EAP Pre-Draft Proposed Rule Language

Consultation has concluded

A sign that points to feedback one direction and comments in the other with a blue sky background.

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 six months, the department has engaged stakeholders regarding the scope and content of the rulemaking, relevant data, and draft concepts for updates to the rules. Prior to filing the official CR-102 draft version, L&I wants your feedback on the first pre-draft of the proposed rule language.

We are asking the public to review the pre-draft version of the proposed rules and provide feedback by October 26, 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 six months, the department has engaged stakeholders regarding the scope and content of the rulemaking, relevant data, and draft concepts for updates to the rules. Prior to filing the official CR-102 draft version, L&I wants your feedback on the first pre-draft of the proposed rule language.

We are asking the public to review the pre-draft version of the proposed rules and provide feedback by October 26, 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.

Guest Book

To submit your feedback directly to this page, please enter your comments in the text box below.

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Susan D. Lamenzo)

Dear Director Sacks:

Hello! I am Susan Lamenzo from Oly. I’ve had a lot of different jobs in my life until my last layoff, which came before I was eligible for Socisl Security. I held both hourly wage and salaried positions. My longest-held position was salaried.

Salaried workers are at a great disadvantage when in a very competitive market with the demand to produce more than can be accomplished in a standard workweek. The only option is working overtime. I had a position where staff members either came in early or stayed late plus worked a significant number of hours on the weekend. The managers, who were generally in the profit-sharing classification, put in a standard workday. For staff members it was a very stressful situation, having to choose between working inordinate hours to maintain their job security or opting to balance their work-family commitment.

I believe that working more that a standard 40-hour week should be compensated by law; for instance, if I earn less than three times the minimum wage I should be paid time-and-a-half for all hours over 40. I think such legislation should be enacted in Washington state immediately; there is no need to wait until Congress gets its act together & passes legislation at the federal level!

The result of such legislation:

the employer will realize how much time the employee gives to the company; the employer can choose to require less time from his/her salaried employees or to pay the employees for the hours required to perform the task; the employee is less-stressed and can actually be compensated for the time away from family and community.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Stephanie Ann Ervin)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Stephanie Ervin and I've lived in Washington State my entire life, and worked in most corners of our state. I now live in Seattle. I've worked as a campaigns and political professional for my entire career.

Our current overtime threshold is too low to ensure that reality for most non-profit workers. Raising the overtime threshold to at least three times the minimum wage is critical to lifting many out of the threats of poverty and the need for government subsidized services. We must set a higher bar in our state, please raise the threshold to at least 3X the minimum wage.

It's incredibly important that people in my field and in the non profit space in general are able to live a dignified life. The overtime threshold being so low has allowed for people serving those in poverty to live in poverty themselves. We should not continue to subsidize parasitic employers in the private, public, or non-profit space. When employers don't pay people overtime, the government, and taxpayers, are often left to subsidize low and middle income people through government programing.

Workers should be given the choice to realize their own productivity gains (ie the additional fruits they produce from working over 40 hours a week) or regain lost time with family, pursuing hobbies, volunteering in their community, etc. Restoring the overtime threshold to a strong level would improve the living standard of low and middle income families and grow our economy. When people have more money, businesses have more customers. We need one standard for all so that businesses and non-profits can remain competitive and support their employees.

Thank you for your consideration, please do the right thing and raise the overtime threshold to 3X the minimum wage.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Jeffrey Watson)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Jeffrey Watson and I have worked as a Program Manager for well over 20 years.

Anyone getting paid under three times the minimum wage should have overtime rights and receive overtime pay when they work overtime. It impacts our lives in many detrimental ways.

I have worked in many positions, and so has my spouse, where we had to put in many overtime hours with no additional pay. It takes unfair advantage of people and their families.

When employers have to pay overtime hours they will hire more people and better cover the needed work load. Instead of making virtual slaves of workers.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by John Dunn)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is John Dunn. I live in Vashon, Wa. and have worked in production labor and warehouse labor for 20 years.

