OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington has the highest state minimum wage in the nation, but a new bill being considered by lawmakers would allow some employers to pay a lower "training wage" to new employees for a certain period of time.
The measure heard before the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee on Wednesday would establish a special training certificate for employers with fewer than 50 employees. The certificate would allow them to pay new employees 75% of the minimum wage during a training period to last no longer than 680 hours. Washington state's minimum wage increased by 15 cents this month to $9.19 per hour.
Employers would only be able to use the certificate once per employee, and training wages could not be used on more than 10% of the employer's workforce.