EAP Pre-Draft Proposed Rule Language

Consultation has concluded

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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.

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

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Marjie Peterson)

Dear Ms. Drake:

I am president and owner of MACRO.CCS, Inc is a small, woman owned technology services company headquartered in Bellevue Washington. Typical of our industry, we hire many computer professionals on an hourly basis, paying them for every hour that they work, and, per current Washington State law, straight time for overtime assuming they meet skills are rates criteria. Simultaneously, we bill our clients for every hour our employees work. Generally our clients will not pay time and a half for overtime (hours over 40 in one week) and if our employee is nonexempt, they are not allowed to work overtime without written permission from the client and from us.

I remember the years before 2000 when Washington State did not conform to Federal rules. Our highly compensated employees complained bitterly because we could not give them the freedom to set their own schedules – working more than 40 hours one week, and fewer the next so they could handle personal appointments. Or working 60 hour weeks so they could increase their overall compensation. They wanted the option of working more hours at straight time rates.

The complaints stopped completely when Washington State adopted Federal rules. People worked as many hours as they wanted, when they wanted, and were much happier for the freedom. In the Pre-Draft Rules for WAC 296-128-535 (Computer Professionals) you propose returning to the old ways; reducing employee choice. My company is small, but it is one of many, most with a great many more employees than we have, and it will affect a great many people. I have no reason to believe this will not be as wildly unpopular as it was in the 1990s.

Thank you for your consideration

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by James Green)

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 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Lane Hoss)

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 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 ability to be a part of the solution and submit my comments to you.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Elena Rumiantseva)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Elena, and I live in Seattle. I've worked as a paralegal for five years.

I am urging you to restore overtime rights so that everyone paid less than triple the minimum wage (about $75,000/year) gets overtime pay when they work overtime hours.

L&I should reinstate overtime pay because the money these workers get will go right back into the local economy, putting more people to work in the process. Living in Seattle, everyone knows, is getting more expensive by the day, and I believe that everyone who works in the city should live here. I elected to be paid by the hour at my current job, because I don't want to work for free and take the time away from my kids, but I have been paid a salary in the past, so I can understand people who feel pressure to finish their day's work with no extra pay. It is not right and not fair.

If employers would have to pay time-and-a-half when workers are employed for more than 40 hours per week, that extra money would flow right back into the local economy. This is a win-win situation for the workers and our economy. Most of all, it's basic fairness.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Dawn Morgan)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Dawn Morgan, I live in Longiew. I've worked as both a salaried employee as well as an hourly employee, and occasionally a contract employee.

It has been my experience throughout the years, that as a salaried employee I was often taken advantage of-during times when I really would have gladly taken overtime pay as compensation instead of working for “free”. It has been my experience that when you are hired to be a salary employee for “flexible” hours, employers are always interested in you being flexible for them (lots of extra hours for no reimbursement) but not particularly interested when it's time for them to be flexible for you. Overtime pay for overtime hours worked should be mandatory for any worker making less than the $75,000/year.

To add insult to injury, jobs that often pay less than a living wage are also the jobs where you are expected to work additional hours as a salaried employee. I once had a job where I was making $8/hr (which required a college degree, by the way). However, I usually worked 50-60 hours each week, and was never paid overtime. I've got to say, it would have made me feel more appreciated as an employee to actually get paid for all the hours i was working-the “status” of being a salaried employee doesn't pay the bills!!

People deserve to be treated as if they matter. you show people that work for you how much they matter with financial reimbursement. when people feel good about their work, they are more productive members of society. it's that simple.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Leslie T. Sweeney)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Leslie T. Sweeney and I live in Bellingham. I've worked as a quality control person, editor, and proofreader for the last 11 years.

I believe that those who work more than 40 hours in a week and are not managers of other people should be paid time-and-a-half overtime, and double time on holidays. I think the cutoff monetary limit for non-manager workers over 40 hours should be in the range of $75,000 to $85,000 annual. And I think the penalty for not paying in that way should be substantial.

Overtime rights of this nature should be restored because the old cutoff is ridiculously low, and too many people are therefore being taken advantage of mightily. I personally have not been taken advantage of this way, but too many people have. There need to be truly fair rules.

With fair rules, employees will be much more productive and giving, because they will be treated decently by their employer. Attitude has a huge effect on productivity. Being paid fairly is the quintessential marker of a good employment situation.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Allan B. Darr)

Dear Director Sacks:

Allan Darr, I live in Everett, Washington and was employed as a union representative for 50 years.
Please restore overtime rights. As an individual who has supported workers all of my working life, this is the right thing to do.

This is very important for young workers because many times, they are dedicated to employers so much so that they simply work for free. In turn those who choose not to are laid off for not being a team employee,

While not for me as I am retired it is important for the employees and the economy.

