News & Press: Member Updates

Proposed Changes to Washington’s Overtime Rules

Tuesday, August 13, 2019  

L&I Wants to Hear Your Opinion


The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is changing the employment rules that determine which workers in Washington are required by law to be paid at least minimum wage, earn overtime pay, and receive paid sick leave. These changes will affect executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) workers and outside salespeople across all industries in Washington.


Changes to these rules will mean some employers will have to provide overtime, minimum wage, and paid sick leave to some employees who were previously considered exempt. In other cases, employers may need to increase salaries for exempt employees.


Who are these workers?


A combination of a minimum salary and specific job duties determines whether a worker meets the definition of an executive, administrative, or professional worker, or outside salesperson contained in state rules. These workers are typically "white collar" workers who often have more economic security and relative bargaining power than lower-wage workers.


In general, these workers must be salaried and paid a minimum specified salary level, and must primarily perform executive, administrative, professional, or outside sales duties as defined by federal regulations.


Proposed changes update minimum salary level and job duties


Under the proposed changes, the minimum pay a salaried worker must receive to be considered exempt would increase incrementally to 2.5 times minimum wage by 2026. Small employers (50 employees or less) would have more time to make the first increase.


For many employers, the first increase would take effect July 1, 2020, when the minimum required salary level for exempt employees would increase from the current $455 a week (under federal rules) to $675 a week for small employers, and $945 a week for large employers.  In addition to the change in the minimum salary level, the job duties tests in the proposed rules are being updated to more closely align with the federal job duties tests.


Your input is needed


L&I is updating the rules through a rulemaking process, and you have an opportunity to submit formal comments during this process. Here's how:


1.     Review the draft overtime rules.

2.     Provide formal public comments. You can do this by attending a public hearing; submitting your comments by email or by fax at 360-902-5300; or mailing comments to the Employment Standards Program, P.O. Box 44510, Olympia, WA 98504-4510. Comments must be received by 5:00pm on September 6, 2019.

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