Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Boeing agrees to pay over $11.5M in back pay to employees

Nearly 500 workers received back wages, in what Washington regulators call the largest-ever settlement of its kind in state history.

EVERETT — Boeing agreed to pay more than $11.5 million in back wages to 495 employees in the state’s largest-ever settlement for back pay, according to state regulators.

The state Department of Labor & Industries determined the amount after launching an investigation into the company’s wage calculations 18 months ago.

In November 2022, the agency received four complaints from workers performing aircraft maintenance at overseas locations for Boeing. From there, regulators began a broader investigation into the company’s travel pay and policies for Washington workers, according to an agency statement.

“As we shared the findings of our investigation with Boeing, they worked with us to provide a complete review of their records and agreed to pay these employees what they were owed,” Labor & Industries Director Joel Sacks said in a statement. “Work travel is still work — and we want to ensure Washington businesses understand what they owe to their workers who are on the road.”

In an agreement with the agency signed May 24, Boeing acknowledged the amount owed. The company paid workers their back wages in March, regulators said.

Boeing paid the four workers who filed the initial complaints, as well as a larger group affected by the company’s travel work policies. The total includes wages and overtime for travel between October 2019 and August 2023. Individual workers received amounts ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than $90,000, the agency said.

The Daily Herald asked if any employees that received back pay were connected to Boeing’s Everett assembly plant, but the agency said it does not track the locations of individual recipients.

In a statement, Boeing said Thursday: “As Washington has clarified the state’s travel pay policies in the past several years, we also aligned our pay practices to reflect those requirements.”

“We also went a step further and provided back pay for eligible employees in 2021 and more recently provided back pay earlier this year for another group of employees that did not originally record all of their travel time,” the statement continued. “We are pleased the state has agreed to close an audit into Boeing pay practices.”

Under state law, Washington companies must pay employees on work trips for the time they spend on travel and related activities. Employers also owe overtime and sick leave accrued based on those hours.

Regulators found Boeing had not paid or accounted for all overtime and paid sick leave.

“The workers’ time was in their employer’s hands, from when they required to be in the hotel lobby to being transported to an aircraft hangar — and that’s time that must be paid,” said Bryan Templeton, manager of the agency’s Employment Standards Program, which oversees wage complaints.

The agreement also spells out conditions intended to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again, the agency said.

The Boeing case represents the largest amount of back pay returned to workers in the agency’s history. The largest previous case involved Hertz and Thrifty car rental companies. In a 2017 agreement with the agency, the companies paid nearly $2 million in back wages to 157 workers.

In 2023, Labor & Industries handled more than 7,800 wage complaints and returned more than $3.34 million in wages owed to workers, the agency said.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097;; Twitter: @JanicePods.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

2 suffer life-threatening injuries in Edmonds house fire

A man and a woman were rushed to Harborview. A massive response around 6 p.m. blocked streets near 224th Street SW and 72nd Place W.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Marvin Arellano (Photo provided)
Family: ‘Manic episode’ preceded trooper shooting man on I-5 near Everett

“It’s very, very unfortunate how he was portrayed in his final moments,” Gilbert Arellano said. “He was just such a good person.”

Two visitors comb the beach at Kayak Point Regional County Park on Friday, June 14, 2024, in Tulalip, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Kayak Point reopens ahead of schedule

The county’s most popular park reopened Friday.

Grauates throw their caps in the air at the end of Arlington High School graduation at Angel of the Winds Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘So worth it’: Snohomish County graduates step into their futures

Alyssa Acosta, who is Harvard-bound, was one of thousands to walk the stage at Angel of the Winds Arena this month to get high school diplomas.

FILE — Jet fuselages at Boeing’s fabrication site in Everett, Wash., Sept. 28, 2022. Some recently manufactured Boeing and Airbus jets have components made from titanium that was sold using fake documentation verifying the material’s authenticity, according to a supplier for the plane makers. (Jovelle Tamayo/The New York Times)
FAA investigating counterfeit titanium in Boeing and Airbus jets

The material, purchased from a little-known Chinese company, was sold with falsified documents and used in parts that went into jets.

Steamboat Geyser erupts in Yellowstone National Park on September 17, 2018. (Photo by Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service)
Lynnwood man sentenced for trespassing in Yellowstone National Park

Viktor Pyshniuk, 21, trespassed in April to take a photo of Yellowstone’s most dangerous geyser, according to the park.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.