Comment on L&I’s upcoming rulemaking on overtime, minimum-wage exemptions


The Department of Labor and Industries is in the process of updating rules regarding exemptions to the minimum-wage act (MWA) which exempts executive, administrative and professional (EAP) workers. An exemption can have consequences for employers -- for example, someone who is exempt from MWA would therefore be exempt from mandatory overtime payments for working above 40 hours a week.

L&I hasn’t updated is rules on EAP exemptions since 1976. These current rules require most workers to meet a “duties test” and be paid a minimum salary of about $13,000 to qualify for an exemption. L&I says that, because salary levels have not been updated, rules governing these exemptions are out of date, and duties tests may not accurately reflect current expectations of exempt professionals.

Before formalizing its first draft of the new rule, L&I is proposing the following questions. If you have thoughts on any or all of these questions, please send your responses to AGC Chief Lobbyist Jerry Vanderwood, who will compile responses and send to L&I.

  1. What are your thoughts on whether the department should propose to eliminate the short and long duties test and use a single duties test for EAP employees?

  2. If the department were to propose rule language to further clarify the duties tests for EAP employees, what language should be included?

  3. If the department were to propose an updated salary level for executive, administrative, and professional employees, what specific salary level or approach should be used?

  4. If the department were to propose rule language to create an exemption for highly compensated employees, what should be the criteria for meeting that exemption?

  5. If the department were to propose a fixed salary level, should this rulemaking also include an automatic updating mechanism?

  6. If the department were to propose modifications to the exemption for computer professionals, what should be the criteria for meeting that exemption?

  7. If the department were to propose modifications to the exemption for individuals employed in the capacity of outside salesperson, what should be the criteria for meeting that exemption?

  8. If the department were to propose an effective date for the updated rule, what should that effective date be?

 

For more information, see this page on the L&I website.