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More than 250,000 workers in Washington will get overtime pay under new policy

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TUKWILA, Wash. – Washington state will phase in new overtime rules starting next year that will make hundreds of thousands of salaried workers eligible for overtime pay.

The new rules, which will begin July 1, 2020, and be fully implemented by 2028, are among the strictest overtime policies in the nation.

Beginning July 1, if you make $675 a week ($35,100 a year) or less, you'll qualify for overtime pay (time-and-a-half), according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

The minimum salary to be exempt from overtime will increase incrementally until 2028 when it is expected to reach about $1,603 a week (about $83,356 a year) for an overtime exempt worker, or 2.5 times the minimum wage.

These changes will restore overtime eligibility to an estimated 259,000 workers when fully implemented and strengthen overtime protection for approximately 235,000 other workers, the state said.

These are the first major updates to the Washington overtime rules in more than 40 years. The new rules also change the state’s job duties tests used to determine which workers can be considered overtime exempt.

Federal overtime rules taking effect on Jan. 1

Washington employers will be required to follow the new federal overtime rule that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

The recently updated federal threshold, at $684 a week ($35,568 a year), will be slightly higher than Washington’s until 2021.

In addition to qualifying for overtime pay, non-exempt workers must also receive other protections under the state’s Minimum Wage Act, including paid sick leave.

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