Salary Thresholds for Overtime Exempt Employees to Rise Jan. 1, 2021

Date: October 28, 2020

Increase in state’s minimum wage rate to $13.69 an hour triggered recalculation

As a result of the state’s minimum-wage rate rising to $13.69 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021, a new minimum salary threshold for overtime-exempt employees will also increase.

“That new minimum wage will impact some employees exempt from overtime and other protections of the Minimum Wage Act,” explains the Department of Labor & Industries on its website. “Employees defined as executive, administrative and professional, as well as outside salespeople and computer professionals, must perform certain duties and usually must earn a salary that meets or exceeds a minimum specified threshold.

“L&I changed how this minimum threshold is determined when updates to the state overtime rules took effect July 1. The salary thresholds are now a multiplier of the minimum wage.

“Using the 2021 minimum wage, L&I has calculated the salary thresholds taking effect Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Small businesses (1-50 employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year).
  • Large businesses (51 or more employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year).” For additional information, click here.

SPECIAL UPDATE – On November 5, 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling effectively repealing the overtime exemption for dairy workers. The state Dairy Federation has more information here.

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