January 22, 2018
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

HB 1506 and SB 5140: Pay equity bill passes House without amendments sought by AWB

The state House voted 69-28 last week to pass House Bill 1506, which addresses workplace practices to achieve gender pay equity. The bill modifies the Equal Pay Act by defining "similarly employed” and modifying defenses. It prohibits discrimination in providing employment opportunities based on gender, and prohibits retaliation for certain workplace discussions about wages and other matters.

AWB testified during hearings in the House and Senate, and has been working with a bipartisan group of representatives and senators to address employer concerns.

AWB's Pay Equity Work Group has been working with Rep. Gina McCabe, R-Goldendale, on a business response to the bill in the House. AWB supported several amendments to the House bill, but those amendments failed on the House floor along party lines. The bill moved out of the House last Wednesday and is now in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee awaiting a public hearing.

AWB will continue to seek the four amendments in the Senate that will help ensure that the goals of the legislation do not have unintended consequences for employers and their employees.

The Senate version of the bill is SB 5140.

Contact Bob Battles, AWB government affairs director for workplace law, to learn more.

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Key Workforce Education

Help community colleges meet job training needs

By The Editorial Board of The (Everett) Herald

The state's 34 community and technical colleges are playing an indispensable role in educating and preparing students for further study and advanced degrees at universities but also for more immediate jobs with employers throughout the state, particularly in manufacturing and other trades.

With some 740,000 job openings in the state expected over the next five years -- and more than half of those requiring post-high school education and training -- community and technical colleges represent the best option for many of those students...

Read the full editorial in The Herald
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