EAP Pre-Draft Proposed Rule Language (Second Version)

A sticky note that says "feedback" which is laid atop a keyboard.

In March 2018, the Department of Labor & Industries filed a CR-101 for the rulemaking addressing the executive, administrative, and professional (“EAP” or “white collar”) exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act. These are the rules that determine which salaried employees in Washington are required by law to receive overtime pay, minimum wage, and paid sick leave.

Over the last seven months, the department has engaged stakeholders regarding the scope and content of the rulemaking, relevant data, and draft concepts for updates to the rules. In October, the department circulated an initial pre-draft version of updates to the rule language and solicited both written comments and in-person feedback from stakeholders.

The department reviewed the comments received, and identified additional updates to the pre-draft rule language. As a result of those edits, the department is circulating a second pre-draft version of the rule language for review prior to filing the official CR-102 draft version.

We are asking the public to review the second pre-draft version of the proposed rules and provide feedback by Monday, December 31, 2018. Additional information, including the rulemaking timeline, can be found on the “Learn about EAP exemptions” page of this engagement site.

Feedback can be submitted directly to this page via the “Submit Comments” tab. Feedback can also be submitted using an attached document via the “Upload Documents” tab. Please note that uploaded documents will not appear on the website immediately. Uploads may take up to 24 hours to post.

Feedback can also be submitted via the EAPRules@Lni.wa.gov email box. Feedback submitted to the email box will be uploaded to this engagement site.

In March 2018, the Department of Labor & Industries filed a CR-101 for the rulemaking addressing the executive, administrative, and professional (“EAP” or “white collar”) exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act. These are the rules that determine which salaried employees in Washington are required by law to receive overtime pay, minimum wage, and paid sick leave.

Over the last seven months, the department has engaged stakeholders regarding the scope and content of the rulemaking, relevant data, and draft concepts for updates to the rules. In October, the department circulated an initial pre-draft version of updates to the rule language and solicited both written comments and in-person feedback from stakeholders.

The department reviewed the comments received, and identified additional updates to the pre-draft rule language. As a result of those edits, the department is circulating a second pre-draft version of the rule language for review prior to filing the official CR-102 draft version.

We are asking the public to review the second pre-draft version of the proposed rules and provide feedback by Monday, December 31, 2018. Additional information, including the rulemaking timeline, can be found on the “Learn about EAP exemptions” page of this engagement site.

Feedback can be submitted directly to this page via the “Submit Comments” tab. Feedback can also be submitted using an attached document via the “Upload Documents” tab. Please note that uploaded documents will not appear on the website immediately. Uploads may take up to 24 hours to post.

Feedback can also be submitted via the EAPRules@Lni.wa.gov email box. Feedback submitted to the email box will be uploaded to this engagement site.

To submit your feedback directly to this page, please enter your comments in the text box below.
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(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Charles Curtis, Twigs Bistro and Martini Ba/Tortilla Union Southwest Grill)

My name is Charles Curtis. I own/operate Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar as well as Tortilla Union Southwest Grill. 7 total locations in Washigton am proud to employ 400 people in Vancouver, Kennewick and Spokane.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would be forced to change labor policies, benefits, and remove positions for a number of employees. This policy is not a one size fits all plan and should not be adopted across the board. The government shouldn't be in a position to dictate to employees, and employers, what their titles and compensation should be. When President Obama tried to enact this prior to leaving office, we tested a model of this at a few properties. It was not received well and we actually lost an employee over the concept.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Chad Depuy, Ocean5)

My name is Chad Depuy. I operate Ocean5 and am proud to employ 250 people in Gig Harbor.

If these rules were adopted, I would be forced to possibly lay off any salaried manager within the threshold to ensure my business is sustainable. We are a single owner business that would not be able to survive under these new rules.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts on the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act, including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

I am a hospitality industry operator who is proud to provide jobs at all levels to people in my community. The hospitality industry is an industry of opportunity that offers everything from first-time jobs to lifelong careers. I want to continue to invest in my employees and provide them with opportunities to advance their careers in hospitality or elsewhere.

