Learn about EAP exemptions

Book on a table with the title "Employment Law"

Most employees covered by the Washington Minimum Wage Act (MWA) must be provided a minimum wage (currently $11.50 per hour), overtime for working above forty hours in a seven-day workweek, and paid sick leave.

The MWA exempts certain kinds of covered employees from its requirements, including bona fide Executive, Administrative, and Professional (“EAP”) workers, as well as Outside Salespersons. These terms are defined by the Director of the Department of Labor & Industries (the department). The EAP exemptions were largely intended to exempt “white collar” workers who often enjoy more economic security and relative bargaining power than lower wage earners.

The department last updated its rules on the EAP exemptions in 1976. The 1976 rules require most workers to meet a duties test and be paid a minimum salary of at least $250/week to qualify for these exemptions, which equates to a minimum yearly salary of $13,000. Because salary levels have not been updated, the rules governing these exemptions are out of date, and the duties tests may not accurately reflect current expectations of exempt professionals. As a result, the department is initiating rulemaking to update these rules.

The formal rulemaking process outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act requires the department to provide the public with an opportunity to submit comments on draft rules prior to finalization. In addition to traditional ways of sending comments, this site is another way for the public to comment on the proposed rules.

For more information on the state’s current EAP and Outside Salesperson exemptions, please see Employment Standards Administrative Policies ES.A.9.1 – ES.A.9.8.

L&I needs your help on the following EAP rulemaking subjects:

Previous Stakeholder Engagement:



Most employees covered by the Washington Minimum Wage Act (MWA) must be provided a minimum wage (currently $11.50 per hour), overtime for working above forty hours in a seven-day workweek, and paid sick leave.

The MWA exempts certain kinds of covered employees from its requirements, including bona fide Executive, Administrative, and Professional (“EAP”) workers, as well as Outside Salespersons. These terms are defined by the Director of the Department of Labor & Industries (the department). The EAP exemptions were largely intended to exempt “white collar” workers who often enjoy more economic security and relative bargaining power than lower wage earners.

The department last updated its rules on the EAP exemptions in 1976. The 1976 rules require most workers to meet a duties test and be paid a minimum salary of at least $250/week to qualify for these exemptions, which equates to a minimum yearly salary of $13,000. Because salary levels have not been updated, the rules governing these exemptions are out of date, and the duties tests may not accurately reflect current expectations of exempt professionals. As a result, the department is initiating rulemaking to update these rules.

The formal rulemaking process outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act requires the department to provide the public with an opportunity to submit comments on draft rules prior to finalization. In addition to traditional ways of sending comments, this site is another way for the public to comment on the proposed rules.

For more information on the state’s current EAP and Outside Salesperson exemptions, please see Employment Standards Administrative Policies ES.A.9.1 – ES.A.9.8.

L&I needs your help on the following EAP rulemaking subjects:

Previous Stakeholder Engagement: