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Washington Supreme Court Holds That Employees May be Entitled to Overtime Compensation For Missed Rest Periods

November 2012
Employment Law Notes
The Washington Minimum Wage Act (MWA) unequivocally requires employers to pay non-exempt employees overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in each workweek. Regulations issued by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I Rest Period Regulation) are equally clear that employers must provide non-exempt employees with a paid 10-minute rest break for every four-hour period worked. Under such standards, an employer may likely believe that it has satisfied its legal obligations in circumstances where an employee misses a rest period during his or her scheduled 40-hour workweek yet is provided additional compensation for that time at his or her regular hourly rate. Not necessarily, says the Washington State Supreme Court.