Public hearings next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Tumwater, Seattle, and Bellingham
Overtime plan wins support of top immigrant rights, women’s rights, public health advocates
It’s about time: after more than a year of stakeholder engagement, the state’s plan to restore overtime protections to more than 250,000 overworked and underpaid workers in our state is set for a first round of public hearings next week on July 15th, 16th, and 17th. Leading immigrant rights, women’s rights, and public health advocates have added their support for the state’s bold plan to restore overtime protections for salaried workers paid up to about $70,000/year.
Rich Stolz, Executive Director of OneAmerica, the state’s leading immigrant rights organization: “OneAmerica applauds and supports Washington State’s proposed new overtime ruling, which ensures that low to middle income Washingtonians are fairly compensated for their work. Immigrant and refugee workers in particular will be positively impacted with greater pay, paid overtime or simply more time off to spend with family and non-work responsibilities under this long-overdue update. While those of us in the nonprofit community may need to adjust workloads or salaries in response to this ruling, it’s important that all businesses and organizations, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, respect the rights and dignity of workers serving our community.”
Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Position 8, Citywide) is a longtime leader on public health issues: “Workers across this country have been working longer hours for zero additional pay, resulting in negative health impacts ranging from exhaustion, to miscarriages, to depression, to cardio-vascular disease. The state’s plan to support overtime protection will restore balance to the lives of working families across the state who will soon have the time off they need to pursue educational advancement, spend time with their families, or enjoy our parks and waterfront. More workers across the state will also have access to paid sick and safe time with positive mental and physical health impacts for workers and broader public health impacts to our community at large. Many of us had 3 or 4 day workweeks last week. Think about it this way: what would you need to be paid to work on the 4th instead of taking time to be with your loved ones, taking a mental health break, schedule appointments, or checking items off your to-do list?”
Emily Martin is Vice President for Education & Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center: “The National Women’s Law Center applauds the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ bold move to guarantee overtime protections for everyone making less than 2.5x the state minimum wage. With an overtime salary threshold of roughly $70,000 a year, hundreds of thousands of working people in the state—most of them women—will gain new or strengthened overtime protections. These protections will mean hundreds of dollars in additional pay each week for some workers, and more time outside of work to spend with their families for others. Each of these benefits is especially important for women, who are typically breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families and also take on the bulk of caregiving and other responsibilities at home. As the federal Department of Labor works to roll back protections put in place by the Obama administration, it is critical for states to take the lead in raising labor standards—and Washington is setting an example that we hope many others will follow.
Who: Impact salaried workers who work in food service, retail, office, nonprofit, and other jobs, joined by community leaders on immigrant rights, women’s rights, workers rights, public health, and other key issues. Corporate lobbyists are expected to attend in opposition.
What: Attend a public hearing on the state’s proposal to restore overtime protections to hundreds of thousands of salaried workers. (Under our state’s current overtime rules, employers can pay someone as little as $24,000/year and then require them work potentially unlimited overtime hours without any additional compensation for the added time.)
When & Where:
MONDAY, July 15th at 1pm in Tumwater (L&I headquarters: 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 981501, Room S117). L&I staff will review details of the proposal to restore overtime from 1pm - 2pm, with public comment to follow.
TUESDAY, July 16th at 9 am in Seattle (Swedish Club: 1910 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, Stockholm Room). L&I staff will review details of the proposal to restore overtime from 9 am - 10am, with public comment to follow.
WEDNESDAY, July 17th at 9 am in Bellingham (Four Points Sheraton: 714 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229, Whatcom Room). L&I staff will review details of the proposal to restore overtime from 9 am - 10am, with public comment to follow.
Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: firstname.lastname@example.org
Working Washington is the voice for workers in our state. Working Washington fast food strikers sparked the fight that won Seattle’s first-in-the-nation $15 minimum wage. Working Washington baristas and fast food workers led the successful campaign for secure scheduling in Seattle, and our members across the state helped drive forward Initiative 1433 to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick days. We successfully drove Amazon to sever ties with the right-wing lobby group ALEC and improve conditions in their sweatshop warehouses, and got Starbucks to address inequities in their corporate parental leave policy. And we continue to make history by organizing for the landmark statewide paid family leave law in 2017, and winning the groundbreaking Seattle Domestic Workers Bill of Rights last summer. For more information, including our press kit, visit workingWA.org.