I think that if you are paid less than $75,000.00 per year , you should be entitled to overtime pay. Only the business lobby suggests different.

Workers need to be able to afford reasonable shelter and a decent standard of living.

This will benefit the larger community rather than the ownership class.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 Lisa Calavetta)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Lisa Calavetta, and I live in Seattle. I have been working for more than 30 years, and raising sons, one of whom has been working full time for 4 years.

Workers who make less than about $75,000 per year should be paid overtime wages when they work over 40 hour per week, whether they are salaried or hourly workers. Workers need to be adequately compensated for their time.

L&I should restore overtime rights, because workers need to be adequately paid for their time. It is unfair to expect workers to work extra hours without extra pay. I have seen so many families struggle to make ends meet even with 2 full time adult workers. It now takes two full time paychecks or more to raise a family, when it only took one full time paycheck a generation ago. People shouldn’t have to live in poverty when they are working full time!

If employers had to pay time and a half when workers exceeded 40 hours, they would have a much more efficient work force and would see an increase in productivity and morale from their workers who felt valued and could better provide for their families.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Richard V. Korn)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Richard and I have worked for wages since I was 16 (I'm 51 now). I believe in : 8 hours work, 8 hours rest, and 8 hours for anything of my choosing. Anything that infringes on that should be duly compensated such as overtime pay for any more than 8 hours per day and any weekend hours.

Workers in all sectors need protections so they are not taken advantage of and overtime rules are no exception!

All hours above 8/day should be paid at a premium as should any work performed on weekends and holidays!

When people are treated fairly they are usually happier, more secure and even more productive.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 Joyce L. Ray)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Joyce Ray. I live in Renton. I retired in 1984 from the Telephone Co. I'm 91 but still clear headed!

I think everyone paid less than triple the minimum wage should get overtime pay for overtime hours.
L & I should restore overtime rights. In my working life it was the rule and was fair and just. I can't imagine why it is necessary to shortchange the working person.

It never hurt the Telephone Co. to pay workers fairly and it made us proud to work for a good company like that. I think it will give people more confidence in our L. and I's fairness"attitudes.

I am always surprised to find that anyone finds paying a worker for ALL of his/her work is not essential. I believe strongly it is.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Bret Wirta)

Dear Labor and Industries,

I operate a business in Washington state, which gives me the opportunity to give back to my community. It is also increasingly challenging to navigate labor laws that differ significantly federally, at the state level, and locally. It is not only difficult for our company to navigate, but it’s also confusing for employees. A significant amount of our time is spent comparing and complying with numerous requirements on the same issue, and it takes time away from overseeing our operations, serving our customers, and providing for our employees.

Our state law on salary overtime threshold is outdated and irrelevant because the federal requirement is higher. It makes sense to update our state law to align with the federal law, but the proposed rules as written would be yet another dramatic difference between one layer of requirements and another. It is difficult to provide feedback on the range of possibilities and impacts of the proposed rules – it has the ability to have additional employment requirements that are confusing to completely altering our business model and wipe out career positions in our industry.

We urge the department to pause rulemaking until the new federal standard is adopted, and then align our rule.

Thank you for your consideration.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

Thank you for the opportunity to give feedback. As an HR Director for a 501c3 non-profit in Spokane, the proposed rule would be devastating to our business.Our non-profit is funded by majority with state and federal funds, a system of which that is not keeping up with the requirements of LNI regarding minimum wage and this proposed rule would break us. We do not have the ability to "sell more widgets" to increase revenue to pay more wages. We VALUE our employees and they deserve living wages but when there is not the revenue from the state to support these types of increases required by the state, we are forced to reduce our workforce, reduce our benefits, hire part-time workers....this creates recruitment and retention issues when we provide supports to Spokane's most vulnerable population.

Our state law is outdated and needs to be updated, but not by creating additional burden to employers and more conflicts with federal requirements.

