Arm yourself with the information you need to fight back against the Legislature’s threat your livelihood
The 2019-2020 session of the Washington State Legislature is taking aim at people who want to be their own bosses and run their own businesses.
NFIB opposed a long list of bills this session that would interfere with your ability to make a living. No one should be fooled by their sweet-sounding titles. All are meant to limit free people from engaging in free enterprise.
We were successful in helping defeat the worst of them, including:
- Independent contractor bills. The “Universal Worker Protections Act,” companions House Bill 1601 and Senate Bill 5690 are dead. So too is SB 5513, the “Employee Fair Classification Act,” which sought to classify more independent contractors and self-employed sole proprietors as some else’s employees. It’s House counterpart, House Bill 1515, has been watered down to a task force; however, NFIB still opposes the bill since there’s no guarantee actual independent contractors or other self-employed individuals or their representatives will be appointed to the panel. With the Association of Washington Business (AWB) selecting employer representatives, we’re more likely to see Uber, Amazon, Microsoft, and large construction contractors – the very same organizations whose use of “independent contractors” is largely responsible for raising Labor’s ire and these bills being introduced – tabbed for the negotiating team. Thousands of hair stylists and barbers, whose amazing, organic, grassroots efforts took the legislature by surprise, defeated these bills. Let’s hope AWB appoints some of them to the HB 1515 task force.
- Restrictive scheduling. More surprising was the demise of House Bill 1491 and Senate Bill 5717, companion bills seeking to require certain employers, primarily larger restaurants, hotels, and retailers, to provide two week’s advance notice of work schedules, and pay penalties for shift changes once the schedules are posted. The House labor committee amended its version, raising the threshold to employers in those industries with 250 or more workers, and excluding all but the nine most populous counties in the state. Those amendments likely sank the House vehicle. Both bills died in their respective fiscal committee.
Make it a habit to periodically check this webpage for NFIB policy briefs on key bills affecting your right to own, operate, and grow your business, and check out NFIB’s weekly reports from the State Capitol.