L&I enforces the state’s minimum wage law. The minimum wage is $8.55 per hour. The state’s minimum wage is recalculated each year in September as a result of an initiative approved by voters in 1998. It tied the minimum wage to changes in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPIW). For the 12 months ending August 2002, the nationwide CPIW increased 1.6 percent over August 2001. Therefore, Washington’s current minimum wage for 2002 of $6.90 will increase 1.6 percent in 2003, to $7.01. The new wage applies to workers in both agricultural and nonagricultural jobs. Fourteen and 15yearolds may be paid 85 percent of the adult minimum wage.
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