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State officials ask for comments regarding proposed changes to overtime rules

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Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is changing employment rules that determine which salaried employees in Washington are required by law to receive overtime pay, minimum wage and paid sick leave.

One of the key changes, according to an announcement today from L&I, is an update to the minimum pay allowed to consider a salaried worker exempt from overtime in Washington. “It’s been more than 40 years since this figure has been updated in our state. Salaried employees earning less than the salary threshold are required by law to receive overtime, minimum wage, paid sick leave and other protections of the Minimum Wage Act,” the announcement said.

Under this proposal, L&I is considering increasing the salary threshold to between 2 and 2.5 times minimum wage effective January 1, 2020. L&I officials say they are looking for feedback on whether the higher salary threshold should be phased in based on employer size or geographic location.

Other possible changes to the rules include state and federal job duties tests, which are used to determine if an employee who is salaried is exempt from overtime.

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The public is being asked to review the second pre-draft version of the proposed rules and provide feedback by Friday, December 14th.

Input on the latest draft proposal will also be accepted online and by email through December 14th. Feedback from the public will help L&I develop the official draft rules, which will be released when the formal rulemaking process begins in early 2019. The process will include public hearings where people can provide on-the-record comments.

There’s more information about the overtime rules process available online.

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