Wages, Breaks & Meal Periods

Wages, Breaks and Meal Periods for Teen Workers in Agriculture

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  • Expand/collapse 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 percent of the state minimum wage ($10.20).

  • Expand/collapse Are there exemptions to the minimum wage in agriculture?

    Yes, but only if all three of the following requirements are met:

    • The workers must be employed as hand-harvest laborers who are paid piece rate; and
    • They commute daily from their permanent residence to the farm; and
    • They were employed in agriculture less than 13 weeks during the preceding calendar year.

    For example, this exemption could include teen workers living in the local community who harvest berries during the season, but do not normally work in agriculture at any other time.

  • Expand/collapse What meal and rest breaks are required for young workers in agriculture?

    Teen workers (under 18) are entitled to a 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.

For more information see the L&I publication:
Young Workers in Agriculture (F700-096-909)

For more detail, see Washington Administrative Code:
Agriculture Employment Rules (WAC 296-131) (app.leg.wa.gov)

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