|The New Year brings new operating rules and in many cases added costs for businesses across the state including many regulations originated in Seattle.
The Puget Sound Business Journal recently outlined several new regulations that are new this year.
There’s a new tax on sugary drinks in Seattle that went into effect this month. Businesses across the state began offering one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. As of January 1, larger retailers in Seattle officially became liable if they did not post work schedules at least two weeks in advance and forgo hiring until after extending additional hours to existing employees. Violations start with fines of $500.
In another outcome inspired by Seattle, the statewide minimum wage increased to $11.50 on January 1.
WRA has been monitoring plans for these regulatory changes and others months before they became known to Washington State retailers. Because the momentum for these new labor laws originated in Seattle, we also established the Retail Coalition of Seattle and opened a Seattle office with two staff members committed to providing Seattle businesses with a voice before the City Council casts votes.
Providing feedback from our local business community regarding the impacts of proposed legislation is key to informed policy making.
WRA’s involvement in Seattle and Olympia on behalf of retailers doesn’t end after laws are approved. Our lobbyists continue to be involved in the critical rulemaking process when government staff determines how laws and regulations will be implemented.
Our lobbying team now is at work at the capitol this first week of the 2018 legislative session. A key area of focus is House Bill 1506 that would require gender pay equity of businesses across the state.
To contact our team of Olympia lobbyists, reach President/CEO Renée Sunde at 360-200-6450 or Rsunde@retailassociation.org or Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Mark Johnson at 360-943-0667 or email@example.com . In Seattle, contact John Engber, Director of the Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle, at 206-919-0136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.