Calls flood to state offices ahead of minimum wage hike

State officials say some business owners are still struggling to grasp the minimum wage changes that are just around the corner.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington's Department of Labor and Industries is trying to clear up any lingering confusion over the impending increase in the state's minimum wage.

The agency said Monday it received more than 500 calls on the matter in November alone.

"Most of it was employers with questions about, what does this mean for me.  What's the minimum wage, tell me about paid sick leave," said Elizabeth Smith with L&I.

In September, the state increased the minimum wage to $9.53.  However, in November voters approved Initiative 1433, jumping the minimum wage to $11 an hour.  Smith said many business owners do their annual budgeting before November, making the last minute switch a challenge.

"It's a new number," said Smith, "And it's less time for employers to get used to."

For more information, the agency put a link on its website.

Copyright 2016 KING


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