The Washington Department of Labor & Industries’ proposed update to the state’s overtime rules has struck a nerve with residents as the agency received more than 2,200 comments during its comment period, which wrapped up Sept. 20. The agency is now reviewing the public comments as it works toward a final decision by year’s end.

“From the earliest moments of this process, we knew there was going to be intense public interest in the proposal,” stated L&I deputy director Elizabeth Smith. “We’re pleased that so many people have weighed in on this important topic. The volume of comments is a testament to that interest and the department’s efforts to involve as many people as possible.”

Because Washington has not updated its overtime rule since 1976, employers use the federal salary threshold of $455 a week for workers who are overtime exempt. The proposed rule would restore overtime protections for tens of thousands of Washington workers.

When fully implemented, the salary threshold would climb to an estimated $1,536 a week for all businesses. After than, the threshold would be modified annually.