Legislative & Regulatory Issues


The 2019 state Legislature passed 16 new tax laws, many of which Washington Retail opposed on grounds that they would hurt consumers and the overall state economy. Included in the…
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Employee Scheduling

In the 2019 Legislative session, the Legislature considered but did not take final action on bills that would have mandated scheduling regulations on retailers across the state. The bills were…
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Data Privacy

This topic involves the collection and use of a variety of personal identifiers, and efforts to regulate such transactions. Such identifiers can include name, residency, health data, user names, IP…
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Executive / Administrative / Professional Pay

Washington Labor & Industries is proposing new rules regarding overtime pay eligibility. They would phase in, over six years, an increase in the salary threshold for determining exempt employee status…
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Retail Theft

WR has proactively introduced legislation to help crack down on retail theft. Over $940 million in merchandise was stolen from retailers in the State of Washington last year. This means…
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Careers in Retail

Retail is connected to one in four jobs in the American workforce.  Our team has collaborated with WorkSource in Washington State to promote their annual Retail Month. Retailers applaud Governor…
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Trade Tariffs

In cooperation with the National Retail Federation, Washington Retail has urged President Trump and Congress to oppose increasing trade tariffs upon nations with whom we trade. This risks alienating our…
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Get Involved

These and other issues only pass or fail with the involvement and support or opposition from citizens like you. Weighing in is easier than ever and can be done in…
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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 assocation 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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