Upon the announcement by the state Department of Labor & Industries of a new rule expanding overtime protections for salaried workers in Washington state, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, chair of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee, released the following statement:
“Why have wages remained flat ever since the Great Recession? Here’s one reason: Millions of salaried workers have gone unpaid for the overtime they have worked, Keiser said.
“Despite federal inaction, Washington state is taking the lead. I strongly support the Department of Labor & Industries’ new rule expanding overtime protections to cover a quarter million more Washingtonians.
“This rule is the result of extensive data collection and public feedback. L&I has clear statutory authority for this rulemaking, and their process has been thorough and transparent.
“In response to feedback from the business community, the new rule provides a lengthy seven-year, phase-in period for all businesses and allows small businesses to start the phase-in at a lower threshold.
“Time is precious. Recognizing the value of workers’ time is good for them and their families. It’s also good for employers and our communities.
“We are all better off when businesses have lower turnover and workers have more money to spend close to home.”
King County Executive Dow Constantine also released a statement:
“Working Washingtonians should be able to count on fair treatment and fair pay,” Constantine said. “Modernizing overtime protections will help make that promise real for thousands of workers and families.
“I support this rule – the nation’s strongest – because it is the right thing for workers, and because rebuilding the middle class will strengthen our region’s economy.”
The state Department of Labor and Industries announced rule changes to raise the income threshold of salaried workers eligible for overtime compensation.
The rule change is the strongest in the nation and is expected to cover an estimated 250,000 workers once fully implemented. The previous threshold of $23,660 per year will now be tied to minimum wage and will increase to $83,356 by 2028.