Payroll and Benefits Guide - United States - Washington

United States - Washington


United States Dollar



Employer Taxes

8.52% – 19.67%

Date Format


Fiscal Year

1 Jan – 31 Dec

Fun Facts

Due to its numerous woods and emerald-green vistas, the state is frequently referred to as the “Evergreen State”.

The Grand Coulee Dam is one of the US’ biggest hydroelectric power plants, making Washington US’ top hydroelectric power producer.

With a weight of almost 5,000 pounds, the largest Tiffany chandelier in the world may be found in the Washington State Capitol.

Its name came from President George Washington.

Over 60% of the nation’s apple crop is produced in Washington, making it the nation’s top apple producer.

Microsoft Corporation was established in the state in 1975.



Employee Payroll Tax

Contribution TypeRate
FICA Social Security (federal)6.20%
FICA Medicare (federal)1.45%
Additional tax on earnings over 200,000 USD0.90%

Employer Payroll Tax

Contribution TypeRate
FICA Social Security (federal)6.20%
Unemployment Insurance (state)0.27% – 6.02%
The FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act)0.60% – 6.00%
FICA Medicare (federal)1.45%
Unemployment- New Employer (state)Varies by industry
Supplemental Pension Fund (SPF)*Varies per employee


Payroll Cycle

In Washington, employees are paid either bi-weekly or monthly.

13th Salary

There are no laws requiring 13th salary.

Work Hours and Week

The average workweek consists of 40 hours, or 8 hours per day from Mondays to Fridays.


The rate for overtime hours is 150% of the usual salary rate. If an employee is scheduled to work on weekends or off days, no extra compensation is needed

However, if an employer requests an employee to work on these days due to unexpected circumstances, overtime pay is paid at a rate equal to 150% of the regular compensation rate.



Paid Time Off

There are no state statutes requiring paid time off in South Carolina. Employers typically choose whether to provide paid or unpaid vacation time, though. This must be specified in the collective bargaining agreements and adhere to employment legislation.

Public Holidays

There are 13 public holidays in Washington.

Sick Days

If an employee has worked for their employer for at least a year, put in at least 1,250 hours in the previous year, and worked at a location where the company employs 50 or more people within 75 miles, they are eligible for FMLA.

The FMLA grants some employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave annually for specific family and medical reasons (maternity leave, serious illnesses, or if the employee has to care for a spouse or child).

Maternity Leave

Both leaves are under FMLA-granted sick leave. They are given twelve working weeks of leave during the first year of the baby’s life.

Paternity Leave

Both leaves are under FMLA-granted sick leave. They are given twelve working weeks of leave during the first year of the baby’s life.

Parental Leave

This also falls under the FMLA sick leave and could be classified as parental leave if it is requested for these conditions:

  • Care for an adopted or fostered child within a year of assignment
  • Care for a sick spouse or child
  • Care for an injured spouse or child that are considered an active member of the military

Other Leave

Employees are entitled to unpaid leave when they are summoned to court either as a juror or a witness given they can provide summons to their employer.

Any employees called to battle by the military must be given leave and rein-stated on the same or similar job on their return.


Termination Process

Except in mass dismissals or as specified in an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, U.S. law does not need a formal notice period to end an employment relationship; employment is “at will.”

If there is no illegal or significant discri-mination on the basis of a protected class, either the employer or the emplo-yee may terminate the employment relationship without providing notice or a reason.

Notice Period

Most employees work “at-will,” which means that any party may end the employment arrangement at any time and without cause. Although there isn’t a formal notice period, the standard is two weeks.

Employers are required by law to give affected employees 60 days’ notice in situations involving mass dismissals.

Severance Pay

Employers are not compelled to provide severance pay unless specifically stated otherwise in an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement. If an employer offers severance, the clauses must be included in the employment contract and both parties must consent to them.

Probation Period

Probation Period

Regarding probationary terms, the law contains no restrictions. However, it is standard practice for employers to schedule performance reviews following a 90-day first period of employment.


No foreign nationals are allowed to work in the US without either a work visa or permanent resident status.

The potential employee must receive a visa stamp from a US embassy or consulate when the petition is authorized (Canadian citizens are excluded from this requirement). An employer must petition the U.S. government in order to obtain a temporary work visa. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). The visa application must include an authorized petition.

All companies are required to confirm that every person they hire is qualified to work in the United States.


Washington has a state tax of 6.50%, but cities and counties may add up to an additional 4.10% if deemed necessary.