WA Minimum Wage Passes Due to King County Support
Initiative 1433, which not only raises the minimum wage but also now requires ALL businesses to offer paid sick leave to all workers, was passed largely because of West side support. (Yellow shaded counties are where it was defeated).
According to the actual language from the Secretary of State website, here's some of how the sick leave will work:
"Beginning on January 1, 2018, employers would be required to provide paid sick leave to employees covered by the Minimum Wage Act. Employers would be required to pay sick leave at the employee's pay rate or at the new minimum wage, whichever is higher. An employee would get at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked, but employers could provide more generous paid leave. The measure would require employers to allow use of paid sick leave after 90 days of employment. Sick leave could be used to meet an employee's own medical needs or to care for a family member's medical needs. Family members would include: a spouse or registered domestic partner; a child; a parent, step-parent, or legal guardian; a grandparent; a grandchild; and a brother or sister. Paid sick leave could also be used when the employee's place of business or their child's school or childcare is ordered to be closed for a health related reason. Paid sick leave could be used for domestic violence leave."
Not only will it raise the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020, these new sick leave provisions will go into effect January 1, 2018, less than 14 months away. 40 hours of sick leave could be carried over from one year to another, and there is no limit on the amount of sick leave a worker can accrue.
It will apply to ALL business that operate under a license, whether they employ 2 or 2,000 people or more.
In addition, the University of Washington published a study showing the state's small business economy likely cannot absorb a 30% wage hike, even if it's spread out til 2020. According to their study, and those done by opponents of the Initiative, 1433 will actually result in less hiring, and perhaps even people losing jobs as we get close to the deadlines.
The initiative was rejected in 18 of the 19 Eastern WA counties, except for Whitman. Of the roughly 1.175 million yes votes, over 436,000 came from King County alone, where it passed by about a 72-28 percent margin. Yet another example of the tail wagging the political dog in our state.