It was best said in another comment "I am also concerned with these pre-draft rules because the U.S. Department of Labor is currently examining the federal rules surrounding the Executive, Administrative and Professional overtime exemptions and there is uncertainty surrounding the outcome. I ask that Labor and Industries 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."

Fix and align systems, pay employees fairly, and take into consideration all facets of business. The coments from rural areas, non-profits, small business owners, agriculture, etc. stating reduction in workforce, less services provided, and even closure of business being inevitable, supports that it is time to wait for the DOL ruling, align our state system and allow it to be affordable...create something that employers can support.


Pam Mulvania about 3 years ago

As the Controller and HR Manager for a small non-profit science research organization, I wish to respectfully submit my opinion on the proposed salary basis for executive, administrative, and professional employees.

1) Comments on the proposal for the salary exemption threshold to equal a minimum of 1.5-3.0 times the state minimum wage.
Working for a small business with fewer than 20 employees and in the non-profit industry, we primarily rely on grants to fund our organization and its project related costs. There is no mark up or profit margin in our work. Additionally non-profits are experiencing a growing challenge in securing general support funding which is relied upon to cover a significant portion of organizational costs, including salaries of executive and administrative positions.
The organization I work for supports worker rights and pay equality, and supports a reasonable increase to the salary basis. We support this because the previous rule is outdated and not reflective of the cost of living within Washington State.
As currently proposed by the federal government, this rate is slightly less than 2.0 times the current minimum pay grade wage. I support a 1.5-2.0 times increase for Washington as a compromise for improving wage conditions and maintaining payroll costs for small non-profit organizations. In anticipation of previously proposed federal changes, where I work have already adapted our compensation structure and budgeting. The burden of unplanned for overtime costs would cause financial hardship. Furthermore, working for a business that employs staff in multiple states, Washington state changes would potentially result in a non-uniform pay structure across our team.
A multiple year phase in should also be considered to allow small business and non-profits to budget and prepare accordingly. This would also parallel Washington’s phasing in of the increase of minimum hourly wage.

2) Comments on the proposed additions under 296-128-510,- Executive, (1)(d):
The restriction proposed in this section to limiting an executive within a non-profit to no more than 20% of the hours worked to not be directly or closely related to the performance of work described in paragraphs (a)-(c) is a great challenge. As a small non-profit science research organization, my Executive Director is also its Chief Scientist. The Chief Scientist oversees and performs research for the organization, undertakes grant writing for fundraising and participates in conferences, professional meetings and collaborates with other scientists in addition to her management and work direction responsibilities. There is no way this position could be limited in this way and for the organization to continue to function.

3) Comments on the proposed additions under 296-128-520,- Administrative, (1)(c):
Again, as a small non-profit science research organization, administrative employees perform multiple essential duties, some outside of work described in paragraphs (a)-(b). Limiting this flexibility is detrimental.
1) Comments on the proposed additions under 296-128-530,- Professional, (1)(c):
Yet again, as a small non-profit science research organization, professional employees perform multiple essential duties, some outside of work described in paragraphs (a)-(b). Limiting this flexibility is detrimental to a small organization.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback.

Lori K.Meagher about 3 years ago

All salaried employees should not be obligated to perform overtime for free regardless of compensation level. Employers hire for a skill set and the market value of same. It's that simple. It's wrong for an employer to hold an employees continued employment over their head if they don't slave away per the exemption and the employers expectation.

