After substantial stakeholder engagement and public participation, hundreds of thousands of Washington workers will see their overtime protections updated for the first time since 1977. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced a new overtime rule which will protect overworked and underpaid salaried workers.

The new rule has been put into place to attempt to reverse a decades-long trend of salaried workers clocking more hours but getting paid less for them. When the rule gets phased in, workers paid up to 2.5 times the state minimum wage (around $70,000 per year) will get time-and-half pay after working more than 40 hours per week, whether they are salaried or hourly, regardless of job title.

“This is an incredible day for Washington,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “All people should share in our state’s prosperity. Yet, due to these outdated rules, many have worked long hours without compensation. This is valuable time they could otherwise spend with their families and in their communities.”

Only workers earning less than $23,000 per year currently earn traditional overtime pay under federal law. In 2014, the Obama administration tried to double the threshold to include workers earning up to $47,000, but has since been scaled back during the Trump era. Gov. Inslee proposed restoring the rule to the Department of Labor & Industries late 2018.

This rule, made to more accurately compensate workers, is widely considered one of the most progressive rules in the nation regarding the issue. Once fully phased in, the new rule will affect an estimated 250,000 Washington workers.

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