UPDATE (July 10, 2019) — This action has ended. Click here for more information about how you can support Washington state’s update of its overtime pay rules.
OLYMPIA (July 2, 2019) — The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced last month its long-awaited plan to restore overtime pay rights to more than 250,000 low-wage and middle-income workers in the state.
TAKE A STAND! — As a second round of public hearings on L&I’s proposed overtime rule are set to begin later this month (see details below), NOW is the time to go on record in support of this plan! Please sign this petition in support of L&I’s proposal to restore overtime pay. After you sign it, you’ll be redirected to the Washington State Labor Council’s web page describing the proposal in more detail and what else you can do to support it.
The current overtime salary threshold, below which all workers in Washington state — hourly and salaried — MUST be paid time-and-a-half for working beyond a 40-hour workweek is just $23,660. That threshold has not been updated since 1976 to adjust for inflation, so it has eroded to less than what a full-time minimum wage worker earns today. That means anyone who earns more than $23,660 that can be declared an “overtime exempt” salaried employees and forced to work additional hours beyond 40 per week for free. In the decades that the overtime salary threshold has been frozen, the percentage of American workers eligible for overtime pay has gone from more than 60% in the 1970s to less than 7% today.
L&I has proposed to gradually increase the overtime salary threshold to 2.5 times the state minimum wage by 2026. That would mean anyone making less than about $80,000 per year seven years from now — the equivalent of about $70,000 in today’s dollars — would get time-and-a-half pay beyond 40 hours per week.
Support for L&I and its proposed rule to restore overtime pay has been immediate and widespread. But corporate lobbying groups are expected to mount a vigorous campaign to oppose the rule.
That’s why it’s important that advocates for restoring overtime pay and getting our time back must speak up. Start by signing this petition, then mark your calendars to attend the upcoming public hearing in your area. Here is the schedule (check L&I’s Overtime Rulemaking web page for more details):
- Tumwater, July 15 at 1 p.m. at the Dept. of Labor & Industries headquarters.
- Seattle, July 16 at 9 a.m. at The Swedish Club.
- Bellingham, July 17 at 9 a.m. at Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center.
- Ellensburg, Aug. 5 at 9 a.m. at Hal Holmes Community Center.
- Kennewick, Aug. 6 at 9 a.m. at Springhill Suites by Marriot Kennewick Tri-Cities.
- Spokane, Aug. 7 at 9 a.m. at CenterPlace Regional Event Center.
Employers are squeezing workers, but we have an opportunity right now to make sure workers get paid for the work they do. That’s why we need 50,000 fired-up grassroots supporters like you to show their support for this rule and create the momentum for nationwide change.