Washington State: New Laws and Rules


A new tax credit for Washington workers

Individuals and families may receive up to $1,200 back if they meet certain eligibility requirements. Applications open February 1, 2023.

Rideshare driver rights

Rideshare drivers will get new rights and protections as well after legislation that was passed in 2022.

Drivers for services like Uber and Lyft will have the right to minimum trip pay, paid sick time, workers’ compensation coverage, and protection from retaliation for exercising these rights.

Click here for more details.

Job posting transparency

Businesses with at least 15 employees will need to include the following on each job posting or advertisement:

  • Salary range or pay scale
  • General description of all benefits offered
  • Identify any other compensation

Click here for more details.

LONG-TERM CARE TAX

The state will finally begin collecting taxes to fund its long-term care law, known as WA Cares, on July 1.

The WA Cares payroll tax – 58 cents on every $100 earned – was supposed to kick in Jan. 1, but that plan was derailed by, among other things, lawmakers concerned about people paying into the program who would not be eligible to receive benefits.

In late January, Inslee signed House Bill 1732, pausing the implementation of the program for 18 months.

CAPITAL GAINS INCOME TAX

The new capital gains income tax’s constitutionality is still up in the air, but the state Department of Revenue is proceeding with plans to collect the tax in April.

On March 1, Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber ruled the tax was an income tax that violated the state constitution’s uniformity clause that does not allow income to be taxed at different rates.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson asked the state Supreme Court to take up the case on appeal, with the high court agreeing to do so. Oral arguments in the case are slated to begin on Jan. 26.

The Supreme Court has since given the okay for DOR to administer and collect the tax in the meantime.

In 2021, the Legislature passed and Inslee signed into law a capital gains income tax aimed at the state’s wealthiest residents. The measure adds a 7% tax on capital gains above $250,000 a year, such as profits from stocks or business sales.

Overtime exempt salary threshold

L&I explains “To be exempt from the state Minimum Wage Act, executive, administrative, professional or computer professional, and outside salespeople must earn at least the minimum salary.”

“For employers with 50 or fewer employees, the 2023 salary threshold is 1.75 times the minimum wage: $1,101.80/week ($57,293.60/year). For employers with 51 or more employees, the threshold is double the minimum wage, $1,259.20/week ($65,478.40/year).”

Click here for more details.

Agricultural overtime

Agricultural workers will need to work fewer hours to be eligible for overtime pay.

In 2023, ag workers will need to work 48 hours before they start earning overtime. In 2024, overtime eligibility begins when a worker reaches 40 hours in a week.

Click here for more details.

Source: governor.wa.gov

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