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Washington Overtime Pay Law

Filed under Office & HR.

Employers in Washington must conform with these state rules regarding overtime pay for employees.

In Washington, time and one-half the regular rate is due after 40 hours of work in a workweek. Employees may request compensatory time off in lieu of overtime pay.

Exemptions From the General Overtime Provision

The following are exempt from the overtime pay provisions:

  • seasonal employees of agricultural fairs
  • hand harvest laborers paid on a piece-rate basis
  • casual laborers in or about a private home, unless performed in the course of the employer's trade, business, or profession
  • bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity employees
  • outside salespersons
  • newspaper vendors or carriers
  • volunteers for educational, charitable, religious, state, or local governmental body or agency, or nonprofit organization
  • employees of certain charitable institutions providing childcare
  • employees engaged in forest protection and fire prevention activities
  • movie projectionists employed pursuant to a contract or collectively bargained agreement regulating hours of work and overtime
  • truck and bus drivers subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Act whose pay system includes overtime pay reasonably equal to that required by this law
  • seamen
  • farm employees
  • employees regulated by the federal Interstate Commerce Act or in any industry where federal law provides overtime based on a workweek of other than 40 hours

Commissioned salespersons. Certain commissioned salespersons must be paid the greater of:

  • compensation at the state minimum hourly rate or more for each hour worked up to 40 per week and one and one-half times that rate for all hours worked over 40 or
  • a straight commission, a salary plus commission or a salary plus bonus applied to gross salary.

Retail employees. Retail employees may work over 40 hours per workweek if:

  • the employee's regular pay rate exceeds one and one-half times the minimum wage rate; and
  • more than 50 percent of the employee's compensation for a representative period (at least one month) represents commissions on goods or services.

Truck drivers. Overtime pay for truck drivers requires payment of overtime for hours worked over 40 hours a week for interstate driving, including hours spent working out of state.

Health care employees. Twenty-four hour licensed health care facilities cannot require nurses to work overtime, although exceptions do apply. The refusal to work overtime may not be grounds for adverse employment decisions.

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