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Washington Updates Salary Levels for Overtime Exemption

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries has announced the 2022 updates for the state white collar overtime exemption salary levels. The new thresholds become effective January 1, 2022.

Washington provides an overtime pay exemption for certain white-collar employees. White collar employees are salaried workers that primarily perform executive, administrative and professional (EAP) duties, including outside sales and computer professionals.

2022 Overtime Threshold

Among other requirements to qualify for an exemption, white-collar employees must receive wages at or above predetermined overtime salary levels.

Salary levels generally depend on employer size and are based on the state minimum wage rate. However, for 2022, salary levels for the white-collar overtime exemptions will be 1.75 times the state minimum wage rate for both small (50 or fewer employees) and large (51 or more employees) employers.

Using the 2022 Washington minimum wage of $14.49 per hour, the 2022 salary thresholds for white-collar overtime exemption are:

  • $1,014.30 per week ($52,743.60 annually); and
  • $50.72 per hour for computer professionals working for either small or large employers (for 2022, the salary level for computer professionals is 3.5 times the state minimum wage rate).

Next Steps for Employers

Washington employers must ensure that compensation rates for white-collar exemptions meet updated salary thresholds, as of January 1, 2022. Updates might result in increasing an employee’s hourly wage or salary or reclassifying exempt employees to non-exempt if they will no longer meet the exemption salary requirement.

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