Washington Raises Minimum Salary to Meet Overtime Exemptions

On December 11, 2019, the state of Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries announced a substantial increase to the state’s salary threshold to meet the salary basis test for “white collar” overtime exemptions. The minimum exempt salary will increase over time and by 2021, the minimum salary for all state employers will rise well above the new federal minimum salary threshold ($684 per week, or $35,568 per year) that takes effect January 1, 2020.

From 2020 to 2028, Washington’s minimum salary threshold will increase incrementally at the start of each year as shown below. For employers with 50 or fewer employees, the increase is slower than that for those with more than 50 employees. By 2028, the threshold will be the same for all employers regardless of size, and all salaried exempt employees will earn 2.5 times the minimum wage. After 2028, the salary threshold will increase if minimum wage is adjusted for inflation.


The hourly paid computer professional exemption will also change on July 1, 2020. The minimum pay rate will jump from $27.63/hour to $37.13/hour for employers with more than 50 employees in Washington. This will rise to $47.25/hour, plus Consumer Price Index (CPI) CPI adjustments, for all employers by 2022, after which annual CPI adjustments will be applied.