Wages, Breaks & Meal Periods

Wages, Breaks and Meal Periods for Teen Workers in Non-Agricultural Jobs

  • What is the minimum wage for minor workers?

    The minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-old workers is the same as for adults — $12 per hour in 2019. Minors under 16 may be paid 85% ($10.20) of the state minimum wage.

    See information about Washington's current minimum wage.

  • What meal and rest breaks are required for young workers in non-agricultural jobs, like restaurants, grocery stores, health care, etc?

    Teen workers (under age 18) are entitled to an uninterrupted meal break of at least 30 minutes if they work more than 5 hours in a day. They also are entitled to at least a 10-minute paid rest break for each 4 hours worked. They must be allowed a rest period no later than the end of the third hour of the shift.

    Fourteen- and 15-year-old workers may not work more than 4 hours without a 30-minute uninterrupted meal period. This is separate from and in addition to rest breaks. They must also receive a paid rest break of at least 10 minutes for every 2 hours worked. They must have a rest period after 2 hours for every 4 hours of work.

For more detail, see Washington Administrative Code:
Non-agricultural Employment of Minors (WAC 296-125) (app.leg.wa.gov)

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