July 8, 2019
AWB
   
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

Arizona becomes first state to have universal recognition of occupational licenses

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed into law the nation’s first universal recognition of occupational licenses. This law was originally intended for military spouses but evolved to include everyone, eliminating unnecessary governmental barriers to work.

He said that whether a plumber, barber, nurse or other skilled occupation, the bill eliminates unnecessary and costly red tape. He said the bill can and should be a model for other states.

"As new residents move here, they often face daunting and unnecessary hurdles imposed by state government to start a job, even though they were licensed, trained and qualified for the same job in another state," Ducey said. "To help these new Arizonans get to work faster, Arizona’s licensing boards and commissions will now be required to recognize occupational licenses granted in other states during the licensing process, something already done for spouses of military personnel deployed to Arizona. The bill ensures public health and safety protections for jobs that require background checks or other safety requirements."



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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