I am very concerned about tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage or a salary of $56,000 - $70,000 and adjusted annually. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the state minimum wage will create a wage gap between my employees and management and will ultimately harm jobs by eliminating middle-management positions.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I ask L&I to align any proposed changes to these exemptions with federal rules. As a business operator, we need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government to help reduce confusion.

I am a proud member of my community and want to continue to provide jobs for employees at all levels, including middle-management positions. I ask for L&I to consider the impact of these pre-draft rules on the hospitality careers and our community and economy.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Mike Scott, Bruchi's Restaurants)

My name is Mike Scott. I own 6 Bruchi's Restaurants and am proud to employ 65 people in Benton County.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would have to eliminate many salaried positions.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Mary Galen, Collector's Choice Restaurant)

My name is Mary Galen. I own Collector's Choice Restaurant and am proud to employ 58 people in Snohomish, WA.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would not be able to provide salary positions in my restaurant any longer, it will impact my business negatively.

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Marty Hogberg, Luigis Italian Restaurant)

My name is Marty Hogberg. I own/operate Luigis Italian Restaurant in Spokane Wa. and am proud to employ 30 people in 2018.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would have to put my managers on an hourly wage which would have a negative affect on there pay scale. I would also have to lay off other employees. Additionally we would have to raise our prices to the point of not being able to compete with the national chains. it is hard enough now.

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Jeffrey Paradise, X Group Restaurants, Catering & Brewery)

My name is Jeff Paradise. I own/operate X Group Restaurants, Catering & Brewery and am proud to employ 75 people in Tacoma.

If these rules were instituted, we would be forced to renegotiate pay structure with our salaried managers to a much less worker friendly hourly rate. During slower times in the year, when their presence isn’t necessarily needed they would be forced to stay at work to earn their previous salary scale. This is both inconvenient and wasteful for them and the company.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts on the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act, including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

I am a hospitality industry operator who is proud to provide jobs at all levels to people in my community. The hospitality industry is an industry of opportunity that offers everything from first-time jobs to lifelong careers. I want to continue to invest in my employees and provide them with opportunities to advance their careers in hospitality or elsewhere.

I am very concerned about tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage or a salary of $56,000 - $70,000 and adjusted annually. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the state minimum wage will create a wage gap between my employees and management and will ultimately harm jobs by eliminating middle-management positions.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I ask L&I to align any proposed changes to these exemptions with federal rules. As a business operator, we need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government to help reduce confusion.

I am a proud member of my community and want to continue to provide jobs for employees at all levels, including middle-management positions. I ask for L&I to consider the impact of these pre-draft rules on the hospitality careers and our community and economy.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Jennifer Myatt, Calypso Edmonds)

My name is Jennifer Myatt. I own/operate Calypso Edmonds and am proud to employ (3 but next week hiring 12 more) 15 people in Edmonds WA.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Ted Furst, Le Grand Bistro)

My name is Ted Furst. I own and operate Le Grand Bistro and am proud to employ 65 people in Kirkland.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would probably lay off two of my full-time managers and replace them with hourly staff.

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Janelle Hoeglund, Diamond Knot Brewing Co)

My name is Janelle Hoeglund. I operate Diamond Knot Brewing Co and am proud to employ 150 people in Washington.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would most likely have to take away opportunities for our employees to advance up the ladder to middle management as they gain skills.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Andy Eason, Diamond Knot Brewing)

My name is Andy Eason. I own/operate Diamond Knot Brewing and am proud to employ 127 people in Snohomish County.

My industry relies on ample opportunity for growth within the ranks and minimum wage has already done damage to my labor pool for both blue and white collar workers. Setting a salary threshold that is tied to a moving target in my industry will further erode my labor pool of qualified applicants for middle management positions.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts on the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act, including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

I am a hospitality industry operator who is proud to provide jobs at all levels to people in my community. The hospitality industry is an industry of opportunity that offers everything from first-time jobs to lifelong careers. I want to continue to invest in my employees and provide them with opportunities to advance their careers in hospitality or elsewhere.

