Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment related laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on behalf of customers who utilize Justworks’ PEO services, employers will need to close their Washington unemployment and withholding accounts prior to joining the Justworks platform. Linked here are the steps you’ll need to take: Washington - State Unemployment Insurance.
Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries (L&I): Wage & Hour
You can also find guidance for employers in Washington on the state’s Equal Pay Opportunity Act from the Department of Labor & Industries Relations here.
The localities in Washington, listed below, have a higher minimum wage than at the state level. Minimum wages in these localities are always changing, and this list is always growing. The very best way to ensure compliance with all applicable laws is to consult with legal counsel.
State Retirement Program
The Retirement Marketplace is the state of Washington's program designed to give employees access to a retirement savings plan when their employer does not offer a private plan meeting the minimum standards. You can read more about state retirement programs at the link below.
Paid Sick Leave
Under Washington’s paid sick leave law, all employees in Washington are eligible to accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked for each calendar year (or other 12-month period).
Eligible employees may take bereavement for the death of a newborn or newly adopted/fostered child under the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. This leave covers up to seven days following the loss of a child.
Additionally, the city of Tacoma’s paid sick leave law covers bereavement leave for a family member as defined by the law.
Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Act
Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WA PFML) will provide partial income replacement for eligible employees beginning January 1, 2020. Reporting and premium payment is handled by Justworks for our customers, and began on January 1, 2019.
Washington Employment Security Department (ESD): Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave
Family Leave Act
Washington’s Family Leave Act, similar in many ways to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees.
WA Dept. of L&I: Family Leave Act
In Washington, the final paycheck for separating employees should be issued no later than the next regularly scheduled payday.
WA Dept. of L&I: Getting Paid (see: Final Paychecks)
WA Employment Security Dept.: How to file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.