L&I Proposes New Rules Impacting Overtime Eligibility for Salaried Employees

L&I Proposes New Rules Impacting Overtime Eligibility for Salaried Employees

These changes are intended to affect Executive, Administrative, and Professional (EAP) workers across all industries in Washington State. Changes to these rules will mean some employers will have to provide overtime, minimum wage, and paid sick leave to employees who previously were considered exempt. If adopted, these employees will have new rights and protections under the Minimum Wage Act.  The intended effective date of the proposed rule is January 1, 2020.

To justify its proposed changes to these rules, the department states the following.  “The department last updated its rules on the EAP exemptions in 1976. The 1976 rules require most workers to meet a duties test and be paid a minimum salary of at least $250/week to qualify for the EAP exemptions, which equates to a minimum yearly salary of $13,000. Because salary levels have not been updated, the rules governing these exemptions are out of date and now below the state’s minimum wage and the duties tests may not accurately reflect current expectations of exempt professionals.”  You may find the Proposed Rule Here.

In summary, the proposed rule seeks to:

  • increase the salary threshold to between 2 and 2.5 times ($56,160 or $70,200) the state minimum wage for a forty hour week;
  • align state criteria for the duties test with federal criteria; and
  • consider other changes specific to Washington state in certain areas.  

LeadingAge Washington is working with our partner, Association of Washington Business (AWB), to craft comments to submit to L&I expressing our concerns with the proposed rule.  Once our comments are finalized by early next week, we will distribute them to you.  In the meantime, if you’d like to submit comments directly to L&I, please send them by December 14th to EAPRules@Lni.wa.gov.  If you submit comments, please copy Deb Murphy.