July 8, 2019
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Save the date: Make plans now to join us for the 2019 Federal Affairs Summit

Your voice matters! Federal issues from immigration to infrastructure and international trade impact Washington employers every day. That's why it's critical that Washington businesses engage with our federal delegation and government agencies.

Please join us at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the Tri-Cities for our third Federal Affairs Summit event this August 19 and 20.

We'll have great discussions, and networking, with our state's congressional delegation and the many Washington companies that power our state's economy. This event is ideal for business owners, thought leaders, policy makers, and influencers whose business is impacted by federal policy, including trade, immigration and infrastructure.

Register here or contact Jacob Sodeman at JacobS@awb.org for more information.

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Unintended Consequences

State's proposed overtime rule change goes too far, too fast

By AWB President Kris Johnson

If it's approved, any employer with salaried workers making less than that amount will be faced with the difficult decision to either raise their employees' salary to nearly $80,000 or convert the worker to hourly status. For employers who can't afford to give out big raises, they may have little or no choice but to switch employees to hourly status.

In theory, this could lead to increased pay for some workers, but that's only if their employer can afford to pay overtime. Small businesses, nonprofits and other employers that can't absorb the cost increase will likely cut services.

Even for workers who don't take a step backward financially, the change could feel like a demotion. Increasingly, employees value flexibility in work hours, particularly younger workers. Making the transition from a salaried job -- with the flexibility to duck out for a couple hours in the middle of the day to take care of family obligation -- to an hourly worker who is required to be in the office a full eight hours, without the option of working from home, will be jarring.

No one is disputing that Washington's overtime rule needs updating. But the state's proposal simply goes too far, too fast and risks harming the employees it's intended to help.

Read the full column in The Wenatchee Valley Business World