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L&I seeks input on latest proposal to change OT pay rules

The following is from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries:

TUMWATER (Nov. 26, 2018) — Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has released preliminary draft rules that spell out possible changes for salaried workers in our state. Changes to these rules will mean more employees will be entitled to overtime, minimum wage and paid sick leave.

One of the key changes updates 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.

“A strong economy goes hand-in-hand with a strong and well-supported workforce,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Updating and modernizing this decades-old rule is necessary as people who work extra hours should be paid for their labor.”

Under this proposal, L&I is considering increasing the salary threshold to between 2 and 2.5 times minimum wage starting January 1, 2020. As part of the proposal, L&I is 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 aligning the state and federal job duties tests, which are used to determine if an employee who is salaried is exempt from overtime.

The proposed changes are a result of early discussions and input L&I has received from business and labor representatives over the last six months. L&I also took input from the public on an earlier proposal at feedback sessions held in October in Tumwater, Everett, Richland and Spokane.

Employers and workers are encouraged to attend an upcoming L&I feedback session to learn more and provide input:

  • Seattle, Nov. 27, 10 a.m., The Swedish Club, Stockholm Room
  • Yakima, Nov. 28, 10 a.m., Hilton Garden Inn, Rainier Room
  • Vancouver, Nov. 29, 10 a.m., L&I Vancouver office

Input on the latest draft proposal will also be accepted online and by email through December 14. 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 online about the overtime rules process. People can also sign up for updates through L&I’s Employment Standards’ listserv.

ALSO at The Stand:

On overtime pay, Washington state must step up (by Gov. Jay Inslee)

State moves to restore overtime pay protections (Oct. 9) — After four decades of inaction, L&I releases “pre-draft” towards updated overtime rules that could restore protections to hundreds of thousands of salaried workers.

Salaried? It may cost you basic protections (by Marilyn Watkins)

Our state must restore workers’ access to overtime pay (by Chris) — A former fast-food manager explains why L&I must fix the overtime pay loophole — and how you can help

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

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