Carl Wilson about 3 years ago

Dear Washington State Department of Labor and Industries,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed changes to the Executive, Administrative, Professional and Outside Sales (EAP) Draft Rule Concepts. The City of Tacoma is a large municipality employing more than 3,600 employees in the State of Washington (WA). We recognize the need to update the salary threshold set in 1976 to reflect modern conceptions of work produced. However, we also believe that applying a calculation using 3x the WA State minimum wage ($71,760) is exceptionally high and would have significant fiscal impacts to the City. If the 3x WA minimum wage calculation was applied today, our rough estimate indicates the City could incur increased labor costs in excess of two million dollars annually, with more than two hundred employees impacted. This increase would directly impact our community members and rate payers and, inevitably, may impact the critical services we are able to provide and the number of jobs we provide in the community we serve. We request the Department delay their decision until the US Department of Labor releases their proposal for changes to the FLSA salary threshold, which is slated for March of 2019. Should the DOL’s proposed salary level meet or exceed the equivalent of 1.5 x WA State minimum wage ($35,880 using 2018 minimum wage), we request the Department adopt a salary level that parallels that of the FLSA standard. If the DOL proposes a salary threshold that does not meet 1.5 x WA State minimum wage, we recommend the Department adopt a salary threshold at 1.5x WA State minimum wage. We feel the salary threshold for Computer Professionals should be consistent with that of other professionals.

Additionally, while we feel the Department should adopt a single duties test that largely reflects those of the federal duties test, we also do not support the percentage of time test under the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions that state an individual may not devote more than twenty percent of their hours worked in the workweek to activities which are not directly and closely related to the performance of the work described. This difficult-to-measure duties requirement will cause confusion and is much too vague to be correctly interpreted and applied without significant administrative burden. We request the Department align the duties with those of the federal duties test set forth by the FLSA.

Thank you again for the opportunity to hear our feedback.

Jen Peters about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Wendy Rodriguez)

Dear Labor and Industries,

I operate a business in Washington state, which gives me the opportunity to give back to my community. It is also increasingly challenging to navigate labor laws that differ significantly federally, at the state level, and locally. It is not only difficult for our company to navigate, but it’s also confusing for employees. A significant amount of our time is spent comparing and complying with numerous requirements on the same issue, and it takes time away from overseeing our operations, serving our customers, and providing for our employees.

Our state law on salary overtime threshold is outdated and irrelevant because the federal requirement is higher. It makes sense to update our state law to align with the federal law, but the proposed rules as written would be yet another dramatic difference between one layer of requirements and another. It is difficult to provide feedback on the range of possibilities and impacts of the proposed rules – it has the ability to have additional employment requirements that are confusing to completely altering our business model and wipe out career positions in our industry.

We urge the department to pause rulemaking until the new federal standard is adopted, and then align our rule.

Thank you for your consideration.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

I live in a rural Western Washington community, in the healthcare industry. Increasing the minimum wage threshold for exempt employees would be devastating to rural areas such as us. We have no issues with working over 40 hours/week as we adjust our schedules as needed. We do not live in large metropolitan areas with high wages, we live on a much lower wage standard than the I-5 corridor. Increasing our wages would be devastating to us rural employees who are currently exempt, making a comfortable wage, but not a Seattle based wage. We would now be required to clock in/out, watch our daily hours closely, and not allow us to be as flexible as we need to be to serve our patients. Again, we don't usually work overtime. But we need to remain flexible for when our work requires those occasional long days (due to federal entity surveyors, DOH surveyors, DOH investigators, Accreditation entity surveys,etc). Please do not change the minimum wage for exempt employees, please keep it as is or as low as possible, especially for more rural areas with much lower Cost of Living and wages!

Racheal T about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Cristine Plecki)

Dear Labor and Industries

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

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

The hospitality industry is known for providing opportunities to first jobs, re-entry to the workforce and lifelong careers. 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 $37,000 - $75,000 annually or 1.5-3 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 my employees by removal of the middle-management career ladder rungs would not benefit them, my business or the state economy.

My second concern with these pre-draft rules is that there is currently uncertainty with the federal government. Without clear guidance and rules in place for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions, including the salary overtime threshold, this leaves our state vulnerable to adopting rules that may have to be fixed later. I am asking Labor and Industries to wait for he 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 ability to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Glen Anderson)

Dear Director Sacks:

I'm Glen Anderson, a lifelong Washingtonian for 70 years. I have worked at a number and variety of jobs since age 18. I VIGOROUSLY SUPPORT WORKERS' RIGHTS.

