Washington Overtime Laws

Washington Overtime Laws

Washington Overtime Laws


What are Washington Overtime Laws?

In the state of Washington, the majority of workers who receive an hourly wage and work over 40 hours in a 7-day work week must be provided with overtime compensation. When providing overtime compensation, an employer must pay at least 1.5 times the workers’ regularly hourly wage. Washington overtime laws are based on the number of hours worked in a seven-day work week; the number of hours worked in a single day does not factor into the overtime calculation. 

Additionally, Washington overtime laws declare that employers may force their employees to work any number of hours in a given 40 hour week; limitations are placed on workers under the age of 18. But of course remember, that any number of hours worked beyond 40, must be compensated at 1.5 times the worker’s normal hourly rate. 

Washington overtime laws make it mandatory that an employer pay an employee—described above—1.5 times their hourly wage. This applies to all hourly earners, with the exception of the following list:

Workers who are not protected by Washington Overtime Laws:

• WA overtime laws do not protect workers employed on ranches or farms

• WA overtime laws do not protect Seasonal employees at agricultural centers or fairs

• WA overtime laws do not protect Newspaper carriers or vendors

• WA overtime laws do not protect Casual labor in or about private dwellings

• WA overtime laws do not protect Fire Prevention and Fire Protection activities

• WA overtime laws do not protect Any person whose duties require that the individual resides or sleeps at the place of his or her place of work

• WA overtime laws do not protect Seaman

• WA overtime laws Vessel Operating Crews

• WA overtime laws do not protect Inmates, patients or residents of any county, municipal or state correctional rehab institution or detention center

• WA overtime law does not institute protections for Youth Camps with Child Care Centers

• WA overtime law does not institute protections Administrative, Executive, Computer Professional and Outside Sales

• WA overtime law does not institute protections Volunteers

• WA overtime law does not institute protections Elected or appointive offices

Washington Overtime Laws Regarding Breaks:

Washington overtime laws permit workers to request time off at a later date instead of being paid overtime wages in said paid periods. This is referred to as “exchange time” or “comp time.” When the employee takes his/her time off, payment must be paid at the rate of at least an hour and one-half for each overtime hour worked. The exchange hours; however, may be paid at the regular rate. It must be noted; however, that federal law does not permit these types of agreements except for public workers and their employees.

To be exempt—according to Washington Overtime Laws—as an executive employee, an individual must:

• Regularly direct the work of multiple (two or more) full-time employees

• Have management as his/her primary job function

• Possess the authority to hire and terminate or recommended said action or other changes in an employee’s working status

• Be compensated on a salary basis

• Spend no more than 1/5th of their time in activities not closely related to any of the above duties or 40% in a service or retail establishment

To be exempt—according to Washington Overtime Laws—as an Administrative Employee, a person must:

• Possess as their “primary duty” the following:

o Non-manual or office work related to management policies or traditional business operations

o Performing work in an educational administration function, aka work directly related to training or academic instruction

• Regularly exercise independent judgment and discretion

• Directly assist bona fide executives or other administrative employees

• Perform general supervision work that is technical or specialized that requires special training, knowledge or experience

• Perform special assignments under only general supervision

To be exempt as a Professional Employee—according to Washington Overtime Laws—one must:

• Have his/her primary duties include :

o Advanced knowledge typically requiring extensive education

o Creativity in a recognized artistic field

o Teaching imparting knowledge as a formal professor or teacher in an academic institution

o Practical application of highly specialized knowledge in computer platforms, programming, software engineering etc.

• Constantly exercises discretion and judgment

• Performs work that is predominantly eclectic and intellectual and which cannot be standardized in relation to a given time frame

• Spend no more than 20% of working hours—during a typical work week—in activities viewed as non-essential to the above duties

• Compensated on a “salary basis”

For a complete list of Washington overtime laws, please visit this page:





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