2017 Washington Dairy Conference scheduled for Nov. 6-7 in Yakima

The 2017 dairy industry annual meeting will be held Nov. 6-7 at the Yakima Convention Center.

General Information

Regular Attendee Registration

Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration

If you prefer to send a check, the registration forms are here:

Please contact Darcel Nootenboom if you have any questions.

Overview of SSB 5975 – Paid Family and Medical Leave

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Background: Following prolonged discussions between the business community and worker advocates, the Legislature in 2017 amended the state’s family and medical leave insurance program. That program was first passed in 2007 but never funded. The issue of paid family leave continued to poll extremely well across all demographics statewide. Legislators believed failure to find a legislative solution in 2017 would likely result in a statewide initiative backed by organized labor and likeminded social groups.

Bill Summary: SSB 5975 made substantial policy changes to the state family and medical leave insurance program and provided a funding mechanism. The chart below summarizes many of the provisions of SSB 5975. Continue reading Overview of SSB 5975 – Paid Family and Medical Leave

Initiative 1433 – Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave Mandate

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Background: Originally, Washington’s Minimum Wage Act covered only non-agricultural workers. However, in 1988 voters approved Initiative 518, which changed the Minimum Wage Act to cover all workers employed in Washington state. Consequently, the state minimum wage is the same for both non-agricultural and agricultural workers.

In 1998, voters approved Initiative 688, which raised the minimum wage and required the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries to make a cost-of-living increase to the minimum wage each calendar year based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

The minimum wage for 2016 under Washington law is $9.47/hour. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage is presently $7.25/hour. Washington employers must pay the higher of those rates. In addition, some municipalities such as Seattle and Tacoma have enacted higher minimum wage rates in their jurisdictions. Employers subject to those laws must pay the highest minimum wage required. Continue reading Initiative 1433 – Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Sick Leave Mandate