Legislative & Regulatory Issues

Public Safety, Retail Theft, INFORM, Organized Retail Crime

WR’s top priority will be implementing a “multi-pronged” approach to increasing public safety, reducing retail theft, and increasing prosecution of ORC. Key to this goal is passage of the INFORM…
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Washington voters enacted an initiative prohibiting the Department of Labor and Industries from regulating musculoskeletal injuries (ergonomic related injuries) because many of these injuries are due to personal behaviors, are…
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Expanding Access to Return to Work Programs (RTW)

RTW programs have proven effective at reducing long term disability and improving injured workers’ outlook for transitioning back to work. Under current law, however, RTW programs are limited to the…
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Long Term Care (LTC)

In response to concerns over eligibility, “opt-outs”, and solvency, Washington’s LTC program was delayed until July 2023. Recent actuarial studies show the 0.58% payroll tax to fund the program will…
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“Qui-Tam” or PAGA

Legislation to allow a third party to sue employers on behalf of the state to enforce wage, hour, meal, rest break, anti-retaliation, discrimination, safety, and other workplace laws has been…
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Packaging and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Senator Christine Rolfes and Rep. Liz Berry are preparing to introduce comprehensive EPR packaging legislation similar to what has recently passed in California seeking to reduce and eventually eliminate harmful…
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Data Privacy

Senator Reuven Carlyle, the prime sponsor of the Washington Data Privacy Act, has announced his retirement at the end of 2022. At this point, it is unclear if another legislator…
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Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

In 2022 the Employment Security Department (ESD) alerted the Legislature that the PFML trust fund would be in a deficit position by the end of 2022. The Legislature responded by…
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Margins Tax – vs – Business and Occupation Tax

The Washington State Tax Structure Workgroup has been meeting for several years and one of their likely proposals to the legislature is replacing the Business and Occupation Tax with a…
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Warehouse Safety

In 2022 the Senate considered adding new requirements on warehouse employee meals, rest break, safety, and quotas. The House Labor Committee held a work session on the issue in September…
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Psychologists as Attending Providers

The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) is planning to re-introduce legislation that could authorize psychologists to be attending providers in workers compensation claims. The Legislature already authorized claims for…
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Our Impact

Some of our key statewide legislative accomplishments involve reducing cost increases for retailers and their customers. Government regulations come with costs that need to be understood and weighed to encourage economic growth.

Savings for Retailers

Helped to pass a service animal definition bill

This narrowed the definition of pets allowable in stores to address retailers concerned about shoppers with exotic, potentially dangerous or unhealthy animal companions.

Blocked several proposed product regulations

Defeated attempts to add regulatory costs on products such as batteries, lighting and paint. These costs would increase the price of such merchandise and discourage sales.

Worked to repeal a Seattle payroll tax

This reversal by the Seattle City Council removed an expense that would have been decided by the number of employees on retail payrolls.

Sales tax holiday for back to school

Earned Legislature committee hearings to decide whether to allow a weekend sales tax exemption for buying back-to-school items.

Stopped Initiative 517

I-517 would have allowed petition gatherers to clog entrances and exits of retail stores. This protects levels of service and saves on administration costs associated with a new policy.

WR Legislative Outcomes

Repeal of Seattle head tax

Washington Retail successfully helped to win a repeal of a Seattle tax that was to be charged on the size of payroll for retail establishments.

Sales Tax Holiday for Back-to-School

Introduced legislation, met with key legislators and staff, had hearings in both the House and Senate which moved it out of committee.

Blocked several proposed product regulations

Defeated an expansion of the children’s safe product act. Defeated the batteries, CFLs and paint bills.

Stopped all attempts to alter Workers’ Comp system

Stopped all attempts by labor and the trial attorneys to alter the existing system. Had hearings and votes on several pro-business workers’ comp bills. Unfortunately they did not move through the House.

WR is a non-profit trade group that provides political strength to bring about change. Partner with an association that understands not only your industry, but your unique individual business requirements in Washington State.

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The Group Retrospective Rating Program (RETRO) is a safety incentive program. The program was developed to encourage safety in the workplace and drive down the costs of doing business in Washington State.

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