2022 Washington Updates

The start of a new year can bring about changes to state and federal laws, new regulations and so much more. For 2022 the state of Washington has an increase to the WA PFML tax rate which began January 1, 2022. In 2021 the Paid Leave premium was 0.4% of an employee’s gross wages (pre-tax, minus tips), and for 2022 the Paid Leave Premium increases to 0.6% of an employee’s gross wages (pre-tax, minus tips). The State’s employer webpage for Paid Leave provides up to date information, including the updated 2022 Social Security cap of $147,000.

Of the 0.6% premium for 2022, employers with 50 or more employees will pay up to 26.78% and employees will pay 73.22%. Business with fewer than 50 employees continue not to be required to pay the employer portion of the premium, but must collect employee premiums. If you are using a voluntary plan for family or medical leave, calculations may be different.

The state of Washington also has a change in minimum wage and exempt salary thresholds as of January 1, 2022. Washington’s minimum wage is now $14.49 per hour, but be sure to check for local and city ordinances that may have changed as well, such as the city of Seattle’s minimum wage change for January 1, 2022.

Washington laid out it’s salary threshold implementation schedule for changes that began July 1, 2020. January 1, 2022 sees another increase in that threshold, increasing the salary threshold for exempt employees for both small (1-50 employees) and large (51+) employers. Provided in the State’s implementation schedule are the increased thresholds through January 1, 2028, so that business can plan for the increases set to take place each year on January 1st.

Don’t forget to update your required postings as Washington does require updated posters with these changes. Posters, such as an All-In-One poster which would include state and federal postings are often purchased, but many required postings can also be found online. The state of Washington often offers postings on the L&I website. Posters need to be displayed in a conspicuous and visible place.