New State Overtime Regulations

New State Overtime Regulations

The Department of Labor and Industries approved rules that will update our state’s overtime regulations.
After a series of rule hearings and thousands of stakeholder comments received over the last year, this month, the Department of Labor and Industries approved rules that will update our state’s overtime regulations. 

The new rules require employers to provide overtime benefits to certain salaried employees who previously were exempt. The Minimum Wage Act (MWA) stipulates that employees working over 40 hours a week receive overtime benefits. However, the MWA exempts certain employees from its requirements, including executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) workers earning above the current salary threshold. EAP staff includes individuals with managerial duties, employees completing non-manual office work, or those performing duties that require advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning.

Currently, Washington uses the federal salary threshold. As of January 1, 2020 the federal salary threshold is $684 a week or about $35,500 per year to calculate overtime exemptions. The proposed changes would require the minimum salary received by exempt workers to increase incrementally to 2.5 times the state minimum wage at $1,603 a week or about $83,000 per year by 2028. Following these annual increases, effective January 1, 2029, 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.

The first threshold increase is set for July 1, 2020. However, Washington’s threshold will not exceed the federal level until Jan. 1, 2021. At that time, the threshold for businesses with 1-50 employees will increase to 1.5 times the state minimum wage at $827 a week or about $43,000 a year. For businesses with 51 or more employees, the threshold will increase to 1.75 times the minimum wage at $965 a week or about $50,000 a year.

Breakdown of Implementation Schedule

Find out more about the proposed overtime rule changes by visiting L&I’s Changes Made to Washington's Overtime Rules and Changes to Overtime Rules Q&A.
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