Claiming Unpaid Overtime Wages in Washington
Am I eligible to collect unpaid overtime from my employer?
The Washington overtime minimum wage is $21.74 per hour, one and a half times the regular minimum wage of $14.49. If you earn more then the Washington minimum wage rate of $14.49, you are entitled to at least 1.5 times your regular hourly wage for all overtime worked.
If your employer has failed to pay you a proper overtime wage for any amount of qualifying overtime worked, you are eligible to receive back wages and possibly additional damages from your employer.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) explicitly protects Washington workers who file an overtime complaint from being penalized by their employer for filing the complaint with threats, suspension, or firing. The statute of limitations for filing an overtime claim is two years, although this is increased to three years in the case that your employer willfully and knowingly broke the law in failing to compensate you for overtime worked.
How can I collect back wages if my employer owes me overtime?
After checking to ensure that your job is not exempt from overtime under Washington law, the next step to take in filing an unpaid overtime claim is submitting an official complaint including all pertinent information to your local Department of Labor office. If the Washington Department of Labor cannot solve your overtime case, you can file a civil claim with the Washington state court system by levying an unpaid overtime lawsuit against your employer.
Contacting the Department of Labor in Washington Regarding Unpaid Overtime
If you believe you are owed unpaid overtime, or think your employer is not complying with other labor laws, your first point of contact is your local field office of the Federal Department of Labor. There are one field offices located in Washington.
Contact the office nearest to you, and they will be able to advise you of your legal rights and your next steps. You may want to have your employer's information and any relevant paystubs available. Remember, it is illegal for your employer to punish you for speaking to the Department of Labor! You can find contact information for the Washington Department of Labor here.
US Dept. of Labor Wage & Hour Division 300 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1130 Seattle, WA 98104
Jeanette Aranda, District Director
P: (206) 398-8039
Washington Min Wage - $14.49 per hour as of 2022