Changes Made to Washington’s Overtime Rules

Published 1/16/20. Updated 7/1/20

As of today (July 1, 2020) new overtime rules go into effect for exempt employees in Washington. These changes won’t impact hourly workers, and most salaried workers in our state will not be affected this year. However, employers should review the recent changes for workers who could be classified as administrative, executive, or professional.

The Chamber recognizes that this can have a huge impact on the businesses in our community, so in September, we encouraged our members to submit comments on the states proposed rule regarding pay for salaried employees who are exempt from overtime pay. Unquestionably, many businesses will be impacted.

The rules have gone into effect and will affect an estimated 40,000 Washington employees in July of this year (2020) and 259,000 workers by 2028. Undoubtedly, the number of those affected increases significantly over the years.

The chart above indicates the projected salary of exempt workers through 2028. The estimates are based on the expected state minimum wage.

Specifically, what does this mean for employers? In order to comply with the new rules, it may mean an employer would make changes such as:

  • Converting current exempt salaried employees to non-exempt, salaried employees and paying overtime
  • Limiting hours worked by employees to 40 per workweek
  • Converting current salaried exempt employees to hourly non-exempt employees

While business may have many questions, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries addresses many of them on their Q&A page.