Post Alley Quotes Tim O’Connell on Legality of Rules Proposed in Washington State for Threshold for Overtime Pay

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Labor & employment attorney Tim O’Connell was quoted in Post Alley in an article titled “Overtime Pay: Seattle Arts Groups On The Defensive.” The article discusses proposed changes to overtime rules in Washington that would raise the minimum pay level at which a salaried worker would be exempt from being paid overtime.

If adopted, the rules, proposed by the Washington Department of Labor & Industry, would increase the overtime threshold, currently at the federal requirement of $455 per week, initially to $675 a week for small employers and $945 a week for employers with more than 50 employees, ultimately reaching $1,536 a week regardless of employer size. O’Connell believes the proposed increases are “illegal and unlawful” – they cannot be adopted by the agency but must have legislative authorization.

O’Connell said that rule making by the federal government on the same topic may offer a middle ground. “In the most recent version [of the federal rules], DOL had proposed raising the salary threshold to just over $35,000. Assuming these rules do become effective in the near term, Washington employers will have to comply (unless the federal rules are delayed long enough that the state’s proposal becomes effective at a higher level first). So, a compromise is right around the corner.”

Read “Overtime Pay: Seattle Arts Groups On The Defensive,” published August 11, 2019. Post Alley is a blog that features the work of a collective of Seattle-area journalists.

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