WA State Minimum Wage Act

Learn how the WA State Minimum Wage Act impacts pay policies and position classification.

The Salary Threshold Rule in the State of Washington

In 2019, at the direction of Governor Jay Inslee, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), published a new schedule of minimum salary thresholds through January 1, 2028. The annually increasing salary thresholds specifically apply to the many university positions within the “Executive, Administrative and Professional” exemption.

For January 1, 2024, the minimum salary threshold to satisfy the law’s “Executive, Administrative and Professional” exemption will be $67,724.80 per year ($1,2302.40 per week). This means that the university’s “Executive, Administrative or Professional” staff members who earn less than $67,724.80 as of January 1, 2024, will no longer be exempt. HR may reclassify those employees as nonexempt on January 1, 2024; or potentially increase salaries close to the threshold to maintain the current exemption. The minimum threshold will continue to increase until January 1, 2028, at which time the projected salary level threshold is $92,560. Review the WA OT threshold chart 2024-2028. More information can also be found on L&I’s Overtime Rules Fact Sheet.

Position Classification

SeattleU complies with all federal, state, and local laws relating to employee wages and hours, including the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Washington State Minimum Wage Act (MWA). These laws require the university to provide overtime pay to employees for any work hours exceeding 40 hours in a given week, unless that employee is “exempt” from the laws.

The university presumes that all of its employee positions are “nonexempt”—meaning the positions are subject to the laws’ overtime requirements—unless and until the university’s Human Resources division concludes that the positions meet the criteria for being “exempt” from the laws.  

Faculty (and some staff members) whose primary job duty is teaching, coaching, instructing, or lecturing to impart knowledge are classified exempt regardless of their salary amount. In addition, many staff members perform duties that meet the laws’ exemptions for “Executive, Administrative or Professional” positions. Unlike teaching professionals, however, positions falling within the “Executive, Administrative, or Professional” exemptions are subject to a state-required minimum salary before being classified as exempt.

Based on the salary threshold rule in the state of Washington, Seattle U expects to reclassify a number of currently exempt positions to nonexempt through January 1, 2028, and beyond.

What being classified nonexempt means:

  • Nonexempt staff must submit a timesheet every pay period that includes all hours worked and any applicable holiday or vacation hours. Hours worked over and above the 37.5-hour workweek requires prior approval from the supervisor.
  • Review the mySeattleU Time Entry Quick Sheet for Non-Exempt Employees for step-by-step instructions for completing a timesheet. You will need to enter your time starting in January when we return from the holiday closure. Effective January 1, 2023, staff who convert to nonexempt will move to the nonexempt payroll schedule.
  • The first nonexempt paycheck for hours applicable to January 1st through the 15th, is paid on January 25th. The hours applicable to January 16th to the last day of the month, are paid on February 10th. Please see the Payroll Calendar for Nonexempt Staff for details.
  • The nonexempt classification is not a reflection of the importance of a position. All positions at Seattle U perform important work in support of our mission. It simply means a nonexempt staff person must be paid for all hours worked and paid at time and a half their hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in a work week.

Additional Resources