New tool helps employers calculate budget differences due to state’s overtime rules

New tool helps employers calculate budget differences due to state’s overtime rules

As employers and employees adjust to the changes in the state’s overtime rules, L&I has created a new tool to assist businesses.

For an employee to be considered exempt from overtime and other protections of the state Minimum Wage Act, they must be paid a salary, the salary must meet a minimum threshold, and they must perform certain duties.

The new Overtime Exempt Salary Budget Tool will help determine if a salary meets the necessary threshold for an exempt employee. In addition, it can estimate the budget difference between raising an exempt employee’s salary to meet the minimum threshold or the potential overtime cost if the worker is classified as nonexempt.

Additional tools

We also want to remind you of the suite of tools that explain the rules changes and help businesses comply with them. In addition to our main overtime rule changes web page, you can find many of the tools we have developed on our resource center web page.

You also can contact L&I's Employment Standards program at EAPrules@Lni.wa.gov or by calling toll free 1-866-219-7321.

Here are some of the key tools available:

eLearning Module: This online tool includes a review of the overtime rules, plus a section that walks users through a series of questions that can help determine if a worker should be classified as exempt or non-exempt.

Fact sheets: We have created a number of fact sheets, providing an overview of the overtime rule changes as well as some that delve into deeper aspects of the changes. One example is the Overtime Rules fact sheet that details the key facts related to the rule changes. This fact sheet is translated into eight additional languages. Another fact sheet explains the difference between salaried exempt and salaried non-exempt workers.

Job duties fact sheets: One of the key elements in determining if an employee can be classified as exempt is the job duties test. Along with the salary requirements, the employee’s duties must fall within defined parameters to be exempt, not their job title or description. L&I has developed a fact sheet that explains the job duties test for all the exempt categories: executive, administrative, professional, computer professional, and outside salesperson.

Case studies: L&I has created some case studies for each exemption category that illustrate why an employee should be classified as exempt or non-exempt. Each study has a scenario that spells out the employee’s job duties, pay, and situation. Using a series of questions and answers, each study offers a probable finding. There are case studies for executive, administrative, professional, computer professional, and outside sales employees.

Webinars/presentations: The Employment Standards outreach team continues to hold webinars that provide details on the overtime rules and allow participants to ask questions. For more information and to register for a webinar, go to L&I’s calendar of workshops, events and webinars and look for “Overtime Exemptions Training Sessions (Webinar)” in the “Event Title” pull-down menu. If your organization would like to request its own presentation on the rules, contact the outreach team at EAPrules@Lni.wa.gov.

Threshold implementation charts: The minimum salary threshold for exempt employees is now a factor of the state minimum wage. It will continue to rise until it reaches 2.5 times the minimum wage for a 40-hour workweek on Jan. 1, 2028. We have a salary threshold chart that shows the threshold for the coming year, and estimates through 2028. There also is a threshold chart for computer professionals paid by the hour.

Questions and answers: We have a separate web page devoted to answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding to the rule changes. The Changes to Overtime Rules Q&A web page provides background on why the department made these changes, who it impacts, and explains the differences in state and federal rules.

Administrative policies: In addition to these various tools, L&I has also written a number of administrative policies that explain how major labor laws under its jurisdiction should be applied. The policies do not replace the laws and regulations, but serve as a guide and interpretation of the laws and regulations. There are a number of policies directly related to the overtime rules.