Starting Jan. 1, 2020, new overtime pay rules in effect for Washington employees

December 20, 2019

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, the minimum salary threshold for an employee to be considered exempt from overtime pay requirements is going up. Executive, Administrative and Professional (EAP) workers will need to earn at least $35,568 to be eligible for “exempt status” from overtime pay and other benefits. That is the new federal salary threshold effective Jan. 1, 2020, set by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) under its recently issued EAP overtime rules. Also, last week, Washington state’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) issued its final overtime pay rules, effective July 1, 2020. L&I’s salary threshold is 2.5 times the state’s minimum wage with a phased-in implementation over eight years (until 2028).

DOL’s salary threshold will apply until Jan. 1, 2021 because employers are required to follow the regulations most favorable to the worker, and the federal threshold is slightly higher than L&I’s first phase-in of its new salary threshold in 2020. In 2021, the Washington salary threshold will rise to $50,180 for larger employers (51+ employees), overtaking DOL’s salary threshold.

Please see WSHA’s bulletin for more information on L&I’s final overtime rules, which includes links to additional resources.


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