A broad coalition is emerging in opposition to HB 1762, a bill backed by the Teamsters Union. This proposal includes new private rights of action and legal vulnerabilities for warehouse employers. Practically, it is reintroducing legislation proposed in the last two years that would overlay existing rest, meal break, and safety regulations with new regulations related to quotas in warehouse operations. Unfortunately, this bill passed the House on a narrow 53 – 46 vote.
At the outset of the 2023 session, Senator Steve Conway (D-29) introduced SB 5348, a significant departure from prior proposals. It changed the debate over new regulations and legal vulnerabilities of warehouse employers to focus on greater transparency on quotas and working with their employees on performance measures. Sadly, the Senate took no action on Senator Conway’s Warehouse legislation.
A letter opposing HB 1762 has been sent to all members of the Legislature emphasizing the need to continue focusing on economic recovery and to solve supply chain issues that have impacted small businesses disproportionately. The letter will be updated before a public hearing on HB 1762 on March 16.
The broad coalition includes Washington Retail, Association of Washington Business, Washington Food Industry Association, Northwest Grocery Association, Washington Farm Bureau, Washington Tree Fruit Association, Washington Trucking Association, Building Industry Association of Washington, Associated Builders and Contractors, National Federation of Independent Business, and some individual Chambers. Hopefully, a bill that aligns more with the original SB 5348 proposal can emerge.