Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Approves Housekeeping Revisions to State Wage and Hour Regulations

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”) has approved a number of housekeeping revisions to the Washington state wage and hour regulations contained in Chapter 296-126 of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The revisions take effect on March 15, 2010.

As explained by L&I, the purpose of the revisions is to “repeal and delete outdated requirements; remove duplicative provisions; establish rules consistent with current statutory requirements; specify the information for certain requirements; create cross references and update definitions and terms for consistency and clarity.”

The following changes were made to the regulations:

  • WAC 296-126-001 was updated to clarify language, delete the reference to the Industrial Welfare Committee, and add notes referring public employers to RCW 49.12.005(3) and employers to the variance rule in WAC 296-126-130.
  • WAC 296-126-002 definitions were revised as follows:
    • “Employer” was updated to reflect the amended definition in chapter 49.12 RCW;
    • “Employee” was clarified by restating the exemptions from the definition;
    • “Adult” was updated by deleting “of either sex”;
    • “Minor” was updated by deleting “of either sex”;
    • “Committee” was deleted since the Industrial Welfare Committee no longer exists; and
    • “Department” and “Director” were added to be consistent with chapter 49.12 RCW.
  • WAC 296-126-010 was updated by deleting outdated language that refers to the adult minimum wage as $1.80 an hour. In addition, language was added to address the payment of sub-minimum wage rates under special certificates issued by L&I.
  • WAC 296-126-015 was revised to add a new section that explains how to calculate wage rates under special certificates.
  • WAC 296-126-030(8) was modified by replacing the term “deductions” with “adjustments” in order to be consistent with other rules.
  • WAC 296-126-040 was updated to clarify the requirements for employee pay stubs. The revised regulation requires that employee pay stubs be provided in “a separate written statement from the paycheck.” In addition, the revised regulation clarifies that pay stubs “may be furnished or made available electronically provided each employee has access to receive and copy it on the payday.”
  • WAC 296-126-050 was updated to clarify the requirement that, upon receiving a written request from a former employee, an employer must furnish a signed written statement stating the reasons for and effective date of the employee’s discharge within 10 days of the former employee’s request. A note was also added to the regulation explaining that additional recordkeeping requirements are stated in WAC 296-128-010 through 296-128-030.
  • WAC 296-126-060 was repealed to eliminate duplicative language requiring an employer of minors to obtain a work permit (the requirement is already provided in chapter 296-125 WAC).
  • WAC 296-126-080 was revised to add the specific title of the poster employers are required to keep.
  • WAC 296-126-090 was revised to replace the term “industrial welfare committee” with “department” in order to be consistent with RCW 43.22.280 and .282 and RCW 49.12.
  • WAC 296-126-096 was repealed because it addressed non-wage and hour issues (manual lifting) that are already covered by the L&I Division of Safety and Health.
  • WAC 296-126-130 was updated to clarify the process for employers to obtain wage and hour variances from L&I.

This entry was written by Douglas E. Smith.

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Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.