I am very concerned about tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage or a salary of $56,000 - $70,000 and adjusted annually. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the state minimum wage will create a wage gap between my employees and management and will ultimately harm jobs by eliminating middle-management positions.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I ask L&I to align any proposed changes to these exemptions with federal rules. As a business operator, we need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government to help reduce confusion.

I am a proud member of my community and want to continue to provide jobs for employees at all levels, including middle-management positions. I ask for L&I to consider the impact of these pre-draft rules on the hospitality careers and our community and economy.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Jason Koh, Japonessa Sushi)

My name is Jason Koh. I own/operate Japonessa Sushi and am proud to employ Over 200 people in Seattle and bellevue.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, It would destroy us as a business. Without layoffs or turning our loyal employees to part-time we would not be able to survive. This proposed rule change will kill every business on the edge financially and destroy full time positions.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Stefanie Howe)

My name is Stefanie Howe, I manage young employees out of college in Spokane, a very different market than Seattle. If these rules were adopted as currently, it would de-motivate and limit their potential into mid and upper management as well as limit the opportunity to offer flex schedules. Which is very important to them as they look to become new parents or look into being remote workers.

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

Submitted on 11/30/18 by Bret Wirta)

My name is Bret Wirta. I own/operate Two hotels and a restaurant in Washington State and am proud to employ almost 100 people in Sequim. If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, they would eliminate two managerial positions.

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Jim Ross, Billy McHales Restaurant)

My name is Jim Ross. I own/operate Billy McHales Restaurant and am proud to employ 45 people in Federal Way Washington.

If these rules were adopted as currently written I would have to eliminate jobs for hosts, bus boys and at least one hourly management position to meet the new rules

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Jeffrey Morgan)

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Jacquelyn Farrell, Farrelli’s)

My name is Jacquelyn Farrell. I own/operate Farrelli’s and am proud to employ 450 people in Washington.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed we would be forced to remove people whom have earned the stability of a salaries position with all the benefits that come along with it. Salary comes with a true since of pride. Unfortunalty if this ruling goes into effect the mid level growth ladder will elude those looking for the stability of salary with the educational benefits we’ve been offering.

As a business operator in our state I wanted to ensure my voice is heard in the rulemaking process for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the Minimum Wage Act, including overtime exemptions and an update of the salary threshold. As a member of Washington’s hospitality industry, I am particularly interested in preserving my ability to provide my employees with opportunities to advance their careers.

As written, the pre-draft rules propose to tie the minimum wage to the salary threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the state minimum wage. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the minimum wage would erase those mid-career management positions that are critical to climbing the hospitality career ladder. Removal of the mid-career positions and leaving all managerial positions to upper management would undercut the workforce in an already tough labor market.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business. I cannot increase my prices by 300%. No one want to pay $60 for a 16 inch pizza no matter how good it is or how much love it was made with. I operate on a 4% or less margin that is used to perpetuate growth. Writing is on the wall .... super sad for all 450 of my employees.

I am proud to serve my community and provide all levels of jobs for my employees. I ask L&I to consider the overall economic impact and harm these updated pre-draft rules could have on our state’s economy. The hospitality industry is not the only sector that may have to drastically shift because of the outcome of these rules.

