Washington State Announces 2021 Minimum Wage and Salary Thresholds for Overtime Exempt Employees

The new minimum wage will impact some employees exempt from overtime and other protections of the Minimum Wage Act.

Binder with Compliance label sitting on desk10/6/2020

The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has announced the state minimum wage for 2021 and calculated the new state minimum salary thresholds for overtime exempt employees. The new thresholds will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, L&I has determined the minimum wage for next year will be $13.69 an hour, up from $13.50 an hour in 2020.

That new minimum wage will impact some employees exempt from overtime and other protections of the Minimum Wage Act. Employees defined as executive, administrative and professional, as well as outside salespeople and computer professionals must perform certain duties and usually must earn a salary that meets or exceeds a minimum specified threshold.

L&I changed how this minimum threshold is determined when updates to the state overtime rules took effect July 1. The salary thresholds are now a multiplier of the minimum wage.

Using the 2021 minimum wage, L&I has calculated the salary thresholds taking effect Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Small businesses (1-50 employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $821.40 a week ($42,712.80/year).
  • Large businesses (51 or more employees): An exempt employee must earn a salary of at least 1.75 times the minimum wage, or $958.30 a week ($49,831.60/year).

In addition, the new minimum wage changes the 2021 thresholds for computer professionals who are paid by the hour.

Because the new state thresholds will be more favorable than the federal threshold of $684/week ($35,568/year), Washington employers will have to adhere to the state thresholds in 2021.

The threshold multiplier will be phased in until it reaches 2.5 times the minimum wage in 2028. At that point, increases will be determined by any changes in the minimum wage caused by inflation.

Question of the Week

Q. Is the credit union required to send a monthly statement if no share drafts have cleared an account and no EFT transactions have occurred during the monthly cycle?

A. No, a monthly statement would not be required in this situation. The Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) and Section 1005.9(b) of Regulation E require the credit union to deliver periodic statements for each monthly cycle in which an electronic fund transfer (EFT) has occurred, or at least quarterly if no transfer has occurred.

Share and share draft account disclosures are governed by the Truth in Savings Act (TISA), not the EFTA. TISA, as implemented by NCUA’s Part 707, does not require the credit union to deliver periodic statements at all. However, if the credit union does deliver periodic statements, the disclosures must also comply with TISA’s requirements (e.g., properly disclose annual percentage yield earned, amount of dividends, fees imposed, and length of the statement period).

So, if there is no EFT activity, quarterly statements will suffice, regardless of share draft activity. However, if the credit union usually delivers monthly statements on a regular basis, its members may expect to receive them regardless of transaction activity. So, member notification, as well as some reeducation, may be necessary.

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Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465; [email protected].