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  • Legislative Update

    • Seattle Increases Minimum Wage to $15.00 Per Hour Over Several Years
      • Seattle City Council has passed, and Mayor Ed Murray has signed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour over 3 years for large employers and 7 years for smaller employers. See article here for details.  
    • April 17, 2014 - 2014 Legal Update - "Facts, Trends and Recommendations"
    • 2014 HR Legislation Update

Although HR was not a major topic of the 2014 session, - with legislators instead focused on education and transportation funding, job creation, and regulatory reform - HR issues were still an important area of debate:

House Bill 1313 would have required mandatory paid sick days, similar to the Seattle Sick and Safe Time ordinance.

House Bill 2238 would have required accrual of paid vacation for employees working an average of 20 or more hours per week for employers of 25 or more employees.

House Bill 2672 would have increased the state’s hourly minimum wage from $9.32 per hour to $10.00 hour in 2014, $11.00 per hour in 2015, and $12.00 per hour in 2016.

House Bill 2332 would have increased the damages available to successful wage payment claims from double damages to triple damages.

House Bill 2333 would have added to each major Washington employment statute significant employer liability for retaliation.

House Bill 2334 would have enacted the “Employee Fair Classification Act,” providing a presumption that any individual providing service is an employee unless the employer establishes independent contractor status under one of two new statutory definitions.

House Bill 2477 would have cracked down on the use of independent contractors in commercial janitorial services.

House Bill 2710 would have created a statutory civil cause of action for employees to sue an employer for taking “materially adverse action” against an employee for conduct the employee reasonably believed promotes a clear mandate of public policy. The bill also would have allowed successful employee/claimants to recover attorneys’ fees.

House Bill 2230 would require employers to reimburse employees for all necessary business expenses.

House Bill 2545 would restrict the use of criminal background checks, similar to the Seattle ordinance.

Senate Bill 6433 would specify that the Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of creed, including failure to accommodate an individual’s religion or creed.

Senate Bill 5158 would provide a safe harbor for employers involved in a wage payment dispute who establish that they relied in good faith on a policy, rule, guidance, or formal interpretation of the Department of Labor & Industries.

Senate Bill 6307 would prohibit cities and counties from adopting or enforcing ordinances or contracts requiring higher or more generous minimum wages, employee benefits, or labor relations than those established at the state level.

Senate Bill 6471would establish a summer employment wage for teens.

Senate Bill 6495 would establish a temporary teen training wage.

 

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