Payroll changes are coming to the Northwest July 1st. Are you ready?

Posted by Christy Putnam on June 14, 2023 at 4:37 PM

beach-g14c661c86_640Welcome to summer! Well...almost. Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21st. But this is an important announcement about some payroll-related changes coming during the summer, so we thought we'd get the word out a little early. With vacations, camping trips, and backyard BBQs to plan, we want to make sure you are aware of these changes that are quickly approaching...and that you should also add to your summer planning list.

Oregon Minimum Wage

On April 14th this year, BOLI announced the Oregon Minimum Wage Determination. The minimum wage rates in Oregon change in July each year. The rates are based on the U.S. City Average consumer price index from March to March. Increases are expected each year, but the 2023 increase is larger than usual because of high inflation. This year the following rates will go into effective July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024:

  • Standard Minimum Wage: $14.20 per hour (up from $13.50)
  • Portland Metro Minimum Wage: $15.45 per hour (up from $14.75)
  • Non-Urban Minimum Wage: $13.20 per hour (up from $12.50)

Employers are also reminded to update their worksite Oregon Minimum Wage Poster and distribute to applicable remote workers. This poster defines the appropriate rate for each area. If you have a Human Capital Management system with an employee announcements feature, it's a great way to update your remote employees.

Washington Cares Fund

Beginning July 1, 2023, employers of Washington resident employees must begin mandatory payroll deductions for the Washington Cares Act, the state’s new long-term care insurance program. Workers will pay 0.58% of gross wages to fund the program. There is no employer contribution requirement for this program. Unlike Paid Family and Medical Leave, premium contributions do not cap at the taxable maximum for Social Security. Employers are required to report employees’ wages and pay premiums on a quarterly basis through the same process as the Paid Leave.

Everyone who meets the contribution requirements and has an approved care need can apply online to access benefits starting in July 2026. Eligible members will receive a lifetime benefit amount of $36,500 (adjusted annually for inflation starting in 2026).

There are very few exemptions from this requirement. We recommend reviewing the Washington Cares Fund website for detailed information on exemptions or any other questions you may have.

Bennett/Porter & Associates is here to support you and all your payroll needs. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions.

Topics: Human Capital Management, Payroll, HR Compliance

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