Category Archives: Labor & Employment

Wage Violations

Below are summaries and status reports (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of some wage and hour bills about which we have concerns.

HB 1300 – Employee Misclassification: This labor-backed bill would make it harder to be classified as an independent contractor. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and is scheduled for executive action in the Appropriations Committee. WSDF is opposed to this bill.

HB 1301 – Employee Antiretaliation: This perennial favorite of worker advocates continues to have the same problems as previous versions – namely that employers are presumed guilty of employee retaliation in certain circumstances until the employers prove their innocence. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and has received a hearing in the Appropriations Committee. At this point, it has not been scheduled for executive action. WSDF is opposed to this bill.

HB 1302 – Damages for Wage Violations: This bill would increase the penalty for not paying employees correctly. The bill is currently in House Rules awaiting possible floor action. WSDF opposes this bill, as current law is sufficient.

HB 1486 – Wage Recovery Act: This bill creates a statutory wage lien for claims on unpaid wages and creates procedures for establishing, foreclosing, extinguishing, and prioritizing wage liens. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and has received a hearing in the Appropriations Committee. At this point, it has not been scheduled for executive action. WSDF is opposed to this bill.

Workers’ Compensation

Below is a summary and status report (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of the workers’ compensation reform bill we have been working on.

SB 5822 – Workers’ Comp Reform: This bill would lower the age barriers for workers to approve claim settlement agreements and would clarify the definition of occupational disease. The bill passed the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee and is now in Senate Rules awaiting possible floor action. WSDF supports this reform bill.

Information on Initiative 1433: Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave

Initiative 1433, an initiative to the people on the November General Election ballot, is currently passing by a vote of 57.4% to 42.6%. The initiative increases the state minimum wage and mandates that employers provide paid sick leave to employees.

Employers should be aware of two items of particular importance: (1) the state minimum wage will increase to $11.00 per hour on Jan. 1, 2017; and (2) paid sick leave requirements will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Today the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries released the following information about I-1433. Please review this information as it will affect your business.

Continue reading Information on Initiative 1433: Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave