The Washington state Department of Labor & Industries is holding public hearings this summer on a bold plan to restore overtime protections for hundreds of thousands of salaried workers in our state. Under the state's plan, if you’re paid less than about $70,000 year, you’ll get overtime pay when you work overtime hours, regardless of your job title, and regardless of whether you’re hourly or salaried.
This would be a huge step forward to bring back the promise of the 40-hour workweek, and we’re *thisclose* to getting it done. What we need now is a big turnout to bring it home & show that people across the staet supporting restoring overtime protections to salaried workers in our state.
Below is all the info you need to be there & be heard! Also — please RSVP here if you plan to attend so we can keep you in the loop!
Hearing dates places & times
Tumwater: Monday, July 15, 2019, 1pm: L&I Headquarters (Room S117/S118/S119), 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501
Seattle: Tuesday, July 16, 2019, 9am: Swedish Club (Stockholm Room), 1920 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Bellingham: Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 9am: Four Points Sheraton (Whatcom Room), 714 Lakeway Dr, Bellingham, WA 98229
Ellensburg: Monday, August 5, 2019, 9am: Hal Holmes Community Center, 201 Ruby Street, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Kennewick: Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 9am: SpringHill Suites by Marriott (Vista Hall), 7048 W Grandridge Blvd, Kennewick, WA 99336
Spokane: Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 9am: CenterPlace Regional Event Center (Large Meeting Room), 2426 N Discovery Pl, Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Vancouver: Thursday, August 15, 2019, 9am: Clark College Columbia Tech Center (Event Rooms A&B), 18700 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98683
What to expect
When you get there, look for someone wearing Working Washington gear near the door. We’ll make sure you’re pointed in the right direction, we’ll have stickers & other materials to hand out, and we can help get you signed in, and answer any questions you have.
The hearing itself will start with a presentation by L&I on their plan to restore overtime protections. After that, there will be public comment, where audience members will be have two to three minutes to share their thoughts on the issue. The entire hearing should take about 2 hours. If you can’t attend that whole time, any amount you can be there has an impact.
Why it matters
The state has announced a bold plan to restore overtime protections to salaried workers making up to about $70,000/year. It could be the biggest breakthrough on workers' rights since the fight for $15 — and Washington state could lead the whole nation.
Restoring overtime protections is wildly popular and long overdue. (It’s been more than 40 years since the last update!) Now we need to get it done — by making sure it's clear that workers support restoring overtime protections. We know that the big business lobbyists have the time money and resources to show up and oppose this, just like they oppose minimum wage, sick days, and every other labor standard. That’s why it’s so important that the state hears our voices too!
What to say & do
First of all: just being there in support makes a huge impact. The state is paying close attention to the response it gets on this issue, and it really matters when they see our faces and hear our voices in support.
I’d like to encourage you to give public comment too. The state is literally required to count and track each comment, so speaking out in support truly makes a difference. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: just say 1) who you are, 2) why you support restoring overtime protections, and 3) how you think things will change when more people get overtime pay when they work overtime hours. If you have any experience with long work hours or overtime-exempt jobs, you can talk about how the hours affected you!
And that’s it! Nobody will be cross-examining you if you speak or asking any follow-up questions, so it’s really just about clearly stating your support so your opinion can be counted. Again, you don’t have to speak — just being there is incredibly valuable — but if you’re interested…. go for it!
A few good articles on this issue if you're looking for more background:
Crosscut: Salaried and overworked? WA wants you to be paid overtime New state rules will finally reverse the trend toward less overtime pay. And that will be good for everyone.
KIRO-7: 250,000 more Washington workers could be eligible for overtime under new plan
Talk Poverty: States Are Going Around Trump to Get More Workers Overtime Pay
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Spread the word!
Let your friends, family, and co-workers know about the hearing! You can share this info page, or ask people to RSVP for all the details using this link.