U.S. Department of Labor grows eligibility for overtime pay

Sep 25, 2019
Written by wpengine

An estimated 1.3 million additional American workers will be eligible for overtime pay in January under an updated regulation announced this week by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The new rule updates the earnings threshold necessary to exempt executive, administrative or professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The new rule raises the standard salary level from $455 per week to $684 or the equivalent of $35,568 per year for a full-year worker.

Under a parallel effort, Washington State’s Labor & Industries Department is mulling over phasing in an increase of the pay threshold for overtime to pay to nearly $80,000 a year in 2026. Washington Retail has challenged the state’s calculations and asked for reconsideration due, in part, to the financial burdens the state’s proposal would place on businesses and the threats that could pose on the state economy. L&I has announced it expects to make its decision by the end of the year.

At public hearings and conferences around the state, business leaders have already predicted that they would reduce management training opportunities and reduce available work hours if L&I’s overtime proposal becomes the new rule.

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