Overtime Day

Happy Overtime Day!

Or as we like to call it...

What does that mean?


Today is Overtime Day, which means the average American salaried worker will spend the rest of the year working for free. Let us explain: say you meet or exceed an average of 49 hours per week on the job, which is the average workweek for salaried employees. Say you’re part of the 93 percent of Americans who don’t qualify for overtime. That means you earn zero additional pay for nearly 20 percent of your workweek. Instead of earning time-and-a-half for every hour worked over 40, the way it was when the American economy was at its strongest, most of us don’t even pick up an extra penny in our paychecks for those additional hours.

When you extrapolate that 49-hour weekly schedule out to a year, you’ve worked a full year’s worth of 40-hour workweeks by October 24th, and October 25th puts us into unpaid overtime for the rest of the year.

So Happy Overtime Day! For the average American, this Friday is the day when they start working for free.


What if you don’t want Overtime Day?


Nobody does! Thankfully, last June Gov. Jay Inslee’s Department of Labor & Industries introduced a proposal to restore overtime protections by raising the salary threshold under which employees must be paid overtime to about $80,000 in 2026. And we know that more than 90 percent of online comments submitted to L&I during the public feedback period were in support of the agency’s proposal to restore overtime protections for salaried workers. Of the 2,266 written comments L&I reported receiving, 2,073 came from supporters of Civic Action and Working Washington, and were either in support of the rule as proposed or advocated for an even stronger rule.

A final rule is expected from L&I in early December, and the coalition working to support restoring overtime protections expects the agency will finalize the rule as proposed, based on the overwhelmingly positive support during the public comment process. 

If finalized, more than 400,000 salaried workers in Washington who are currently putting in overtime hours for free will get back more of their time, more money, or both.


A toast to Overtime Day! May it be our last!


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