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Wash. extends overtime pay to more managers

Salaried employees earning less than $83,356 annually would eventually be entitled to time-and-a-half pay.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Regulations adopted yesterday by the state of Washington will entitle salaried restaurant employees earning less than $43,000 annually to overtime pay starting in 2021. 

The threshold will rise every year thereafter until it hits $83,356 in 2028. Salaried employees earning less than that amount would be entitled to time-and-a-half pay for hours exceeding 40 per week.

The state is also updating its duties test, a standard for verifying that a salaried employee is actually engaged in managerial or administrative activities rather than lower-level duties usually performed by an hourly staff member. Washington currently has a long-form and short-term duties test. Those two measures will be combined into a single standard that employers should find easier to understand and apply, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Industries (DLI). 

The rules issued yesterday by DLI actually take effect on July 1. On that date, the statewide threshold for determining overtime pay eligibility will rise to $35,100. However, that trigger will fall below the new federal exemption level of $35,568 that takes effect on Jan. 1. 

Washington’s trigger point will shoot past the federal level on Jan. 1, 2021.  It then rises every year until hitting $83,356 seven years later.

The state joins California, New York and Pennsylvania in setting its overtime threshold above the federal gauge.

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