More and more of us are working more and more hours — but we’re not getting paid for it.

Our overtime laws are so out of date that all your employer has to do is pay you a salary and claim the nature of your job makes you “exempt” from overtime... and then they don't have to pay you an extra dime if you work more than 40 hours in a week.  

The good news is that the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has released a plan to restore overtime protections for hundreds of thousands of salaried workers — regardless of whether they’re classified as hourly or salaried, and no matter what fancy title their boss gives them.

"Businesses can never pay you what your time is worth — your time is invaluable. But they don’t even try.

I don’t want the money I want the time."

— Sidney Kenney, service provider & former restaurant worker, Tumwater

Time is money — employers shouldn’t just get both.  

The idea of getting a salary and getting overtime may sound weird, but as recently as the 1970s, more than 60% of salaried workers got time-and-a-half when they worked more than 40 hours a week. Now only 7% get overtime pay — and it’s not because we’re working less.

Front-line managers in food & retail are often paid a salary, made exempt, and then expected to work as many as 60 hours a week or longer in order to get the job done — without getting paid any extra money for all that extra time.

Office-based workers are frequently paid a salary, made exempt, and then expected to be available 24/7 to do whatever the employer needs done, whenever it needs doing. 

No matter what kind of work you do, if your employer classifies you as exempt from overtime, that means you don’t get any extra pay no matter how many extra hours you work. And if you don't get any extra pay for working extra hours, your employer can treat your time like it doesn't count.

It’s time for Washington state to restore overtime protections and bring our working lives back into balance — because we’re human beings, and our time counts too.

In our own words...