We all deserve a fair and equitable workplace
Todos merecemos un lugar de trabajo justo y equitativo
This website is home to the Washington State Workers’ Rights Manual and provides an easy overview of everyone’s Workplace Rights.
Every year, thousands of workplace violations go unaddressed.
Use this site to make sure your rights are not being violated.
Emergency Heat Safety Rules
Emergency heat safety requirements when the temperature is at or above 89 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) effective June 15th through September 29th, 2022:
- Employers must provide adequate shade or suitable alternatives (misters, air conditioning) be available for breaks with enough space for all workers on break to rest.
- Workers have the right to take a paid, preventative cool down rest period whenever they need to. When temperatures are 89 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, employers are required to make sure workers take paid cool down rest periods of 10 minutes every 2 hours.
- There must be a buddy system or some other way for supervisors and employees to observe each other and communicate when problems arise.
- Work done in double-layer or non-breathing clothes qualifies for these protections even in temperatures below 89 degrees.
For more information about heat safety see Chapter 4.3, General Workplace Safety Requirements
Here are your
5 basic rights in Washington
In Washington state, you have five basic rights as a worker. Click on the individual rights below for more information.
1) You have the right to be paid
Your rights to a minimum wage, tips, prevailing wage, overtime, rest breaks and scheduling. What you need to know about termination and unemployment. What to do about wage theft.
2) You have the right to take care of yourself & your family
Your rights to Sick and Safe Leave, Family, Pregnancy and other Leaves, Workers’ Compensation when injured on the job, and Disability when unable to work.
3) You have the right to be free of discrimination
Laws that protect workers from discrimination in the workplace, including who is protected and how to file discrimination complaints. How to respond to sexual harassment in the workplace.
4) You have the right to be safe at work
Your rights to a safe workplace, in the workplace, employer and employee safety responsibilities, how to enforce workplace safety, and workplace safety for undocumented workers.
5) You have the right to organize
A Voice on the Job Leads to a Better Job. How workers can organize together to improve conditions at work through a union or other organization.
Here are selected sections of the manual that have undergone recent updates.
New Adult Entertainer Safety Rules effective July 1st, 2022
Starting on July 1st, 2022, adult entertainment businesses must have an accident prevention program that includes panic buttons for entertainers, a complaint log/blocklist of dangerous customers, and more. See Chapter 4.4, Special Safety Rules, for more information.
Coronavirus, Airborne Disease and Workplace Safety - updated April 21, 2022
While masks are no longer required in most workplaces, many other COVID-19 safety rules remain in effect. We’ve updated our COVID-19 safety section with the latest information from the Washington Department of Labor and Industries, including their April 21st, 2022 fact sheet. See chapter 4.5. Coronavirus, Airborne Disease and Workplace Safety.
Additional Local COVID Rules:
Hazard Pay for Grocery Workers – Local governments, including King and Snohomish Counties, Seattle, Bellingham, Burien, Edmonds, and Olympia have approved emergency rules providing a $4.00 per hour hazard pay boost for many grocery workers. For more info on the King County law, view this summary King County Hazard Pay Ordinance.
Seattle Gig Worker Paid Sick Leave – new temporary law allows some gig workers to take paid leave to care for their own health and safety, or the health and safety of a family member, under some circumstances during the Covid-19 emergency. For more info: https://www.seattle.gov/laborstandards/ordinances/covid-19-gig-worker-protections-/gig-worker-paid-sick-and-safe-time-ordinance?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Seattle Hazard Pay for Food Delivery Gig Workers – Seattle has approved $2.50 premium pay for gig workers delivering food and beverage meals and groceries for the duration of the pandemic. For more info visit Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards.
Minimum Wage Increases for 2022
The Washington statewide minimum wage is $14.49 an hour, and Seattle’s minimum wage is $17.27 at large employers (over 500 employees) and $15.75 to $17.27 an hour at small employers. In SeaTac (including the airport) the minimum wage for hospitality and transportation industry workers is $17.54 an hour. For more details, see Chapter 1, Your Right to be Paid