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After 40 years, Washington state now lets more workers qualify for overtime

(File, Associated Press)

After more than 40 years without any change, our state announces new overtime laws today.

“Our state has long been a leader in protecting worker rights and the changes we’re announcing today will restore fairness to the state’s overtime rules,” Labor and Industries Director Joel Sacks said.

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Sacks says the new rules mean more workers should qualify for overtime, and simplify overtime rules and help employees better understand overtime rights, especially if they are misclassified.

“Tens of thousands of Washington workers will be paid for the hours they worked, others who may be currently misclassified will be understand their rights to overtime and other protections under the state’s minimum wage act.”

A major change is the overtime exemption.

In July, it will double to $35,000, and if you make less than that, you will get mandatory overtime after a 40-hour work week.

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“Overtime pay protects both the income and the time of salaried employees. Right now, people are working 55-hour workweeks and longer, on call 24-7, for less than minimum wage. Employers can even deny them sick leave. With these new standards, employers will have to choose between paying workers appropriately and honoring a 40-hour work week. And people can stay home if they have the flu or a sick child,” says EOI Policy Director Marilyn Watkins.

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