June 29, 2020
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This Wednesday: Accident Prevention & Accident Investigation Plans webinar

All employers in Washington state are required to create a written Accident Prevention Plan or Program (APP).

During an AWB webinar this Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., attorneys Tim O’Connell and Karin Jones, Partners with Stoel Rives LLP will outline the requirements for compliance with the Department of Labor & Industries’ requirements, and how they fit into an overall workplace safety program.

This webinar will include how to be in compliance with regulations, how to write a comprehensive APP, how to conduct and prepare for an accident investigation and provide tools/templates that can be adapted to fit your company’s specific needs. Implementing a comprehensive APP helps ensure increased safety awareness and may lower the number of accidents and/or illnesses.

The webinar price is $40 for AWB members or $55 for non-members. SHRM and HRCI continuing education credits are available upon request. Register here.

This is the final session in a six-month series on common employment law topics. These online classes are geared toward small business owners who “wear many hats,” like serving as CEO, CFO and HR director all at the same time. For more information this event or upcoming webinars, please contact the events team by emailing JacobS@awb.org or calling 360.943.1600.

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Now More Than Ever, Health Insurance Matters
Invest in Early Childhood Education

Fixing child-care shortage and Washington's economic recovery go hand in hand

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

As Washington gets back to business, many job-seeking parents of young children face a frustrating double bind. Even if they do find employment that will help them provide for their family, the short supply of quality, affordable child care makes it impossible for them to take the job.

Nearly half -- 47% -- of unemployed parents cited lack of child care as a barrier to re-employment in a May survey, according to a state Child Care Collaborative Task Force child-care industry assessment. Since March, more than 1,100 licensed child-care providers have at least temporarily closed, exacerbating a shortage flagged by state lawmakers long before COVID-19...

Even before this spring's upheaval, nearly half of Washington parents reported difficulty finding and keeping affordable child care. Twenty-seven percent reported leaving a job, school or training because of a lack of consistent, affordable care, according to a Department of Commerce report.

This is not just a problem for working families; it is a drain on the state's economy. Commerce estimates that employee turnover and missed work due to child-care issues create an annual $2.08 billion drag on the state economy. That number triples when figuring in opportunity costs.

Addressing Washington's child-care shortage will not be easy, especially during the tough economic times ahead. But quality, affordable child care is a linchpin to the state's economic recovery. More must be done to ensure this essential sector does not fail.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times
Foreign Workers Support Our Economy

Big Tech isn't the only loser in Trump's visa freeze

By Tae Kim

On Monday, Trump signed an executive order that freezes access to a number of work visas through year-end, including the H-1B visa for highly-skilled foreigners, which is primarily given to workers in the technology industry. The issuance of new green cards will also stay halted until the end of the year. The administration said the order would free up jobs for unemployed Americans, adding it would block about 500,000 people from entering the country this year.

The move sparked an avalanche of criticism from technology companies. They said the measures will hurt their ability to recruit talent and have deeper negative ramifications for the economy.

An Amazon.com Inc. spokesperson called the order "shortsighted," adding it prevents "high skilled professionals from entering the country and contributing to America's economic recovery, [putting] American's global competitiveness at risk."

A Facebook Inc. representative said Trump is using the pandemic as justification for "limiting" immigration, which will make "our country's recovery even more difficult."

And Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith said on social media, "Now is not the time to cut our nation off from the world's talent or create uncertainty and anxiety."

Read the full column in The Seattle Times