This issue needs a resolution and the resolution should favor workers.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by David B. Westman)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is David Westman and I live in Seattle. I've worked as a software engineer for 30 years.
I'm urging you to restore overtime rights so that everyone paid less than triple the minimum wage (about $75,000/year) gets overtime pay when they work overtime hours.

This is necessary because a workers' time is valuable, and employers have to realize that the more they infringe upon a workers' extra time, the more they are taking the best part of their life. Extra hours are important to the worker and he should be paid accordingly.

If employers have to pay extra for overtime, they will have to consider the economic justification for asking for extra work. That will require fair compensation for workers' hours under all conditions.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Annies Tan)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Annies tan and I live in Seattle I’ve worked as grocery manager for different companies for about 17 years

I think that everyone who gets pay less than 75,000/year should get pay over time.

Because big major corporations taking an advantage of this they work us like we are not a human being who doesn’t have feelings or needs and that is not right for anyone doesn’t matter how much you pay them.

This will make employers realized the real need of man power to run a business instead of try to abuse few people who are under salary position, will create more jobs and position because they realize it what would it take to run a business.

Please consider this at the minimum thought that these people who are working under salary agreements are just like those are working under unions agreement they have needs and family that they need to taking care of.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

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

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is John, I live in Renton and I was a union member all of my working life.

If you're paid less than triple the minimum wage you deserve overtime pay.

Overtime is overtime, period. More than 40 hours per week is taking time out of lives with no reward.

If employers had to pay overtime they'd hire more employees.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Hadley Jude Wan)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Hadley and I have lived in the Olympic Peninsula, Olympia, and Seattle. I have worked for four different employers in the state of Washington; currently I'm a temporary employee at University of Washington.

I'm demanding that overtime rights in the state of Washington be re-implemented. It is not a special right that those who earn less than the median salary should receive overtime pay when they work overtime. Having responsibilities and recreation outside of work has significant impact on one's quality of life; if they must sacrifice their life for work then they must be compensated fairly for it.

It is not accident that income inequality is at its peak since The Great Depression era. It's time that the government starts taking steps to care for its people.

Happy workers make for a robust, well-rounded economy. We need to change our workaholic culture and bring back enjoyment and meaning to life. For everyone, not only those who can afford it.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Lorraine Marie)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Lorraine Marie and I was employed as a salaried journalist at a regional weekly newspaper in the 1990’s. This was not casual small-town reporting; beyond the usual city, county, schools and courthouse coverage, my news coverage included environmental issues, such as forestry and pollution of the Columbia River, locally relevant state politics, regional White Supremacists’ activities (which put me on a serious hit list), and keeping tabs on a local far-right cult with aspirations to take over local government.

When I first began the job (at around $16,000/year) I expected to need a little extra time as I learned the ropes. But after a year it became obvious that the job required more than 40 hours a week. I turned in my hours and was reimbursed for overtime, but it wasn’t long before I was put on salary. So was the Editor, who also engaged in long hours, and who was not paid much more than me.

Rather than reduce my news coverage standards by limiting myself to 40 hours a week, and to provide readers with information they deserved, I continued to work the extra hours, but without pay for those hours.

Our salaries did not rise when minimum wages went up; after a few years on salary, I was earning less than minimum wage.

I definitely favor returning overtime rights to those earning less than $75,000 a year. Had I been paid fairly, I would now have a larger, (and more livable) amount built up for my Social Security.

No employer should be stretching his employees beyond reasonable limits, purely for that employer’s personal gain. My employer was by no means suffering financially (he frequently vacationed around the world, something none of his employees could afford).

Thank you for giving serious consideration to the flaws in the current laws regarding overtime; the attention is long overdue, and the abuses generated by the current laws are unfair. Along with better pay, the economy stands to gain when people are paid appropriately.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Chip Ahlgren)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Chip I live in Bellevue and work in Seattle I have worked at Jiffy Lube for a few years.

I think if you’re paid less than about $75,000 a year triple the minimum-wage or you should be paid overtime if you work over 40 hours.

L &I should restore overtime rights. I work 65 to 100 hours a week. I am a slve and this will help tge corporate world stop abusing people like me.

Corporations or only motivated by greed if you restore overtime writes it will help prevent them from abusing people like me.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by William Lyne)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Bill Lyne and I am a professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham. I am also the president of the United Faculty of Washington State--we represent the faculty at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University and the Evergreen State College.

I'm writing to urge you to restore overtime rights so that everyone paid less than triple the minimum wage (about $75,000) gets overtime pay when they work overtime hours.