Thank you for the opportunity to be engaged with this process through the submission of my comments.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

Submitted on 11/30/18 by Janet Williams, Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters)

My name is Janet Williams. I operate Thomas Hammer Coffee Roasters and am proud to employ approx. 100 people in the Spokane & E WA area.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would move all exempt, salaried managers, junior District Managers & junior department heads to non-exempt, hourly pay. We would have to restructure our business model, benefits package, payroll & timekeeping systems. At least 15 employees would be impacted by tedious tracking of time worked (off-site i.e. phone calls, texts, banking, administrative, with no paper trail for the employer) & a reduction in benefits (vacation, sick, paid holidays) to equal expected OT. I anticipate a rise in turnover & a reduction in career oriented employees, costing tens of thousands of dollars annually to Hammer Coffee, & in turn, our State economy.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $49,920 - $62,400 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

Additionally, I oppose any type of phase-in period because the result would still be the same with the salary threshold tied to a multiplier of the minimum wage. These pre-draft rules will grow the urban/rural wage gap even further and grow the wage gap among industries.

I am asking Labor and Industries to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Mike Schabbing, Courtyard Seattle Downtown Lake Union)

My name is Mike Schabbing. I own/operate Courtyard Seattle Downtown Lake Union. and am proud to employ 75 people in Seattle.

I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts on the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act, including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

I am a hospitality industry operator who is proud to provide jobs at all levels to people in my community. The hospitality industry is an industry of opportunity that offers everything from first-time jobs to lifelong careers. I want to continue to invest in my employees and provide them with opportunities to advance their careers in hospitality or elsewhere.

I am very concerned about tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage or a salary of $56,000 - $70,000 and adjusted annually. Adopting a salary threshold tied to any multiplier of the state minimum wage will create a wage gap between my employees and management and will ultimately harm jobs by eliminating middle-management positions.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I ask L&I to align any proposed changes to these exemptions with federal rules. As a business operator, we need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government to help reduce confusion.

I am a proud member of my community and want to continue to provide jobs for employees at all levels, including middle-management positions. I ask for L&I to consider the impact of these pre-draft rules on the hospitality careers and our community and economy.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Paul Gill, Papa Murphy's)

My name is Paul Gill. I own/operate Papa Murphy's and am proud to employ 108 people in Washington.

If these rules were adopted as currently proposed, I would probably have to cut my staff my half.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $49,920 - $62,400 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

Additionally, I oppose any type of phase-in period because the result would still be the same with the salary threshold tied to a multiplier of the minimum wage. These pre-draft rules will grow the urban/rural wage gap even further and grow the wage gap among industries.

I am asking Labor and Industries to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago

(Submitted on 11/30/18 by Sara Reilly)

We have 40 employees and pay well above industry average for salary. At 50,000 plus benefits, our head Brewer in in the top tier percentile of Brewers in the country. To raise upto 20,000 a year would be detrimental and we would have to reevaluate and likely move to hourly rates for our employees who are currently on 50k+ salaries. I don't think that would benefit anyone.

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on behalf of the updated pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act including the update of overtime exemptions and the salary threshold.

We understand that an update on this topic is appropriate; however, I would like to raise several concerns with elements of the updated pre-draft proposal. My first concern is about the future of the hospitality industry and its career ladder.

As a business operator, I am proud to be able to invest in my employees, see them gain valuable skills and transfer them into leadership opportunities as they advance their careers. I am concerned that tying the salary overtime threshold to a range of $56,000 - $70,000 adjusted annually or 2 – 2.5 times the minimum wage will discourage my ability to provide more upward career growth opportunities. Adopting any multiplier of the minimum wage would create a wage gap between my employees and management. Undercutting and harming my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

I appreciate the Department’s willingness to consider a phase in, but the two suggested approaches perpetuate the challenges created by such a drastic increase in the salary threshold. I request the Department not pick winners and losers based on geographic location or size of business. Rather, the phase in should span at least four years to give all businesses ample time to implement changes and update their business practices. Over the last three years the hospitality industry has continued to struggle with the impacts of a 40 percent increase in the minimum wage contained in I-1433. To be clear, with these new pre-draft rules the Department is suggesting a nearly 300 percent increase in wages for our employees. As an employer, this increase will likely have a negative impact on the career ladder and opportunities in my business.

I am asking L&I to wait for the federal government to update their rules before moving forward with this process. We need alignment at the local, state and federal levels of government.

I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 6 hours ago