What Employers Need to Know About the Washington Overtime Rules and Changes

December 30th, 2019 - Carmichael Clark

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries recently overhauled the state’s rules governing overtime pay. As a result, the Department of Labor & Industries estimates 259,099 workers in Washington will become eligible for overtime pay once the new rules are fully implemented in 2028.

The new changes will affect employees, especially those that are employed in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity and paid on a salary basis. Beginning July 1, 2020, a number of changes to state rules regarding overtime pay will go into effect, including changes to the minimum salary threshold amount that must be paid to exempt employees.

The current minimum salary threshold in Washington is $250 a week. The minimum salary threshold will be increased over a nine-year period based on a multiplier tied to the state minimum wage. The multiplier tied to the state minimum wage will be phased in incrementally and the initial increase will be a rate of 1.25 times the minimum wage ($675 a week) in 2020. The minimum salary threshold will continue to increase over the following eight years, but a different rate will apply depending on the size of the employer. However, by January 1, 2028, the minimum salary threshold will be a rate of 2.5 times the minimum wage for all employers of all sizes.

Employers should also be aware that beginning January 1, 2020, the federal minimum salary threshold is increasing to $684 a week. Since the federal threshold will be higher than the state threshold in 2020, Washington employers will need to comply with this new federal minimum salary threshold.

If you’re an employer with questions about how the changes to the overtime rules will affect you and your business, please contact Carmichael Clark, P.S. to speak to an experienced employment attorney.


Esther E. Hyun, Attorney

Disclaimer: This article and blog are intended to inform the reader of general legal principles applicable to the subject area. They are not intended to provide legal advice regarding specific problems or circumstances. Readers should consult with competent counsel with regard to specific situations.

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