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Proposed Overtime Rule Change

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has filed a proposed rule that would update our state’s overtime regulations, which have not been revised since 1976. The proposed rule would render more workers eligible for overtime benefits.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has filed a proposed rule that would update our state’s overtime regulations, which have not been revised since 1976. The proposed rule would render more workers eligible for overtime benefits. 

Currently, Washington employers are using the federal threshold to calculate overtime eligibility. The federal threshold exempts employees making over $455 a week or about $24,000 per year from overtime requirements. The proposed changes would require the minimum salary received by exempt workers to increase incrementally to 2.5 times the state minimum wage by 2026. 

The first increase for most employers is projected to take place July 1, 2020. This increase would raise the minimum salary for exempt employees to $675 a week or about $35,000 per year for small employers (those with 50 or less employees) and $945 a week or about $49,000 per year for large employers (those with over 50 employees). By 2026 the minimum salary for exempt employees would rise to $1,536 a week or about $80,000 per year for all employers.

Following these annual increases, effective January 1, 2027 the minimum salary received by exempt workers will stay at a rate of 2.5 times the state minimum wage and will be updated annually to reflect inflation. Overtime pay must be at least 1.5 times an employee’s hourly rate. 

A breakdown of the proposed salary requirements are listed below; these requirements are based on the projected minimum wage for each year.  

  • July 1, 2020: $675 per week for small employers and $945 per week for large employers
  • January 1, 2021: $965 per week for small employers and $1103 per week for large employers
  • January 1, 2022: $1,127 per week for small employers and $1,268 per week for large employers 
  • January 1, 2023: $1,296 per week for small and large employers
  • January 1, 2024: $1,324 per week for small and large employers
  • January 1, 2025: $1,353 per week for small employers and $1,503 for large employers
  • January 1, 2026: $1,536 for small and large employers (2.5 times the projected minimum wage)
Should you have concerns with the proposed rule changes, please consider attending a public hearing or submitting written comments via email to EAPrules@Lni.wa.gov

Public Meeting Schedule:

  • Tumwater: July 15, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM at the Dept. of Labor & Industries headquarters 
  • Seattle: July 16, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at The Swedish Club 
  • Bellingham: July 17, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center 
  • Ellensburg: Aug. 5, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at Hal Holmes Community Center 
  • Kennewick: Aug. 6, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at Springhill Suites by Marriot Kennewick Tri-Cities 
  • Spokane: Aug. 7, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM at CenterPlace Regional Event Center 

Find out more about the proposed overtime rule changes by visiting the L&I Overtime Rulemaking Page and Changes to Overtime Rules Q&A.

 
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