Over the past several years, workers in Washington have won dramatic victories to raise standards for low-wage workers across the state – including the new minimum wage, paid sick days, paid family leave, and improvements to equal pay protections – and our economy is stronger than ever.
Working Washington and Fair Work Center have been instrumental in these wins, and we aim to build on that success in 2019.
Expanding Our Rights
Workers on the frontlines of Washington’s service economy deserve balanced, flexible schedules with hours they can count on. Secure scheduling at large food service and retail chains will provide workers with input into and advance notice of their schedule, as well as access to more hours.
Raise Up Gig Workers
and Other Independent Contractors:
Gig work is an increasingly important source of income for many workers in Washington and across the country. We must remove the economic incentives for companies to hire workers as independent contractors while treating them like conventional employees, create opportunities for independent contractors to access health and retirement benefits, and establish a new mechanism for raising wages and standards across industries that rely on contract labor.
Restore Overtime Protections:
We support the Department of Labor & Industries’ rulemaking process to update its overtime rules for the first time in 42 years. We strongly urge the Department to set the new overtime exemption threshold for salaried workers at the highest possible level to restore time-and-a-half pay for overtime for hundreds of thousands of workers in Washington.
ENFORCING OUR RIGHTS
Workers’ Rights Enforcement Act:
Washington’s standards and protections for workers are only as strong as our ability to enforce them. Allowing workers to bring qui tam legal actions will help protect workers and the public, and ensure every business is accountable to following the law and competing on a level playing field.
Build Statewide Capacity for Community-based Enforcement:
Employers who violate labor and employment laws should be accountable to helping fund enforcement of those laws. A portion of the new penalties accrued under the Workers Rights Enforcement Act should be invested in community-based organizations to provide free legal services and worker rights outreach and education throughout the state.
Strengthen Workplace Protections in the Adult Entertainment Industry:
Dancers in Washington’s adult entertainment industry are speaking out about the unsafe and unhealthy working conditions they face on the job, and we must ensure they have the same rights and protections on the job as any other worker in Washington.