WA State threshold for OT exempt employees will rise in 2023 by 24%

Last updated: February 7, 2023.

On September 30, 2022 the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries announced the new state minimum wage effective January 1, 2023: $15.74 per hour.

The Washington state overtime threshold for exempt jobs as of January 1, 2023 is set by state rule at 2 times the state minimum wage and will be $1,259.20 per week. Due to the monthly base pay model at the UW requiring rounding up to a whole dollar amount, the UW’s monthly and annualized thresholds are slightly higher than the state’s weekly threshold as shown in the table below:

L&I Salary Threshold effective Jan 1, 2023

Weekly $1,259.20
Monthly $5,457
Annual $65,484

The annualized L&I threshold for 2022 is $52,752. The 2023 threshold of $65,484 will be approximately 24.1% higher than the 2022 threshold.

Since the state threshold that takes effect January 1, 2023 is higher than the federal, employers in Washington State will need to follow the higher state threshold. This approach follows the principle of law that in the event of a conflict between state and federal law, the law more protective of the employee will apply. In order to be exempt from overtime, employees must also meet one of the “duties tests”.

This same threshold applies to part-time employees; it is not pro-rated for employees who are less than full-time. This means, for example, that a 50% (half-time) employee whose annualized salary is $120,000 would be overtime eligible because their actual, half-time salary would be $60,000, which is less than the new $65,484 threshold.

Employees whose primary duty is teaching, instructing, or lecturing to impart knowledge are not eligible for overtime and this change does not impact them. For information about any potential impacts on academic personnel, please email the Office of Academic Personnel at or call 206-221-UWAP (8927).

Employees with a combination of FTE and salary that falls below $1,259.20 per week will be converted to an overtime eligible job code no later than the last week of December 2022. Starting Monday, December 26, 2022, they will need to track the hours that they work following the established time tracking procedure in their department. They will be paid for all hours worked, and time and a half (or compensatory time at time and a half) for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

If you have any questions regarding this change, please see the FAQ document or discuss them with your department’s HR administrator. For additional information, please see the HR website: FLSA and WMWA overtime eligibility and exemption.