 383,901 USD to 487,450 USD
35.00% 487,451 USD to 731,200 USD
37.00% 731,201 USD or more
Federal Tax – Heads of Households
10.00% Up to 16,550 USD
12.00% 16,551 USD to 63,100 USD
22.00% 63,101 USD to 100,500 USD
24.00% 100,501 USD to 191,950 USD
32.00% 191,951 USD to 243,725 USD
35.00% 243,726 USD to 609,350 USD
37.00% 609,351 USD or more
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption
14,600.00 USD Single
29,200.00 USD Married Filing Jointly
21,900.00 USD Head of Household

Minimum Wage

General

The state Minimum Wage law in Washington is 15.74 USD per hour.

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

Employees in Washington are paid either semi-monthly or monthly, with payments set dates as stipulated in contract.

13th Salary

There is no legislation for 13th-month payments in Washington.

Working Hours

General

In Washington, the working week is a maximum of 40 hours per week, eight hours per day.

Overtime

Washington adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and work in excess of 40 hours per week is considered overtime and paid at the rate of 150% of the regular pay. If employees are scheduled to work on weekends or rest days, no additional payment is required. However, should an employer request an employee to work in exceptional circumstances on these days, then overtime is paid at the rate of 150% of the regular pay.

Leave

Annual Leave (vacation)

Washington does not have any state statute governing the amount and payment of vacation time, however, it is common for employers to decide whether to offer paid or unpaid vacation leave. This must comply with employment law and must be stipulated in the collective bargaining agreements.

Public Holidays

Public holidays are not mandatory to give as paid days off, however, it is very common to allow workers to take federal holidays as paid days off.

Some companies might also agree to allow workers to take off state holidays. Workers can find the specific state holiday dates from their local government.

Usually, when an agreed-upon public holiday falls on a weekend, a day off in lieu is given on the Friday before or the Monday after the holiday.

Date Day Holiday Note
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
15 Jan 2024 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Presidents Day
27 May 2024 Monday Memorial Day
19 Jun 2024 Wednesday Juneteenth Independence Day
4 Jul 2024 Thursday Independence Day July
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labor Day
14 Oct 2024 Monday Columbus Day
11 Nov 2024 Monday Veterans Day
28 Nov 2024 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day

 

Sick Days

It is common for an employer to follow the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons (maternity leave, serious illnesses, or if the employee needs to care for a spouse or child).

Employees are eligible for FMLA if they have worked for their employer for at least one year, completed a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past year, and worked at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

FMLA eligible employees are entitled to:

  • 12 working weeks of leave in any one year for a child’s birth and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth.
  • Leave for the adoption or foster care of a child and care for the newly placed child within one year of placement.
  • Care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a severe health condition.
  • Leave in the event of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their job.
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

OR

  • 26 working weeks of leave during a single one-year period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

Maternity Leave

See Sick Days above.

Paternity Leave

See Sick Days above.

Parental Leave

See Sick Days above.

Other Leave

Washington law requires all employers to provide their full-time employees job-protected but unpaid leave for jury duty or as a witness in a case, responding to a subpoena, or acting as a plaintiff or defendant in the courts. Employees must provide a copy of the jury summons to the employer as evidence of requirement.

In addition to the federal law USERRA, Washington law provides protection against discrimination for members of The U.S. armed forces, reserves, the National Guard, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, and any other category of persons designated by the president in a time of war or emergency.

PAID MATERNITY LEAVE (DAYS)

Highest
Lowest

Termination

Termination Process

Except in mass dismissals or as provided for in an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, U.S. law does not impose a formal notice period to terminate an individual employment relationship, and employment is stipulated at will. This means that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship without giving either notice or reason, provided it is not illegal, notable discrimination on the grounds of a category protected by law, etc., and as per the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The employment contracts of executives and other highly skilled individuals often incorporate a just cause termination clause which mandates that the employer may only terminate the employee for cause and lists the permissible grounds. In such cases, the parties negotiate the foundations for a just cause termination case-by-case.

VISA

VISA

Foreign nationals without permanent resident status or a work visa are not permitted to work in the United States. An employer seeking to hire a foreign national may file a petition with the United States Department of Homeland Security/United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an employment visa on behalf of the prospective employee. If the petition is approved, the prospective employee must obtain a visa stamp from a United States embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement). To get a temporary U.S. work visa, an employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition must be part of the visa request. The types of visas include:

  • H-1B – For applicants with a college degree hired to do specialized work. The visa is valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three years. The visa is connected to the employer that filed the petition. If there is a change of employer, the new employer must repeat the process. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available each year.
  • H-1B1 – For applicants with a college degree from Chile and Singapore. The US government grants up to 1,400 visas to Chilean citizens and 5,400 from Singapore each year.
  • H-2A – For temporary or seasonal agriculture work. It is limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to one year and can be extended to a maximum of three years.
  • H-2B – For temporary non-agricultural work. These visas are limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to one year and can be extended to a maximum of three years.
  • L – For intercompany transfers such as those transferred from a foreign company to a U.S. branch of the company. The applicant must have been employed at the company for a year before the transfer and work in a managerial-level position or higher with specialized knowledge.
  • 0 – For people with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, or athletics.

The standard procedure is to obtain a short-term work visa and then apply for an immigrant visa after the employee has started working in the United States.

For those seeking employment-based immigrant visas:

  • E-1 – Highest priority employment for those with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, and athletics.
  • E-2 – For those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.
  • E-3 – For skilled workers and professionals, as well as unskilled workers.
  • E-4 – Members of certain immigrant groups.
  • E-5 – Immigrant investors in U.S. companies (substantial investment).

Alternatively, an employer may sponsor a potential employee’s application for permanent resident status, referred to as a green card, if the employer can establish that the potential employee is a multinational executive/manager transferee, has unique skills, or has been offered a job in the United States. The employer must have been unable to recruit a U.S. worker who meets the position’s minimum requirements.

All employers are obligated to verify that all individuals they employ are authorized to work in the United States.

VAT

General

Washington has a minimum combined 2024 sales tax rate of 7.5% (state tax at 6.50% and local tax from 1.00% – 4.10% USD).

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

February 20, 2022
The minimum wage in Washington increased to 14.49 USD per hour.
Washington has a minimum combined 2022 Sales Tax rate of 8.73% (State tax at 6.00% and Local tax at an average of 2.73% USD).
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.
January 1, 2021
Minimum Wage: rises to The state minimum wage is $13.69. In Seattle, the minimum wage is $16.69. In SeaTac, the minimum wage is $16.57.
Overtime: As of Jan. 1, 2021, the standard overtime rate of 150% of regular hourly pay also applies to dairy farmers in Washington.
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Payroll and Benefits Guide in United States – Washington

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in United States – Washington

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

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Public Holidays Calendar

United States – Washington
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PDF
ICS
Date Day Holiday Note
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
15 Jan 2024 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Presidents Day
27 May 2024 Monday Memorial Day
19 Jun 2024 Wednesday Juneteenth Independence Day
4 Jul 2024 Thursday Independence Day July
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labor Day
14 Oct 2024 Monday Columbus Day
11 Nov 2024 Monday Veterans Day
28 Nov 2024 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day