The faculty that I represent are exempt from overtime pay, but restoring overtime pay is crucial for our dedicated and hard-working professional staff colleagues. The colleagues who work in counseling offices, the office of student life, and our financial aid offices are crucial to helping our universities deliver the outstanding education our students deserve. These talented and compassionate colleagues often work well beyond regular hours to make sure that our students get the services they need. They deserve to be paid for the important work they are doing. These colleagues should not be punished for choosing to work in public service rather than taking a more lucrative job in the public sector. Regularly working overtime without compensation is demoralizing and makes it difficult for the university to retain valuable employees.

Overtime pay for our colleagues making less than $75,000 a year will be a small increase in the universities' payroll, but it will make a huge difference for our students.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Paula Burke)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Paula Burke and I live in Seattle. I've worked as an archaeologist for 26 years and owned my own consulting business for 14 years.

I am writing to support the restoration of overtime rights for anyone paid less than triple the minimum wage. People who work more than 40 hours a week deserve to be compensated for that time.

I supervise salaried and hourly staff. It is not fair that two people doing similar work are not both eligible for overtime pay when they both work over 40 hours, just because one is salaried and one is hourly. Our work often involves 10 or 12 hour days. My salaried staff work hard and should be compensated for over 40 hours, especially when they are meeting our clients' work schedule.

It will be easier for me to schedule staff if they know they will be compensated fairly. And restored overtime rights will compensate for time away from family and free time activities.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Madeline Bishop)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Madeline Bishop and I live in Olympia. I’ve worked as an IT programmer/analyst for 25 years.
Restore overtime rights so everyone paid less than 3x minimum wage gets overtime pay for working overtime hours.

I have experienced the unfairness of having to work for free because I was earning a salary and being coerced to ask to ‘volunteer’ overtime work.

Employers will plan more efficiently if they are forced to pay for overtime.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Erin Sroka)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Erin and I live in Seattle. I work as a communications professional.

Protecting employees' time, and making sure we get paid for hours worked, is critical. I'm urging you to restore overtime rights so that everyone paid less than triple the minimum wage (about $75,000/year) gets overtime when they work overtime hours.

Because we are dependent on our jobs for survival, it is too common for employees to find ourselves working more than 40 hours per week. Our bosses may require it, or there may be implicit pressure to put in more time in order to prove that you're working hard enough. But we are working hard enough.

Workers are more productive than ever, and while we create more and more profits for the organizations we work for, we are missing out on our fair share of pay, and we're missing out on time with our families. The forty hour work week was born from a long struggle for justice and the least we can do is to honor that boundary between work and life – or get paid overtime when our jobs demand more.

This would have a positive impact on everyone with a job, because we would have a healthier expectation of how much time a worker should give, and workers would be compensated fairly for our time. As Washingtonians, we could be less overworked and overtired. We could sleep enough. We could see or kids. And when we must work overtime, we would be compensated fairly.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Megan L Cornish)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Megan Cornish, and I live in Seattle. I am a retired power dispatcher from Seattle City Light. Because I was paid hourly, I got overtime in my highly skilled work. So did my front-line supervisors, because no one would have taken the promotion without it.

I think that everyone, particularly those paid less than triple the minimum wage of about $75,000 per year, deserves overtime pay when they work overtime hours.

Wages for workers in the lower ranks of the workforce have been losing ground for years, and this has had a disastrous affect on our society.

You can correct this injustice and make live livable for thousands.

Be part of the solution to our inequitable wage system.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Christopher Wayne Buckley)

Dear Director Sacks:

I'm Chris, and I've worked for a large professional services firm for five years.
I'm urging you to to restore overtime rights so that everyone paid less than triple the minimum wage (about $75,000/year) gets overtime pay when they work overtime hours.

I've worked 50-60 hour weeks for most of this month now. It's worth it for my family, because I'm fortunate to have a decent dataset and benefits. I can't imagine how hard this would be for someone who makes as little as three times minimum wage.

If all employers had to pay time and a half when they lean so heavily on their workers, we'd be that much closer to respecting the dignity of human beings, and not just our usefulness.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago

(Submitted on 10/26/18 by Lylianna)

Dear Director Sacks:

My name is Lylianna and I’ve been a Washington resident for 13 years and working on salary for 10 years.

I’m urging you to restore overtime rights so that everyone paid less than triple minimum wage gets overtime pay when they work overtime hours.

I love my job, I really do. I’ve been blessed to work jobs they I am invested in. I care so much that I often find myself working more than 40 hours a week. It has gotten increasingly expensive to live in Seattle and Washington. I can’t make ends meet. Rent is rising and rising to more than 30%of my monthly income. This impacts my quality of life. I can’t get another job to help make ends meet because my day job is demanding. I could like overtime pay to be restored to help alleviate the stress and burden that my salary creates.

If employers had to pay time and a half for salaried workers who put in more than 40hrs a week, I would be closer to a better quality of life. People would be able to lube more comfortably. There would be increased capacity for people to get civically engaged.

Allison Drake about 2 months ago