L&I has a long history of protecting workers' rights. THANK YOU.

I implore you to CONTINUE PROTECTING WORKERS' SAFETY, FAIR PAY, and so forth.
OVERTIME PAY IS A CRUCIAL RIGHT. I oppose anti-worker politicians and businesses who want to deprive workers of overtime pay.

ACT NOW TO PROTECT OVERTIME PAY. Do NOT wait for some crappy federal wishy-washy neglectful action.

VIGOROUSLY PROTECT OVERTIME PAY for workers, ESPECIALLY anyone who is paid less than three times the minimum wage. They DESERVE time-and-a-half for any hours worked after 40 in any week.
People who work for a living deserve RESPECT and ADEQUATE COMPENSATION.

When people are paid adequately, they can support themselves and their families, and they can afford to spend money to keep the economy running.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Catherine)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Catherine. I live in Tumwater and have worked as a security officer for 5 years.

A few of my friends at work have a salary wage, but they are paid less than a hourly worker. Me and my co-workers get time and half as hourly workers and it's only fair that people who are working 14 or so hours a day be paid time and a half for their labor.

L & I should restore overtime rights, it's only fair. If employers had to pay for overtime, it'll make workers be able to afford the nessessary of raising children and putting food on the table, among other things like vacations. We don't want to live in a mansion and have servants, we just want to be able to live comfortably without living from paycheck to paycheck. Please restore overtime rights.

The economy will start chugging along, because people would be able to buy stuff, which in turn would put more people to work. Easy Peasy.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Jane Henderson)

Dear Director Sacks:

I'm Jane Henderson from Eatonville, WA. I was a teacher in Bethel School District for 34 years.

I believe anyone who works at a job that pays an hourly wage and is required to work beyond their assigned hours should be paid overtime. No one should be working for free. Please support our essential workers by respecting what they do by restoring overtime rights!

I was a teacher and as such, had a contract, medical benefits,etc. and always worked beyond the school day - my choice. However, if we teachers were required to work beyond the school day, we were paid for that extra work. That should be the case for every worker!

It's hard enough for hourly workers to live on the kinds of wages they get. Employers who want to keep good workers know that they must be fair! Either hire enough workers to do the jobs that need to be done within their regular shifts OR PAY them.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Alex Comer Bothell)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Alex and I live in Bothell Washington. I am currently working as a nanny.
I want everyone who makes $75,000/year or less to have overtime rights so they get payed if they work overtime time hours.

L&I should restore overtime rights because as an aspiring elementary school teacher, I know I will be working a lot overtime and I deserve to be compensated for it. Teachers are hard workers and the work doesn’t end at the end of the school day. I knew a teacher who said that after calculating in all her overtime into her salary, she only made about $14 an hours. That is just not right.

If people got payed for their overtime, their wouldn’t be as many struggling people in our community who can barley afford to pay their rent in Seattle’s outrageous housing crisis.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Deborah Antle)

Dear Labor and Industries,

I appreciate the opportunity to express my thoughts on the pre-draft rules for the Executive, Administrative and Professional exemptions from the state Minimum Wage Act, including the update of the salary overtime 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 1.5-3 times the minimum wage. Adopting a high salary threshold will create a wage gap between my employees and management and will ultimately impact jobs by eliminating middle-management positions. The proposed rule changes will negatively affect the hospitality career ladder and remove opportunities of growth for my employees.

I am also concerned with these pre-draft rules because the U.S. Department of Labor is currently examining the federal rules surrounding the Executive, Administrative and Professional overtime exemptions and there is uncertainty surrounding the outcome. I ask that Labor and Industries 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 Labor and Industries to consider the impact of these pre-draft rules on the hospitality careers and our community and economy.

Thank you for the ability to submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 3 years ago