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Jayapal Applauds Proposal to Expand Worker Protections in Washington State

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) applauded the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) proposal to update overtime protections for thousands of additional workers in the state.

“Today’s proposal by the Inslee Administration will protect hundreds of thousands of salaried workers in Washington State who make low wages and work long hours without the benefit of overtime pay. I am grateful to Governor Inslee and immensely proud of my home state for standing up for workers and ensuring they get the hard-earned overtime pay they deserve,” stated Representative Jayapal. “Too many workers have been left behind by the Trump Administration. I remain committed to fighting for overtime protections for all workers and against the Trump Labor Department’s poorly informed and inadequate proposals. We are a nation for the people, not big corporations.”

Workers across the country are bringing this issue to the national stage by sharing their stories, like one from an office worker in Normandy Park, WA:  

“When I got my first salaried position, I thought I was moving into a white collar environment and that was more prestigious. I’d arrived, but I  found out it just means they can work you as many hours as they want,” they said. “I put in easily 50 or 55 hours a week — what drives the long hours is that they’re not hiring enough employees to do the work in a reasonable amount of time. It’s easier to just expect that people will stay until their work is done.

“It definitely impacts the quality of work […] So even though we’re putting in more work, it’s less productive time, so as our sales increase without adding staffing, the product quality is going down. But it doesn’t just affect the quality of our work. These kinds of hours have a big impact on our families, our time with our kids, our health, our well-being. Feeling lousy and exhausted every day makes it very hard to advance one’s career, or look for a better job, and that affects income mobility and career growth.”

The Department of L&I’s announcement is the next step in the state’s formal rulemaking process.

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