Threshold for overtime pay is going up

Colleagues – I want to alert you to new over-time eligible salary thresholds that have been adopted by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. You will see from the attached chart that the threshold for employees, including postdoctoral fellows, to be overtime-eligible will climb from $35,100 at present to $49,831 on January 1st. This will be followed by significant jumps every two years for a final threshold of $78,624 on January 1st, 2028. The threshold is important because if an eligible employee is paid less than the stated threshold, he/she is eligible to claim overtime pay.

A couple of points:

  • WSU, UW, and the other four-year higher ed institutions mounted an active and coordinated effort to at least include an exemption for research. Lisa Gehring (HRS) informed me that the effort included testifying multiple times, sending joint letters, and working with legislative representatives. It is unclear why a research exemption was not allowed.
  • This new policy is likely to have a significant impact on research activities, starting with budgets for extramural funding that have been largely capped for many years while other expenses continue to rise.
  • This rule does not apply to graduate students, whether TA or RA.
  • Assistant Vice President for Human Resource Service, Lisa Gehring, has agreed to present information about this rule change at the November 19th Faculty Senate meeting.

Doug Call

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