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Overtime and Salary Employees

When someone gets paid hourly, after working more than 40 hours in one week, they get paid overtime. Overtime is 1.5 times the worker’s regular wage.

On the other hand, salary employees usually get no overtime pay, until the beginning of this year. Federally, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that salary employees will be entitled to overtime wages if said employees make less than a threshold of $684 per week (about $35,600 yearly). Additionally, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries announced that salary employees will be entitled to overtime wages as well, but that doesn’t take effect until July and the threshold is lower. It is confusing, but the Federal threshold is what you want to focus on for the next coming years. Overtime the Washington state threshold will increase yearly whereas the Federal threshold will remain the same. Once the Washington state threshold exceeds the Federal one, employers in Washington must pay their salary employees at least the amount of the threshold or their employees will be entitled to overtime pay. If you are an employer and do not want to pay overtime to salary employees, then the employee must only work up to 40 hours a week.

The Department of L&I hopes to have the new rules fully phased in by 2028. Where each year the threshold will increase bit by bit. Small businesses (companies with 50 or fewer employees) will not face as large of a threshold increase over time as compared to large companies. For example, in July, the threshold for small businesses will be $35,100. For large companies, the threshold will be $49,000 this come July.

Fun Facts

Most people consider a workweek to follow the calendar week, but employers can define a workweek as 7 consecutive days which have to begin at the same time and day of every week.

Additionally, Washington State does not require employers to pay overtime to any employee that has worked more than 8 hours a day. It all comes down to if an employee works over 40 hours in a week.


Learn more about the regulations from Perkins Coie.

Anthony Macuk provides a more in-depth article of the new rules.

You can find a summary of the new regulations from Angela Russell.

Learn more about hourly wages from the Washington State Department of L&I.

Lastly, learn more about our services here!