Is $35,000 enough money to be working for free?

OK yeah if you’re thinking that’s sort of a dumb question you’re right. It does seem pretty obvious $35,000 is not in fact enough money to work endless additional hours for zero additional dollars.

And yet… the Trump administration has recently announced plans to finally update the salary threshold for overtime exemption… to $35,000/year. That would mean that it's ok for an employer to pay you just $35,000/year, make you overtime-exempt, and require you to work limitless overtime hours with no additional overtime pay.

No it’s not good enough and yes the federal government needs to do better but of course we’re not just going to wait for that to happen.

Here in Washington, we’ve been pushing for the Department of Labor & Industries to update our state overtime rules too. The big difference: we’re aiming quite a bit higher than $35,000.

What do you want to see happen with overtime rules?

We’re calling for new state rules which say that if you get paid less than about $75,000/year, you should get overtime pay when you work overtime hours, no matter what your job title is, and no matter whether you’re classified as salaried or hourly.

It's quite a difference. The federal Department of Labor said $35,000 is enough to make it ok to work overtime hours without overtime pay. We’re pushing our state to restore overtime rights all the way up to $75,000.

So thought we’d ask — if you were making the rules on overtime exemptions, how high would you go? And given this latest news, where do you think Washington is going to end up?

In the end it's pretty simple: our time counts, too. That’s why we’re fighting to restore overtime rights here in Washington state.

Thanks for helping get it done, and for letting us know what you think.