Bellingham Voters Face Decision on Initiative 4

Oct 28, 2021
Written by wpengine

In late summer, activists in Bellingham turned in signatures to qualify four initiatives for the November general election ballot. Washington Retail has joined other business organizations, non-profits, local small businesses, and community leaders in a campaign to defeat one of the initiatives, Initiative 4. Recently, the progressive Bellingham City Council voted unanimously to oppose all four initiatives.

The community has rallied around the campaign to defeat Initiative 4, which would:

  • Impose new hazard pay requirements even when there is no workplace hazard to employees. That’s right, any emergency declaration issued by state or local government would trigger hazard pay, including Governor Inslee’s July 14 drought emergency declaration.

Eliminate employers’ and employees’ ability to work together to adjust work schedules to accommodate emergencies, weather, or other unforeseen circumstances. All employers (including small businesses and non-profits) would be required to give their employees a work schedule two weeks in advance. Virtually any change to that schedule would require the employer to pay “penalty pay,” even if the schedule change is made to accommodate the worker’s needs.